How to Unshrink Jeans: Simple Tricks that Save the Day

In this article we'll explain how to unshrink jeans after dryer and improper handling, we'll also provide tips on treating the parts that need expanding
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Last updatedLast updated: August 15, 2022
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Denim is one of the most versatile fabrics around. It’s used for jackets, vests, bags, and most commonly, pants. This is mainly due to the low cost of the material combined with the comfort it provides when you’re wearing it. Of course, like everything else you wear, jeans need to be cleaned. The most common process for this is by tossing them in your washer and then into your dryer.

Though this is an easy process, jeans commonly feel tighter when they come out than when they went in. This requires you to either learn how to unshrink jeans or toss them and buy a larger pair. Luckily, there are a few methods that you can try to get those jeans back to the perfect size. Check out the following sections on how to unshrink jeans after the dryer to get them back to the comfy pants you know and love.

How to Unshrink Jeans after Dryer

Jeans are made of denim Trusted Source What Is Denim Fabric? A Guide to the History of Denim, the Different Types of Denim, and What to Look for When Buying Denim Jeans Blue jeans have become so ubiquitous around the world that they have become almost synonymous with American style. What was once a sturdy, workman’s textile has proliferated to become an essential component of the fashion industry. www.masterclass.com , which is a sturdy and long-lasting cotton fabric that uses a twill weave to create the distinctive ribbed pattern that this material is known for. As well as the unique appearance, this ribbing adds strength to the material, so they last longer than many other materials. It is also easy to work with, so you can make your own denim clothing using the best sewing machine for jeans. Unfortunately, all jeans can be shrunk if you’re not careful with how you clean them. The following methods are good options for those trying to fix shrunken jeans.

Soak in lukewarm water

How to Unshrink Jeans: Simple Tricks that Save the Day

One method to unshrink jeans after using a dryer is to use a clean spray bottle filled with lukewarm water. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can use a sponge or a cup to pour small amounts of water wherever needed. Lay your jeans flat and start spraying the jeans on the areas you want to stretch, avoiding the seams and the knees.

When the fabric is wet, use your hands to gently stretch small parts of the material. Work your way through the entire pair of jeans until they are stretched to the size you want. Then allow the jeans to dry completely. You can leave them flat for this or hang them on a clothesline.

Baby shampoo

Another option to unshrink cotton jeans is the use of baby shampoo Trusted Source How is Baby Shampoo Different Than Regular Shampoo? Love the way baby shampoo smells, but aren’t sure if you should use it as an adult? Let’s take a look at the difference between baby shampoo and regular shampoo. limmerhtc.com , which is gentle, has a neutral pH level, is free of strong fragrances, and doesn’t contain harsh foaming agents or chemicals. The gentle shampoo will soften the fibers of your jeans to make them more pliable without leaving any residue or odors behind.

For this method, take a clean spray bottle and fill it with 3 parts lukewarm water and 1 part baby shampoo. Put the lid on and shake to combine the liquids. Then lay your jeans out and start spraying, wetting them without soaking them while avoiding the seams and knees.

Once you’ve wet all the areas you want to stretch, put the bottle aside and begin to pull on your jeans. The best way to do this is to start in the middle and work your way out. Do not pull on the seams since this could tear the threads holding them together.

When the jeans are stretched to your satisfaction, lay them out again or hang them on a clothesline to dry completely. Do not place them in the dryer again or you’ll likely need to repeat this process.

Fabric conditioner

How to Unshrink Jeans: Simple Tricks that Save the Day

A good fabric conditioner makes anything you put in the washing machine extra soft, giving it a coziness that detergent alone can’t replicate. You can unshrink jeans with a fabric softener or conditioner since it helps to relax those heavy denim fibers. A good option is Downy Ultra Liquid Laundry Fabric Softener since it softens the material while leaving behind a lovely fresh scent.

Using fabric conditioner is similar to using straight water or baby shampoo. Simply fill a clean spray bottle ¾-full with lukewarm water, then fill the last ¼ with fabric conditioner. Shake the bottle to combine the two.

Once mixed, spray the jeans until they are wet, though not dripping. As with the other methods, avoid the seams and knees, which could both tear if pulled improperly. Then begin pulling on the jeans, working gently on the areas that you want to stretch. When they are the right size, hang them on a clothesline to dry.

Hair conditioner

Learning how to unshrink your jeans with conditioner is another good option to get your favorite pair back to their original size. Hair conditioner may not be made for textiles but it will still soften those fibers to make them more pliable. You don’t need any special conditioner, either. The Amazon Basics Moisture Rich Conditioner has a great low price for a 28-ounce bottle.

The method is the same as with the baby shampoo or fabric softener. Add 3 parts lukewarm water and 1 part conditioner to a clean spray bottle and shake it well. Then lay out your jeans, flattening them as much as possible. Spray the jeans until they are wet, though not dripping. Avoiding the knees and seams, gently pull the fabric outwards as evenly as possible. Do this to all the areas that need stretching.

When the jeans are stretched out to suit your size and comfort level, hang them on a clothesline and allow them to dry completely.

Unshrinking Needed Jeans Parts

Sometimes your jeans won’t need to be stretched all over. Certain areas can shrink to the point of discomfort, even if the rest of the pants still look and feel good. Let’s take a look at how to alter specific areas of your jeans.

Waist

There’s nothing worse than having to suck in your tummy to get your jeans done up. Not only does this affect your confidence, but it also doesn’t feel very comfortable to have them pressing into your waist while you’re trying to work, run errands, or relax. If this is an issue, learning how to unshrink your jean’s waist is a must.

For this process, you’ll need a tape measure to make sure you’re stretching this area to the right size. You’ll also need a spray bottle and one of the solutions we described above. We recommend the fabric softener since it will protect the denim fibers, though the baby shampoo and hair conditioner will work just as well. Combine your chosen solution in the spray bottle as described above.

Measure the waist of the jeans and decide how much they need to be stretched. Then spray the waist of the jeans with your chosen solution, getting them wet but not dripping. Now it’s time to start stretching the jeans. If they only need slight stretching, do so slowly to avoid overstretching them.

Be sure to cut the measurement in half and stretch each side by that amount to ensure even stretching and the proper fit. Check the waist using the tape measure periodically to get the perfect size. When you’ve completed your task, hang the jeans to dry, then try them on. If they are still too tight, repeat the entire process.

Length

When you buy jeans, often they are too long, requiring you to pull out the best sewing machine for hemming to get them to the proper length. Unfortunately, sometimes they shrink when you dry them, whether you’ve hemmed them or not. When this happens, you need to stretch your shrunken jeans to get them back to the length you prefer.

You need the same items for this process that you do for the waist stretching, including a tape measure and a spray bottle containing 3 parts water and 1 part fabric conditioner, baby shampoo, or hair conditioner.

Measure the length of the jeans, as well as your legs, then determine how much longer the pants need to be for a comfortable fit. Spray the legs of the jeans until both are wet, though not dripping.

Then begin to stretch them in sections. Start by holding the jean hips, pulling gently towards the knees, though do not pull the knees themselves. Then hold the jeans below the knee and pull down towards the hem. Be sure to use your tape measure to ensure both legs are stretched evenly. When they are your chosen length, hang them to dry on a clothesline.

How to Avoid Shrinking Jeans

Though the above sections can help you unshrink your jeans, it’s best to avoid shrinking them in the first place to avoid the hassle of trying to get them back to the proper size.

Don’t use a dryer

The best way to avoid shrinking your jeans is to keep them out of the dryer. This appliance exposes the cotton or cotton blend of the jeans to excessive amounts of heat, which will shrink them every time.

Proper hanging

Hang your jeans to dry on a clothesline whenever possible. Outside is best, though you can use an indoor clothesline when needed. Even a clothes rack or hanger is a better option than using the dryer for jeans. Be sure to turn them inside out and hang them from the waistband.

Avoid using clothespins if possible since these can leave peg marks on the waist or cause some uneven hems due to the heavy weight of the wet jeans.

Avoid hot water

Hot water can have the same effect as a hot dryer, shrinking those flexible fibers as soon as they get wet. This can also alter any patterns or designs you’ve added using the best sewing and embroidery machine, scrunching them up and ruining their appeal. Use lukewarm or even cold water to wash your jeans. You also don’t need to wash jeans as often as other clothing. You can usually wear your jeans several times before they need to be cleaned.

Final Thoughts

There’s nothing like a comfortable, well-fitting pair of jeans. They come in dozens of styles and several washes, so it’s easy to get the perfect pair to match your style. Jeans are also versatile, fitting in at nightclubs as well as they do at a barbecue.

Unfortunately, when a pair of jeans come out of the wash feeling tighter than when you put them in, they are no longer as fun to wear. Learning how to unshrink your jeans using the methods we’ve described above will ensure that every pair will be as long-lasting as you expect them to be. You’ll never have to squirm in an overly snug pair again.

References

1.
What Is Denim Fabric? A Guide to the History of Denim, the Different Types of Denim, and What to Look for When Buying Denim Jeans
Blue jeans have become so ubiquitous around the world that they have become almost synonymous with American style. What was once a sturdy, workman’s textile has proliferated to become an essential component of the fashion industry.
2.
How is Baby Shampoo Different Than Regular Shampoo?
Love the way baby shampoo smells, but aren’t sure if you should use it as an adult? Let’s take a look at the difference between baby shampoo and regular shampoo.
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