How To Shrink Jeans: A Unified Guide

We all know how annoying a stretchy pair of jeans can be, but isn’t it? Suddenly your waist doesn’t feel as tight and your knees have buckled from sitting all day. Relatable?

But there is a solution for this. You can shrink your jeans. Yes, you read it right. Shrunken jeans are the new trend. These jeans are much tighter than regular jeans and skinnier than skinny jeans. Their crotch area is higher on the waist and makes your legs, hips and buttocks look slimmer. All you need is a bunch of simple tricks up your sleeve (fists, we mean). Discover these techniques in this post and never let a pair of jeans bother you again.

The 7 Best Ways to Shrink Jeans Easily

1. Use dry ice

Seal your jeans inside a plastic bag, put them in another plastic bag, and tie them up. Place it on a piece of dry ice and leave it alone for a couple of hours to shrink. But be careful as certain fabrics can become stiff or damaged once the dry ice evaporates.

2. Use an iron

Dampen any loose areas on your jeans with hot water. These could be the waist, thigh areas, or knees. Switch your iron to the cotton setting and go over the wet areas of your jeans. Make sure you don’t pause in one area for too long. You can put the jeans on once they are completely dry.

Remember to moisten the problem areas of your jeans and not soak them.

3. Get in the bathroom

While this may seem a bit awkward, it works well. Fill the bathtub with hot water. Remember, no soap. Put on your jeans and get in the tub. Wait until the water cools down and then run out. Shake off excess water and walk out. You can also walk around a bit, but make sure the jeans are completely dry so they fit naturally to your shape.

But in case it’s cold, you can hang the jeans outside and let them dry.

4. Shrink jeans using a trowel

Fill your sink with warm water and submerge the jeans. Once wet, remove the jeans and wring them out until damp. Then pound the entire fabric with a wooden paddle/spoon for about ten minutes and repeat on the other side. This method will help you shrink the jeans by increasing friction in certain regions.

5. Use the freezer method

Put your jeans in the freezer overnight and take them out the next morning. After a day or two, your pants will shrink and be ready to wear. However, this method is not recommended for items made of cotton because the material becomes stiff and uncomfortable after drying.

6. Throw them in the dryer

This technique is simple. Put your stretched jeans in the washing machine and set them on the hottest setting. Once done, throw them in the dryer. Wait until they have completely dried. Your shrunken jeans would be ready to be worn. However, be careful if your jeans are made of delicate fabric: try to reduce the temperature in the washing machine appropriately.

7. Use the boiling method

Fill a large pot or saucepan with boiled water. Now turn your jeans inside out and leave them on the pan. Make sure the jeans are completely submerged. Since the water is hot, you can use a spoon or ladle to push the jeans down. Leave them for about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir the water from time to time. Then you can drain the water and dry the jeans.

Each of these techniques works differently for different types of material.


Now you know precisely how to shrink your jeans. But if they feel baggy despite following these techniques, you might want to visit your neighborhood tailor. This is because the tricks mentioned here offer a temporary fix at best. Visiting a professional can give you a permanent solution and can also extend the life of the fabric.

Frequent questions

Do jeans shrink in cold water?

No. Since denim fibers do not break down when washed in cold water, the fabric may not shrink.

Do jeans shrink after the first wash?

Yes, denim can shrink 7-10% after the first wash. However, it returns to its original shape in about an hour due to the reversal of contraction by relaxation.

Will the jeans shrink or stretch over time?

The fabric of the jeans transforms and adjusts according to the wearer’s body. To that end, jeans can shrink over time.

key takeaways

  • Always choose the method based on the type of fabric. For example, the freezer method is not ideal for cotton jeans.
  • First you can buy cheap jeans and try them on to practice.
  • The easiest way to shrink your jeans in the winter is to leave them outside in the cold night.
How To Shrink Jeans: A Unified Guide

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