How to Shrink Jeans??

I was so sure everyone knew how to do this?

To shrink jeans, first wash them in very hot water and then dry them in a very hot dryer.

To avoid shrinking jeans, first wash them in cold water, lightly tumble them on warm in the dryer, and then finish drying by hanging overnight.

To stretch jeans, first wash them in cold water, lightly tumble them on warm in the dryer, put them on slightly damp and dance around until they stretch to where you want them.

To dye jeans (or freshen their faded color), first wash them in cold water with no soap, then use a commercial dye like ProcionMx or Jacquard and soda ash, soak and aggitate for several hours, rince well in vinegar, hang in the shade to dry.

To fade jeans (or remove their new color) first wash them in cold water with extra soap, rinse them several times, hang in the sun for a couple of days.

To recycle jeans, companies like Liz Claiborne offer a $10 credit toward a new pair for retiring the old pair.

To donate jeans, most battered women's shelters will gratefully accept women's, men's and children's jeans.

And for an absolutely PERFECT fit, take jeans to the tailor!


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Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Good Morning :)!!

That, of course, is an impossible question to answer without knowing where you live!? Too funny!

My advise would be to search the Internet, of course! Doing an Advance Search on Google should put you in contact with the right and perfect jean shorts!

Blessings in your search! EarthAngel!

:) 5 years ago

where is a good place to buy jean shorts......their either too big or too short and some are expensive:(

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Hi SubtleRaindrop!

That is a bit tougher! You can try lightly spraying with water JUST the area you want to shrink and throwing them in the dryer on high for a few minutes! This will tighten them up in the spots you have dampened!

The only problem with that solution is when it eventually comes time to wash them! After adjusting them, it's cold water and no dryer from there on out! Or, the dry cleaners from there on out! (I always dry clean my favorite jeans!)

Another solution is to wash them the way you normally would and then have them tailored! It's not as costly as most people think! $10-20 bucks in Central California and you get a perfect fit!

Hope some of that helps! I know you will look dynamite in your new jeans!

Blue Jean Blessings Always, Earth Angel!

SubtleRaindrop 5 years ago


I recently bought a pair of jeans and they fit perfectly around the waist ans the length is great too, but the hip/thigh area is too big. Is there anything I can do to fix it a little?


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Saulamaye just asked about shrinking jeans and if it is the waist or the length that shrinks the most!

Thanks Saulmaye for the question!

It is the length that shrinks the most! This is because of the way jeans are layed out and cut on the fabric!

If you take a piece of denim prior to making a garment the shrinking process would occur more length-wise than width-wise! This is due to the weave of the denim! It is more tightly woven in one direction than the other!

To get your jeans to shrink more in length than width, go ahead a wash them in hot water and hot dryer!

To get your jeans to shrink more in length and not much at all in the width, keep the waist wet! This means while in the dryer you may have to pull them out a couple of times and lightly spray the waist with water!

Also, there are products specifically for keeping a waist in shape while washing and drying! They are inexpensive, plastic, adjustable and you put them in the buttoned/zipped waist while washing and drying!

Hope that helps! Blessings always, EarthAngel!

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

You are more than welcome!!

I know you must look good in your leggings and skinnies!!

Blessings always, EarthAngel!

:) 6 years ago

yes i love jeans earth angel i especially love jeggings and skinny jeans because they fit my body really good!thank you

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Blessings to you this morning!

Jeans have become a staple in so many people's lives! Do you know a single person who does not own at least one pair of jeans? It's hard to say that about any other article of clothing!?

A good pair of well-fit jeans is a treasure! I have big baggy ones I wear in the garden and slim tight ones I wear dancing! And all the ones in-between!

Do you wear jeans??

Blessings and Happy New Year! EarthAngel!

:) 6 years ago

How do you know so much about jean?:)

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Hi Kelsey!

Yes, you can shrink jeans in hot water without fading them! It's a little more complicated but well worth the effort for a favorite pair!

The easy version is to soak them in straight white vinegar for a day! A gallon which costs under $2 should do the trick! After that, wash them in cold water and let them dry naturally! They will be stiff but you are just trying to give the dye extra time to hold!

The more complicated but trustier version is to soak your jeans in hot water that has both two cups of salt and two cups of soda ash added/dissolved in the water! About $5 total! Leave overnight and then wash in cold water first!

As for the tailor, here in California I pay about $20 to have my jeans shortened ($10) and the waist taken in (10)! Cuffs, belt-loops, double-stiching, etc. all factors in to a tailor's price!

Hope that helps!!

Blessings and Happy New Year always, EarthAngel!

Kelsey-97 6 years ago

Hi, how can you shrink your jeans with the hot water without fading them? Also how much money would it to be get your jeans tailored down a size? Thanks!

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Dearest Denimmmmmmm,

You didn't read the Hub!? Go back and read the very first paragraph - that's how you shrink jeans!

Blessings always on your baggies! Earth Angel!

Denimmmmmm 6 years ago

Hey, I've bought a pair of cheap monday skinny jeans and I find it alittle too baggy. So to shrink it, all I need to do is to soak it in hot water overnight?

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Hi JellY,

Hot water and a hot dryer will shrink (and fade) jeans . . .

Most Levi's are 100% cotton and those shrink the most . . .

The 61% cotton on the label means there is 39% something else - probably spandex, polyester, etc. - all meant to REDUCE/PREVENT shrinking and fading . . . and hold their shape better than 100% cotton . . .

If you haven't worn them, take them back for a smaller size . . .

Or take them to a tailor . . . For $10-$20 you can get a perfectly tailored pair of jeans . . .

Keep me posted . . . Good luck!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!

JellY 6 years ago

oh and the jeans i want to shrink are 61% cotton

JEllY 6 years ago

Dear, earth angel

i recently bought gray levi jeans and they ended up being too big.. will hot water really make them shrink and tighten up wen i wear them??

Honey  6 years ago

It's me again when u stretch the jeans will it stay like that when you wash it will it shrink again in the washer thanks :)

Honey 6 years ago

How does it stretch wher does the extra come from

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Blessings to you Anais!!

For brand new jeans, there is no way to 'spot shrink!' A good tailor is the best way to get a favorite pair of jeans fitting nicely!! Runs about $20 in California!!

For older jeans, you can 'spot tighten' certain places by lightly spraying the 'sag part' with a mist of water, and then throwing them in the dryer!

I use both methods all the time!!

Blessings, Earth Angel!!

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Blessings to you Anais!!

For brand new jeans, there is no way to 'spot shrink!' A good tailor is the best way to get a favorite pair of jeans fitting nicely!! Runs about $20 in California!!

For older jeans, you can 'spot tighten' certain places by lightly spraying the 'sag part' with a mist of water, and then throwing them in the dryer on high for a few minutes!

I use both methods all the time!!

Blessings, Earth Angel!!

Anais 6 years ago

Hey my skinny jeans always are either to much balge at the crotch or the legs are too wide or the waist dose not fit how do I shrink these cerain spots?

Jessica 6 years ago


I bought jeans a couple months ago, but everytime I wear them for awhile they sag around my thighs and butt. Is there anyway to shrink them without shrinking the length of the jeans? Thanks! (:

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Hello Flacka!!

Thanks for dropping by!! Good questions!!

The spandex will help keep your jeans in nice shape on your body - it's the cotton that stretches and doesn't return to shape as quickly!!

Since your new jeans are 40% spandex (that is a higher percentage than I have ever heard of) they will retain their shape much better than other jeans with a lesser percentage!!

We all face the same challenge; I have some wonderful pairs of jeans that make me look great because they hold me firm in the right places!!

The bad news, jeans will stretch to some degree after wearing them all day/night!! The good news, they usually pop right back into shape with just a couple of minutes in a dryer set on medium!!

For me, I chose carefully when to wear my best-fitting jeans!! I have a Beyonce' booty - a bit full for my size!! If I am going to be sitting in meetings/classes or traveling in a car all day, I don't wear my favorite pair!!

I save my best fitting jeans for those places I know I will be standing, like parties and/or dancing!!

I don't wash my jeans each time I wear them!! Again, I will lightly spray them with a fine mist of water, zipped and buttoned I will turn them inside out, and put them in a medium dryer for a few minutes!!

Dryer balls (or tennis balls) also help bounce the shape back into jeans quickly!! The jeans do not have to dry completely in the dryer to get their shape back!!

I then hang them up to finish drying and they are ready for the next time I want to wear them!!

Wearing jeans still damp will cause them to stretch even more - avoid that!

Let me know if that helps!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

Flacka 6 years ago

I love the fit of this pair of jeans but I am afraid of the fabric content: 60% cotton and 40% spandex,will the jeans stretch a lot after wearing them for 1 hour or so, loosing their original nice shape on my body? I really like the fit but don't want the saggy "stretch butt"! Can you advice? Thanks!

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Good Morning and Blessings to you Cynthia!!

Yes, unfortunately the dye will darken the labels in your jeans as well!! The good news is, that after a couple of washings, the tags will usually go back to about 80-90% of their color before dyeing!!

A wax resist is a good idea, especially if you are familiar with the process! Do your paint on silk/cotton?? If so, using high quality dyes like Procion or Jacquard, along with a resist like Gouda on the tags, and then steaming your jeans like you would a silk/cotton painting/clothing would probably produce the best results!!

GREAT suggestion!! I had never thought of using my skills as a silk painter in re-dyeing some of my clothes, including jeans!! Thank you so much for your comments!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

cynthia 6 years ago


Ive got a pair of black levis that have faded with wear. Id like to refresh the colour by re-dyeing my jeans. however, i am worried about the the dyes transferring onto the red tab and other labels. is there a way i can avoid that (like a batik/wax resist)?

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 7 years ago Author

Thanks Steve!!

I didn't know that!!??

How did you get a space between Steve and Says?? Do you have two accounts??

Blessings, Earth Angel!!

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 7 years ago Author

Hi Audrey!!

Yes, soak your new jeans in vinegar!! Or better yet, soda-ash and salt, available at most hobby craft stores!! Hot water and lots of agitation!! Let them sit over night, as least!!

Rinse, not wash, them in cold water, several times to get the vinegar smell out, and put in dryer!!

You will still lose a bit of the color, but not as much!!

If they still don't fit, shrink the heck out of them and then take them to the tailor!! It really is worth the trip!!

And don't forget, you can always re-dye them if they become your favorites!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

steve 7 years ago

When you say there are 300,000 suppliers on google, that is 300,000 results not suppliers, this includes newspaper articles, sites with links to other sites and any site that has the 2 words in any order or distance apart.

audrey 7 years ago

I hope you still are able to answer my question.

So I bought these dark denim jeans and didn't fit as well as I thought (especially in terms of waist/seat)... So my question is.. if I were to soak, then wash them in vinegar and hot water then put them in the dryer on hot, will they be able to shrink and keep most of its color? Or would I have to soak them in vinegar and water first then wash them afterwards?

Also this will be my first time washing them.

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 7 years ago Author

Hello Liam!!

Thank you for dropping by!! What specific jeans are you asking about??

As a rule of thumb, not-prewashed jeans will shrink 1+ inches in the waist/seat and 1 1/2+ inches in the length!!

To keep the color not patchy relies on lots of attention, lots of hot water, lots of dye/salt/soda ash, and lots of agitation!!

Hope that helps!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

liam 7 years ago

How much will this shrink the jeans?

and also will it be uneven or will the colour be patchy?

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 7 years ago Author

Hello J>R!!

Good question!! Shrinking involves "heat" and heat fades all colors!! The darker the jean-color to begin with, the more fading will occur in the first shrink-wash!!

White vinegar is used to set a lot of dye colors!! From Easter Eggs to hand-painted silk scarves!! Soda ash and salt are also used to make colors more permanent and require hot water!!

With a brand new pair of dark jeans, I would fill the washing machine to its lowest level (about 3 gallons) with hot water and add 1/2 to 1 cup of soda ash and 1-2 cups of table salt!! Let dissolve and then add the jeans!! Let soak, agitating every ten minutes or so for the first hour!! Leave overnight!!

Rinse with cold water!! Let hang to air dry until approx. 80% dry; then put into dryer while still damp and let dry all the way!!

For jeans that have already faded, re-dye them with a professional grade fabric dye: Jacquard or Procion!! Available on-line or in most fine craft stores! (I re-dye many of my jeans and other clothing items at the end of summer heading into fall!!)

Hope that helps!! Keep me posted!! I would love to see a photo of you in your jeans!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

J>R 7 years ago

i wanna know how to shrink jeans without fading them???? can anyone please help

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 7 years ago Author

Hello Lena M!!

Thanks for dropping by!! I did really think "How to Shrink Jeans" was a trick joke question long ago when I answered the request!! Alas, many many people seem to have questions regarding jeans!! Ahhhhhhhhhh, our favorite wardrobe piece!!

Yes, there are some guidelines to look for to "get an idea" prior to purchasing a pair of jeans!!

First of all, some jeans come "pre-shrunk!!" Again, this is just a guideline!! Sometimes this means the material alone is pre-shrunk prior to being sewn into jeans; other times it means once the jeans have been stiched together they are washed and shrunk!! The way you can tell is to look carefully at the seams of "pre-shrunk" labeled jeans!! If the seams are very flat, the material was washed ahead of time; if there are tiny buckles, they were washed after!!

In either case, jeans are never/rarely washed completely in hot water and dried on high heat - so even pre-washed or pre-shrunk are going to still tighten up a bit!!

Shrinking/stretching also depends on the weight of the fabric!! The heavier the fabric, the more shrinkage!!

Most shrinking happens in the length!! It's approximately a 60/40 ratio!!

Yes, jeans can shrink even more over time!! Again, this is usually the 100% cotton ones, like Levi's!! The continued heat from washing and drying is what shrinks them!! (I refuse to think it might be the chocolate cake I ate!!)

Secondly, 100% cotton jeans will shrink the most and stretch out the most!! This drives me crazy!! I love to wear all natural fabrics!! And 100% jeans ususally look GREAT when you first put them on!!

On me, within a few hours, the knees in 100% cotton jeans stretch out and so does the butt/thighs!! I can think I look really good in a full-length mirror when I leave the house - yet within a short period of time, even just by sitting in the car driving to where ever I am going, can grossly change the look/profile of my jeans!!

Thirdly, you can get away from "some" of the stretching by purchasing/wearing jeans with spandex or other man-made fibers woven in!! The higher the percentage of spandex, the less likely to loose their shape!! And the less they will shrink porportionately because spandex does not shrink!! (2% pspandex will reduce shrinkage by 2%!!)

There are over 300,000 suppliers of jean material on Google!! Each manufacture/weaver puts their own spin on their product!! Some add more weight to the material - but this is expensive!! Some add more chemicals to the fabric to make it "feel" heavier because this is cheaper!!

Some manufacturers weave the fabric more loosely to get more pairs of jeans per yard!! Some use lightweight fabric on the body of the jeans but heavyweight fabric on the waistband to make the jeans feel more substantial!!

Spend some time looking at the construction and feel of jeans and you will quickly see there are vast differences!!

Alas, 30 years of wearing jeans and hundreds of pairs later I realize it's my "tailor" that makes all the difference!! Not really the jeans themselves!!

I have a 24" waist and 36" hips!! In real life this means that although I am petite, I have ample booty for my size!! Rocky Mountain Jeans are the only jeans I know that cater to huge hips and tiny waists!! Still, I need to have them altered a bit!!

When purchasing jeans, fit the largest part of your lower body, and have the rest taken in by a tailor!! It's much less expensive in the long run!! I think we would all feel better about purchasing a pair and spending $20-30 to have them altered, than purchasing ten pairs looking for that perfect fit!!

A note on length of jeans!! Once you find a pair you truly like, and have them altered, there is the length issue!! Do you wear heels, boots or flats?? On me, that can be a 3-4 inch difference!!?? I have been able to skirt the issue a bit by wearing Dansko clogs!! They are high enough to be equal to heels, but comfortable enough to be flats!!

I hope some of that helps answer your questions Lena M.!!

Again, thank you for dropping by!! Keep me posted as to how the search for the perfect jeans goes!!

Blessings to you always, Earth Angel!!

Lena M. profile image

Lena M. 7 years ago from Toronto

This is a late comment, but I have a question.

Is there any way to tell what jeans are likely to stretch and what jeans are likely to shrink? When I buy jeans, some stretch throughout the day, some don't. And sometimes they shrink through time. What material breakdowns (100% cotton, 98/2%spandex) are likely to do what? Haha a lot of questions, I know.

Great hub!

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago Author

Hello Jose!!

Yes, you are correct!! Thanks for dropping by!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

jose lira 8 years ago

when you put hte jeans in hot water do they fade...

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago Author

That is such a nice comment Zsuzsy Bee!!

This was one of my first Hubs, and no, I don't think it is great by any stretch!! Having said that, however, it has been viewed by an astonishing number of viewers according to the HubStats!! Alas, the lack of comments supports my realization of how much work is needed to bring it up to Hublicious like yours!!

Sure you can link to this Hub!! I would be honored!! I actually put the link in my comments to you on your GREAT Hub about hemming!! You are a jewel for asking!!

Here's linking to your Hub kid!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Great hub Earth Angel! May I link it to my 'Tips for How to shorten Jeans' hub? zs

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

Yes earth angel I am with you I need to buy the stretch ones more now so they grow with me.... its amazing how much better they fit like that. give and take a bit at least. Thanks

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 9 years ago Author

That's a GREAT idea Ink!! Thanks for sharing!! Yes, I must admit I thought the question must be a "trick!!" Alas, it was not but posted by a young and skinny!! My "jean" issue is a tiny waist and endowed bootie!! So I buy jean BIG, shrink them as much as I can, and then take my jeans to the tailor for a custom fit!! I get a perfect fit that will not shrink again!! Ahhhhh, what would we do without our jeans!! Blessings on your day!! Earth Angel!!

ink 9 years ago

Back in my teens when I cared about such things, I used to have a really hot bath with my jeans on for a shrink fit! :)

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 9 years ago Author

Thank you again Angela for your comments!! Me neither!! I am more of the "wear them wet and dance around" or "buy them a size too big and take them to the tailor" kinda gal!! Blessings on your day!! Earth Angel!!

Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 9 years ago from Around the USA

I like the added information, as I haven't been concerned with how to shrink my jeans in years! ;-)

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