Do you have stretched out jeans in your closet? Before you get rid of them, try these “shrinking” methods

It takes approx. 5 minutes to read this article

The pants we like and feel most comfortable in we also wear most often. Unfortunately, they get stretched and don’t look as good on us as the day we put them on for the first time

It may also happen that we ordered them online and they don’t fit us well despite choosing the “right” size, and we can’t or don’t want to send them back. In this article you are going to learn some ways of altering your jeans, so you can decide for yourself which method appeals to you the most, and if it doesn’t work – no problem, there are still some options left.

To “fix” your jeans, you don’t have to take them to a tailor right away (although in some cases it might be unavoidable). However, you can safely leave the consideration of this option to yourself, because probably thanks to the following tips it will not even be necessary

What exactly should you do? Well, it turns out you don’t even have to leave the house, buy special products or possess any particular skills to give your stretched jeans a second life… except, of course, the ones you already have.

How to reduce over-stretched pants?


The first of the familiar ways may sound suspiciously familiar to you – it’s laundry. Wondering if it’s sure to have any effect other than getting your clothes clean? It’s worth finding out

To save time and, of course, water, first gather up all the stretched-out pairs of jeans you have in your house. Then put them in the washing machine on the highest heat setting. When the wash is done, put them in the dryer and when they’re completely dry, put them back on and enjoy your ‘new’ pants in a size that fits you perfectly.

Unfortunately, this method has a drawback, namely – it is very difficult to determine how much the pants will shrink and whether they will shrink evenly. Therefore, they can both become “just right” and too tight to wear again.

Caution, boiling water!

The next method will work much better if you have only one such jeans and you are not going to run the washing machine especially because of them. This time you need to fill a large pot with water and heat it on the stove until it boils. Then, slowly immerse the entire pants and let them boil in this way for about 30 minutes.

When that time is up, remove them carefully (the safest way is to use long tongs) and transfer them to the dryer. Wait until they are dry and then check whether you have achieved the desired effect.

Needle in motion

If your pants have become too wide only at the waist, and tying them with a regular belt or a fancy wrap does not give you a satisfying effect, you can try adding darts to them yourself

To do that, gather your fabric in two overlapping layers (make sure they’re symmetrical on both sides) and sew them together with a needle and thread (unless you know how to use a sewing machine).

Time for… a bath?

There is another way to shrink your jeans, but it’s quite unusual and… unfortunately, not permanent. If you’re not convinced, you can always treat it as a curiosity. On the plus side, it will fit you perfectly.

What do you have to do? Put on your jeans and step into a bathtub filled with warm water for a while. Before you do that, however, pour some washing up liquid into it, preferably the one designed specifically for denim. Remember that this method concerns mainly light-colored pants, because they will not stain the water and your skin. However, if it is your last resort, and your jeans have a strong, dark color, add a bit of vinegar to this “bath” – this will prevent discoloration. Unpleasant odors can be removed by rinsing your pants in a liquid with a pleasant fragrance.

The magic of the iron

At this point, you will probably learn the easiest and fastest way to shrink your jeans. A very big help will be the use of a spray bottle

Just fill it with hot water and spray it all over your jeans or just the part that is too loose (for example at the thighs, knees or calves). Remember, however, that the fabric should not get wet, just a little damp. Then, set your iron to a temperature suitable for cotton (150 to 180 degrees) and iron the jeans in the chosen spots.

You have just learnt a few ways how to economically, ecologically and, most importantly, totally by yourself, restore stretched jeans to their original size. See for yourself which one works best for you. On the other hand, if you eventually find that none of them is suitable – do not hesitate to take the help of a seamstress.

Read also: Are you bored with your old denim jacket? Check out our ways to give it a second life

Main photo: Edward Berthelot/ Getty Images Entertainment/ Getty Images

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