Jeans are a wardrobe staple. Proper care will help to keep them looking good and lasting longer and that includes knowing how to deal with times when you need to unshrink jeans. If you’ve ever accidentally put your favorite jeans in the dryer, you know how disappointing it is when they come out unshrunk. Luckily, there are several ways to unshrink a pair of jeans. The method you choose will depend on how badly they’ve been shrunken and how much time you want to spend.
To unshrink jeans: Dip the jeans in lukewarm water, then pull them apart. Rub the fabric with baby shampoo, fabric softener, or hair conditioner until the fibers relax. Hang them to dry. You can also stretch the jeans by pulling them apart as much as possible, then wet them again and repeat until they’re damp all over.
In this article, we will cover some of the best ways to unshrink jeans and tips to prevent your jeans from shrinking.
Why Do Jeans Shrink?
There are many reasons why you may have accidentally shrunk your jeans. You may have washed them too hot, left them in the dryer for too long, or simply not taken care of them properly.
Jeans are made out of denim, which is woven from cotton fibers. The more times a pair of pants is washed, the more likely they are to shrink. The same goes for drying your jeans on high heat in the dryer. As you wash your jeans repeatedly, their fibers become twisted and tangled. This makes them smaller and causes them to shrink over time.
Can You Unshrink Jeans?
While some people believe it’s impossible to unshrink jeans once they’ve been washed and dried, there are tricks that can restore them back to their original size (or close enough). This process requires patience and care because if you try to force your jeans back to their shape
How to Unshrink Jeans
Spray with Lukewarm Water
This is the easiest and most effective way to unshrink your jeans.
The first thing you’ll want to do is spray the jeans with lukewarm water and let them sit for about 15 minutes.
The water will cause the fibers in your jeans to relax, making them easier to stretch out again. You can spray them with lukewarm water for about 30 minutes and then stretch them back to their original sharp then hang them up to dry.
Soaking in Baby Shampoo.
This is one of the easiest ways to unshrink your jeans. Baby shampoo also has some fabric softening properties that will help keep your jeans from feeling stiff when you wear them after you have shrunk them in the wash.
Simply fill a bathtub with warm water, add a few tablespoons of baby shampoo, and then submerge your jeans in the bathtub for about 30 minutes. Let them soak until they’ve returned to their normal size, then rinse them in cold water and hang them up to dry.
Fabric Conditioner or Softener
This is another popular method, especially for jeans made from 100 percent cotton. It’s similar to the baby shampoo method, but the fabric conditioner or softener has more moisturizing ingredients that will leave your jeans feeling softer after they’re dry.
Simply apply a small amount of fabric softener to your jeans and let it soak into the fabric for about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and hang up to dry.
You can use a hair conditioner as an alternative to baby shampoo or fabric softener. The conditioner will soften the fabric and prevent further shrinkage while keeping the original color intact.
Here’s how to do it:
1) Fill a large bowl with cold water and add some hair conditioner. The amount doesn’t matter, just make sure it covers your jeans completely.
2) Put your jeans into the bowl and let them soak for about 15 minutes. Then, gently stretch them with your hands. Make sure not to wring or twist the jeans while doing this because they’ll get even smaller if you do so.
3) Put them into the dryer on low heat for 15 minutes. This will help set the shape of your jeans back into place so they won’t stretch out again after wearing them.
How to Prevent Jeans from Shrinkage
Wash your jeans in cold water.
If you’re not a fan of freezing cold water, that’s okay! The best temperature to wash your jeans is between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius (or 86 to 104 Fahrenheit). This will keep your denim from shrinking as much as if you were to wash them at a warmer temperature.
While hot water can be tempting, it can actually damage the fibers in the fabric and cause it to shrink even more than usual. Colder temperatures are gentler on your clothes, so when possible use cold or room-temp water for washing them instead of warm or hot.
Don’t put jeans in the dryer on high heat.
One of the most common causes of shrinkage is the dryer. When you toss your jeans in there, they get hot and then contract as they cool down again. This can cause some serious shrinking.
Use a high-quality detergent.
If you’re looking for a high-quality detergent that won’t shrink your jeans, avoid detergents that contain enzymes or optical brighteners. These are common in most mainstream laundry products and can cause fabrics to break down.
Also, avoid products with bleach in them, if these chemicals touch your clothes they could make them weak and prone to ripping.
Some people think that dyeing their jeans is a good way to prevent shrinkage, but this isn’t true at all, dyes will actually make the fabric weaker over time because they have an acidic reaction with the metal bits in it.
Avoid harsh detergents.
You should avoid using detergents that are strong in chemicals and scents, as well as dyes and colors. If you do use a detergent with these properties, be sure to wash your jeans by themselves. You also want to make sure that the water temperature is not too hot or cold; this can cause damage to the fibers of your jeans.