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Un-Shrink Your Jeans with This Easy Hack

Woman wearing tight jeans.
G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock.com

Do your favorite pair of jeans not longer fit, yet you haven’t gained any weight? Odds are good that they shrunk in the washing machine or dryer. Washing denim in hot water or drying it on a high heat can cause it to shrink, jeans included.

But before you go and toss your jeans, sell them, or donate them, give this easy hack a try to stretch them back out again to their proper size.

All you’ll need are the jeans that have shrunk, a spray bottle, and some water.

First, lay your jeans out flat on a horizontal surface, like an ironing board, a table, or your bed, and fill the spray bottle with water.

Once the bottle is full, spray the water on the parts of the jeans that feel as if they’ve shrunk. Waistband, thighs, calves– wherever they feel too snug when you put them on.

Railcar Denim Laundry Detergent

You may also want to grab some specialized denim laundry detergent for next time you wash your jeans.

The water will help to loosen up the denim fibers a bit, so once your jeans have been properly wetted down, start pulling and tugging at the problem areas to stretch them back out. Pull the fabric in all directions, up and down, lengthwise and apart. Denim is a nice hardy material so no need to be gentle.

Once you feel you’ve stretched out your jeans enough, leave them to air dry while still lying flat– tossing them back in the dryer will send you back to square one. They should fit you again once they’ve dried. If not, you can always give it another couple of tries.

This trick will work on other pieces of denim as well, so feel free to use it on your favorite denim jacket or denim skirt as well!

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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