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How to Shrink Jeans That Are Too Loose for the Perfect Fit

Don’t get rid of stretched-out denim. Instead, learn how to shrink jeans in minutes for a more flattering fit.

Written by
Samantha Bailon

A story all too familiar: You reach for your tried-and-true jeans, the pair that has seen you through picnics and dates and vacations, only to slip them on and realize that they’re suddenly a bit too stretched out.

Where’s the snug? That form-fitting effect that gave you so much confidence? Your go-to jeans are now too loose for your liking. But before you toss them into the donation pile, take a moment to consider another solution. Today is the perfect day to learn how to shrink jeans.

How to Shrink Jeans Like a Pro

First, we taught you how to stretch out jeans that are too tight. Now, it's time to learn how to shrink jeans that are too loose. While there are a handful of different methods you can use to shrink your jeans, there's one that's far more effective than the rest.

Making your denim tighter comes down to hot water. The hotter, the better, as the high temperature causes the wet fibers to contract. And the best place to experiment with the shrink? Your stovetop. 

Is it strange to boil your pants? Yes, yes it is. But try switching your perspective. Consider this a spa day for your denim, or an opportunity to labor over a giant pot as if were a cauldron. Light a candle for some ambiance and let the ritual commence.

After 30 minutes, stick them in the dryer at the hottest setting until completely dry. Your favorite—or newly thrifted—jeans now feature a more flattering fit.

For the full instructions on how to shrink your jeans, follow along below. 

Boil Your Jeans for a Tighter Fit

1. Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil.

2. Use tongs to carefully submerge your too-loose jeans. We suggest turning them inside out, the better to preserve the color.

3. Boil for up to 30 minutes, depending on how much shrinkage you want, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove from the boiling water and dry your jeans on the highest setting.

5. Once completely dry, try on your newly-shrunken jeans.