blue denim jeans on white textile

We asked experts if Jeans Shrink in the dryer

blue denim jeans on white textile

Jeans can be more difficult than your regular laundry pile. Many people ask if jeans shrink in dryers. Some people will wash their jeans every other week. Others prefer to hand-wash them and dry them. Others might decide not to wash them, and stick them in the freezer.

It all boils down to personal preference. We can all agree that no one wants to see a shrunken pair of jeans when the tumble dryer is turned on. This is especially true for those of us who take the time to ensure the right fit.

If you are wondering whether jeans shrink when dried, we have the answer. We consulted experts to find out the best way to care for your jeans so they last a lifetime.

Are jeans shrinking when they are dried?

Potentially yes.

Toby Standing, a stylist at Thread, says that drying denim can shrink jeans by up to 15%. Although every product is unique, it was clear that the dryer presented the greatest risk in terms of shrinking jeans.

Air drying can take a lot longer, so if time is tight and you don’t have the time to dry your clothes in the dryer, you can use dryer balls and heat them on low or no heat. Whirlpool’s washing machine pros recommend that you take the jeans out while they are still damp. Give them a good shake, stretch them and hang them to dry.

After your jeans are dry, you can fold them up and place them in a drawer or wardrobe.

How do you wash your jeans the best?

While most jeans can be washed in a cold, gentle cycle in the washer, it is best to check the care label before washing or drying jeans. Although denim might seem durable, it is more delicate than that.

Experts Whirlpool recommend that you turn your jeans inside-out to protect the fibers and prevent the detergent from fading.

It is also important to keep track of how often your jeans should be washed. While other wardrobe essentials like t-shirts can be washed after a few wears, jeans only need to be washed once every 10 wears. You want to maintain their condition and help the environment. We can decrease water consumption and reduce climate-change impacts by washing our jeans less often, e.g. every 10-15 wears instead of every two.

You can freeze your jeans if you don’t want to wash them as often, but still want them to look great. This is an eco-friendly method to clean your jeans. They don’t get any dirtier, but they smell great and don’t lose their shape or colour. You can easily freeze-clean your jeans without damaging them. Toby suggests that if you are determined to wash your jeans in a machine, you should wait at least four to six months.
Jeans in the wash

How to stop jeans from shrinking

Avoid high temperatures to prevent your jeans shrinking. Avoid excessive heat during washing or drying. You can do this by washing your jeans cold and drying them in the air or using a low heat dryer. Avoid heavy cycles, and wash your jeans on a gentle cycle.

Whirlpool states that shrinkage is caused by fibre, temperature, and agitation. They state: “When cotton and linen are made, their fibers are pulled and stretched, twisted, and stressed. These fabrics can be washed and dried to allow the fibers to relax and return to their original state.”

If your jeans become looser after repeated wears, you can shrink them slightly to achieve a more snug fit. However, be cautious not to make your jeans too tight by washing them multiple times.

Can you unshrink denim?

If your favorite pair suddenly feels a little snug after washing, you can actually shrink denim with some tried and true techniques.

It is easiest to spray the jeans with water, especially in the smaller areas like the waistband or the calves. After the fabric has gotten damp, you can stretch it out by pulling the fabric in every direction to shape the jeans.

It can be done on a case-by-case basis. There are some circumstances where shrinking a product can’t be reversed. However, you can often stretch your trousers a bit – even if it is only a small amount. Use lukewarm water to spray the product. Start to pull the product by getting the area that you want to stretch out quite damp. Toby explains that you should repeat the process several times until the product feels effective. Hang them up to dry. Don’t try to dry them in the dryer again.

Do you need to dry clean jeans?

If you don’t want to wash your jeans, dry cleaning is an option. Dry cleaning can be a great way to prevent shrinkage and maintain your jeans in top shape. Dry cleaning is gentler for denim. It uses solvents rather than soap and water to remove dirt and grime.

Expert dry cleaners have extensive experience with delicate fabrics, so you can rest assured that your jeans are in good hands. Dry cleaning is more expensive than washing your jeans at home. However, you will save money over the long-term if you have expensive jeans.

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