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Do Jeans Shrink in the Dryer?


As anyone who has ever put on a pair of jeans straight out of the dryer knows, they can often feel a little tighter than they did when they went in. This begs the question: do jeans shrink in the dryer? The answer is yes, but it’s not always as simple as that.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what causes jeans to shrink, how you can prevent it from happening, and what to do if your jeans have already shrunk.

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What Causes Jeans to Shrink?

Jeans are manufactured using denim, which is a type of cotton. This natural fiber can shrink if it gets exposed to high temperatures, like those found in a clothes dryer.

The amount that your jeans will shrink depends on the type of denim they’re made from. Jeans that are 100% cotton will shrink more than those made of a cotton blend. Pre-washed jeans will also shrink less than those that haven’t been washed yet.

Image Credit: Pixabay

How Much Do Jeans Shrink in the Dryer?

On average, jeans can shrink by as much as 4%. However, your dryer’s heat setting has a lot to do with how much your jeans will actually shrink. If you use the high heat setting, your jeans can shrink up to 4%. But if you use the low heat setting, your jeans might not shrink at all.

How Do You Keep Jeans from Shrinking in the Dryer?

In order to prevent your jeans from shrinking, it’s important to understand how the fabric is constructed and what types of fibers are used.

Denim is produced with cotton and/or other natural fibers that are tightly woven together. When these fibers are wet, they relax and open up, which allows them to be shrunken down during the drying process.

If you’re worried about your jeans shrinking in your dryer, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk.

  • First, wash them in cold water instead of hot. Hot water is more likely to cause shrinkage than cold water.
  • You can also air dry your jeans instead of putting them in the dryer. If you must put them in the dryer, use the lowest heat setting possible.
  • Don’t overstuff the dryer, and remove the jeans as soon as it’s done cycling.
  • Finally, don’t forget to read the care label on your jeans. The care label will have specific instructions on how to wash and dry your jeans to avoid shrinkage.

By following these simple tips, you can help prevent your jeans from shrinking in the dryer.

person operating dryer
Image Credit: Piqsels

Does the Dryer Permanently Shrink Jeans?

Even if your dryer already shrunk your jeans, there’s a silver lining. Denim easily stretches out over time with use. So as long as you don’t mind a snug fit, you can still wear your shrunken jeans by simply breaking them in. The best way to do this is to wear them as much as possible until they start to loosen up on their own.

You can also try stretching them out with your hands. Gently pull on the jean fabric at the waistband and seams until your jeans feel less tight. If they’re still too snug, try soaking them in water for a few minutes, then stretching them out again.

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It’s a common belief that jeans shrink in the dryer, but that’s not always the case. Depending on the dryer’s heat setting and the construction of your jeans, they may or may not shrink when exposed to heat. If you’re unsure about whether your jeans will shrink, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and hang them to dry. That way, you can avoid any unwanted surprises.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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