Sweatpants are undoubtedly among the most comfortable pieces of garments you own. This means that you will often find yourself using them for just about any reason.
Whether it’s for working out in the gym, in place of your pajamas, or even as a comfortable casual wear for doing some errands around town, sweatpants are often the first choice of outfit. Because they are very often used, they get worn down much faster than regular clothing.
More often than not, sweatpants that are regularly used stretch in size. They become unflattering and tend to sag in places they shouldn’t. A lot of people take this as a sign that it’s time to buy a new pair. The more frugal of us find ways to shrink sweatpants to prolong their life. Here’s what you can do:
One of the most common and best materials used for making sweatpants is cotton. If you have a cotton-based pair of sweatpants that need shrinking, you are in luck. Shrinking clothing made mostly of cotton is easiest. Here’s how to shrink your cotton sweatpants to a more comfortable size:
What You’ll Need: Color-safe laundry detergent, washing machine, clothes dryer, and your sweatpants.
Step 1: Place one pair of sweatpants inside the washing machine. To effectively shrink your sweats, you will need to follow all these steps with just one pair of sweats at a time.
Step 2: Set your washing machine to the lowest load setting.
Step 3: Program the washing machine to use the highest temperature setting for washing.
Step 4: Turn on the machine and add color-safe laundry detergent and follow the instructions on the bottle. This will keep the hot water from fading the color of your sweats.
Step 5: Finish the entire cycle and once done, immediately put the newly-washed sweats inside the dryer.
Step 6: Use the highest temperature setting on your dryer and turn it on.
Step 7: Once your sweats have thoroughly dried, remove them from the dryer and try them on.
Step 8: Repeat the same process if the sweatpants are still too big.
If your sweatpants are made mostly of polyester, you will face a bigger challenge while trying to shrink them down. Polyester is very durable and is meant to resist any shrinkage even while using a dryer. It is an advantage when the sweatpants fit you perfectly, but a disadvantage when the sweats need a bit of shrinking. It takes dedication and effort to shrink polyester sweatpants, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how you can go about it:
What You’ll Need: Color-safe detergent (optional), washing machine, clothes dryer, your sweatpants, and possibly an iron.
Step 1: Turn the sweatpants inside out to prevent color fading. Wash one piece at a time to avoid colors bleeding into each other and increase the effectiveness of the shrinking process.
Step 2: Set the washing machine to the highest temperature possible and at the longest wash setting and place the sweatpants inside.
Step 3: Add detergent if needed and run the entire washing process.
Step 4: Once washing is done, immediately dry the polyester sweatpants using the hottest and longest dryer settings. The extreme heat will do its best to shrink your sweatpants.
Step 5: Check the sweats for shrinkage once the drying process is done. Allow the sweatpants to reach a cool temperature before trying them on.
Step 6: If more shrinking is needed, repeat the process.
Note: The more washes you put the sweatpants to, the more susceptible they become to color fading.
If using the washing machine and dryer does not work on your sweatpants and you are worried about color fading and damage, you can use an iron instead.
Step 1: Wash the sweatpants just like before.
Step 2: After washing, take out the clothing and place it on an ironing board.
Step 3: While still inside out, put a pressing cloth over the sweats.
Step 4: Using low to medium settings, press the iron on the sweatpants. Do not use the steam function. The iron itself will do the shrinking.
Step 5: Check if the garment has shrunk. If not, there is a possibility that it will not shrink at all.
Learning how to shrink sweatpants helps save money, but do not overdo the process or you will risk damaging your sweats permanently.