How to Shrink a Hoodie Without Destroying It

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It’s not uncommon to have a favorite hoodie that you just can’t wear because it doesn’t fit. And you’ve found your perfect hoodie, the one that’s just right for you. It might be too baggy, or the sleeves are too long, or maybe the neckline is stretched out.

But now those pesky winter holidays are coming up, and you can’t really wear a heavy sweater under it. You don’t want to get rid of your favorite hoodie—you love it! But if it’s not a slim fit, you need an alternative way to make it more stylish and attractive for yourself.

Here are 2 popular methods on how to make a hoodie smaller without ruining its material.

Method 1: Washer and Dryer

In this method, we will share how to shrink your hoodie in the washer and dryer, which is pretty self-explanatory. You can use this method if you don’t want to use any chemicals.

Read Washing Instructions and Material Type

First, you want to look at the washing instructions and material type on your hoodie. Was it pre-shrunk before you bought it? You can shrink a non-pre-shrunk item of clothing by simply washing it but always check the label first. Generally, all cotton will shrink some regardless of pre-washing or not.

How to Shrink a Hoodie Without Destroying It 2

Wash Your Hoodie in Hot Water

Fill the washing machine with very hot water and then add your hoodies. You will have to wash it one or two times depending on how much you feel like shrinking it. It’s recommended that you pass it thru the wash cycle at least once.

Washing your garment in hot water will help make your hoodie shrink faster, however, washing it multiple times might cause the material to thin out.

Submerge Your Cotton Hoodie or Sweatshirt in Boiling Water

Next, if you feel your hoodie is not getting shrank enough, you can always try submerging the cotton hoodie in boiling water for 10 minutes. This will shrink it even more, but remember that this method may cause damage to your garment, so make sure to check the label first.

Dry Your Hoodie in a Dryer

Finally, when your cotton items are done washing, you can dry them in the dryer at a moderate temperature. Most cotton items will still shrink after this step, but you might need to do it one more time for optimal results.

Just make sure if your sweatshirt is not pre-shrunk that you check the label first or you might end up with an item that’s too small even after washing and drying.

Check the Fit of Your Hoodie

Your last step is to check the fit of your hoodie after it has completely cooled to room temperature or air dry. If it’s still a little loose, you can try doing another round in the washer and dryer(keep high temperature).

Just make sure not to overdo it or you might end up ruining the feel and feel of your favorite hoodie.

Method 2: Iron

This method is different from the first one because we are going to use iron. This method is recommended if you want to save some money, but still, shrink your hoodie without damaging it with chemicals.

Wet Your Hoodie

Fill up the sink or any container with warm water and gently submerge your favorite hoodie for about 5 minutes. This will help soften the fabric of your hoodie.

Put a Cotton Cloth on Your Hoodie if It Is Polyester

If your hoodie is made out of polyester then you need to put a cotton cloth on top of it, or else the iron will melt the material. Because synthetic fibers resist shrinkage or put simply, Polyester is sensitive to high heat. If exposed to a high heat setting, it can be readily damaged or harden up. Still do the same if your hoodie is made up of 50% cotton and 50% polyester.

Don’t use cotton pieces if your hoodie is entirely made up of cotton.

Moderately Heat It

Now, you can take your hoodie out of the sink or container. Then, shake off any excess water before turning on the iron to a moderate temperature.

Lay your hoodie put on the flat surface or top of the ironing board with the backside facing up. If it has sequins or any other embellishments, make sure to avoid burning them with the iron.

Now, gently go over the surface of your hoodie with an iron to make it shrink evenly. This process might take a while but you can speed it up by having someone else hold down the garment firmly in place while you work on it.

If your hood hoodie is is still a little loose after iron ironing,, you can repeat this shrinking process one or two more times.

Apply Pressure Uniformly

You might want to consider applying pressure uniformly as you go along so that the material of your hoodie does not get stretched out. Just keep it pressed down for about 5 seconds and turn around to press another part of your garment. Do this until you’re done or until the desired size is reached.

Iron Your Hoodie Until Its Evaporate Away

When the iron comes into contact with the moisture, there will be steam given off. This is exactly what shrinks your clothing. When the majority of the water has evaporated, your hoodie should be shrunk to a considerable extent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you permanently shrink a hoodie?

If you want to completely shrink your favorite hoodie, then follow the hairdryer method. Something to keep in mind is that polyester does not have good heat conductivity, so the high temperatures might just melt it instead of shrinking it.

Does all Fabric/Material shrink?

The first thing you should look at is the material before attempting to shrink a piece of apparel. Leather and fur, for example, will not shrink, but you might ruin the item entirely. Cotton and wool fabrics have the potential to shrink rather considerably, while polyester-cotton blends have less capacity to shrink.

How much will a hoodie shrink?

Cotton shrinkage is due to the tumbling action of the dryer, according to Cotton Incorporated. In reality, a 45-minute tumble can reduce cotton by 20% or more.

Do Nike hoodies shrink?

Shrinkage is common in clothing produced from natural materials like cotton or fleece when it’s washed and dried.

Should hoodies be tight or loose?

Whether your hoodie is loose or tight depends on the person. If you are used to wearing baggy un-shrink clothes, then buy a size up so that it’s not too tight for you.

Does the hottest heat setting affect cotton material?

No, Cotton is more affected by the amount of time it spends in the dryer. The hotter setting just tends to shrink clothes faster.

How to check the size?

You can check the size of your sweatshirt by measuring it against other garments that you want to keep. If they are the same, then congratulations! You have successfully shrunk your favorite hoodie without ruining it.


Shrink your favorite hoodie without ruining it with these two methods. The first one is the hairdryer method, which will remove wrinkles and shrink your garment in about 20 minutes.

The second option for shrinking your clothing is to use an iron at a moderate temperature to avoid damaging delicate embellishments like sequins.

Don’t forget that polyester needs a cotton cloth on top of it or else the highest heat setting from the iron might melt it!