7+ Quick and Easy Ways to Shrink a Hoodie (2023)

We all have a favorite hoodie that is both comfy and stylish. But, what do you do if the sweatshirt is loose, baggy, and uncomfortable? Not to worry, we’ll show you how to shrink a hoodie to the perfect size and shape.

Hoodies are all the rage with their quality and comfort, and it’s easy to make a statement with their infamous hood and pocket. Some of them are the pullover type, while others have a zipper, and their material varies from a polyester blend and spandex to 100 percent cotton.

It’s essential to know the material of your hoodie before choosing the right shrinking process. Have you washed and dried a cotton shirt and reduced its size by half?

This is because cotton fibers are natural and shrink quickly with low and medium heat. On the other hand, synthetic fibers resist shrinkage and require high temperatures to shrink.

7+ Quick and Easy Ways to Shrink a Hoodie (1)



Table of Contents

  1. Shrinking Your Hoodie for the Perfect Fit
    • Easiest Ways to Shrink a Hoodie Minimally
    • How to Shrink a Hoodie Moderately
    • Shrinking a Hoodie with Boiling Water
    • How to Shrink a Hoodie with an Iron
    • Shrinking Hoodies with a Hairdryer
    • Shrinking a Cotton Fabric Hoodie
    • How to Shrink a Polyester Hoodie
    • Preventing a Hoodie from Stretching

Shrinking Your Hoodie for the Perfect Fit

There are a few different methods to shrink a sweatshirt or shrink a cotton sweater, depending on the material and the amount of desired shrinkage. Fortunately, all of the techniques are easy and take very little time. So, grab your hoodie, look at the care tag, and let’s get started.

While cotton is the easiest fabric to shrink, you can also reduce the size of other materials, too. Does rayon fabric shrink? Yes, you can shrink rayon the same way you shrink cotton.

It’s interesting to note that many of the methods used to shrink material are also the same ones that you use to stretch out a hoodie, as well. The techniques vary only slightly.

Easiest Ways to Shrink a Hoodie Minimally

There are many ways to shrink a hoodie, with minimal to maximum results. Hot water and a little bit of time are all that is required to shrink a sweatshirt that is just a tad too big.


Minimal Hoodie Shrinkage

  • Washing machine
  • Drying screen


Place the clothing into the washing machine without any other items. Hot temperatures cause certain materials to bleed, and it’s not wise to wash them together.

Turn the washer to the warm water setting and add laundry detergent if the item is dirty. Use stain treatment if you need to remove stains from a polyester hoodie while shrinking it at the same time.

If you desire a little more shrinkage, turn the dial to the hot water setting. After the wash cycle completes, remove the item and spread it on a drying screen to air dry.

How to Shrink a Hoodie Moderately

If you have a brand new sweatshirt that doesn’t quite fit as it should, try washing and drying it with high temperatures to shrink it to the desired size. Heat is an excellent tool for shrinking many types of fibers and is often all it takes to get the perfect fit.

Toss your hoodie into the washing machine and set it to the hot water setting. It is not necessary to add laundry detergent if the item is new or clean.

Once the washing machine finishes its job, transfer the item to the clothes dryer and dry it on a high heat setting. Check the clothing periodically during the drying process to prevent over-shrinking. For optimal shrinkage, use the entire drying cycle.

Shrinking a Hoodie with Boiling Water

Shrinking a hoodie with this method is ideal for getting oversized or stretched out clothes to shrink the most. The 212°F temperature of the hot water and high heat setting on the clothing dryer work together to shrink many fabrics.


Hot Water Hoodie Shrinkage

  • Large pot
  • Water
  • Tongs
  • Clothes dryer


Fill a deep pot that is large enough to accommodate the size of your clothes with water and bring it to a boil. Remove the boiling water from the heat and add your sweatshirt carefully.

Use a large spoon to push the material into the water to submerge it. Allow it to rest in the water for five minutes and then remove it carefully using a pair of tongs. If you desire more shrinkage in the material, let it sit in the water for ten minutes.

After it cools enough to handle, use your hands to wring excess water from the material and place it in the clothes dryer. Dry it with the highest heat setting for the best shrinkage. If the clothing is still not the proper size, repeat the process to shrink it further.

How to Shrink a Hoodie with an Iron

If you don’t want to wash and dry your sweatshirt to shrink it, try using a regular clothes iron to get it to the right size. Using an iron is also an excellent way to target specific clothing areas rather than shrinking the entire piece.


Hot Iron Sweatshirt Shrinkage

  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Clothes iron
  • Ironing board
  • Cotton towel


Fill a plastic bottle with warm water. Spread your clothing out on an ironing board and spray the top side with water. Place a towel over the top of the material to protect it from damage and iron it on a high heat setting.

Flip the sweatshirt over and repeat on the back-side. Try on the hoodie to test for proper fit and repeat if it’s still not the right size.

Shrinking Hoodies with a Hairdryer

Not everyone has an iron, especially if the idea of ironing your clothes makes you cringe. A hairdryer is an excellent alternative for shrinking your clothes and also works for shrinking target areas of the material.


Hair Dryer Sweatshirt Shrinkage

  • Hot water
  • Spray bottle
  • Hairdryer


Lay your sweatshirt out on a clean, flat surface. Pour hot water into a plastic spray bottle and spray the clothing surface until it is wet.

Set your hairdryer to the hottest and highest setting and sweep the hot air back and forth over your shirt. After dries, flip it over and repeat the wetting and drying process on the other side.

Shrinking a Cotton Fabric Hoodie

Cotton is a natural cloth that stretches and shrinks quickly. Heating this material with water, dry heat, or both helps the fibers lose tension and cause shrinkage, like when you need to shrink a windbreaker made from cotton.


Shrink Cotton Hoodies

  • Warm water
  • Clothes dryer


Hold your clothing under a faucet of warm water to saturate it. Use your hands to wring excess water out of the material and place it into the clothes dryer.

Set the clothes dryer on a low heat setting to shrink the clothing minimally and high heat for optimal shrinkage.

How to Shrink a Polyester Hoodie

Polyester is a synthetic, man-made polymer that is not as easy to shrink as cotton. The fibers are more resistant to shrinkage and require higher temperatures to get the material to the perfect size.


Synthetic Material Shrinkage

  • Large pot
  • Water
  • Clothes dryer
  • Towels


High heat is vital to shrink materials made of polyester. Boil a deep pot of water and remove it from the heat before placing your clothes into the pot. Let the clothing sit for 15 minutes.

Use tongs to pull the item out of the water and place it in the dryer with dry towels. Dry the clothes at the highest temperature. Repeat the process if the polyester does not shrink well the first time.

Preventing a Hoodie from Stretching

Clothing fibers tend to relax and stretch over time and do not fit as they once did. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent your clothing from stretching out, giving you more time to enjoy wearing your favorite hoodie in style.

Hoodie Care and Cleaning

It’s important to keep your clothing looking its best once you have it to the desired size and shape. We recommend hand-washing to prevent fading and damage that results from the agitation of the washing machine.

Use gentle laundry detergent and wash your sweatshirt as needed in cold or warm water. To machine-wash your clothing, turn it inside out and wash it with cold water on the delicate cycle.

Place it in a lingerie bag when cleaning it with other items to protect the material from friction and additional wear. Never wash your clothing with bleach or other harsh chemicals to avoid fading and staining.

If you prefer air drying your clothes, lay your hoodie on a drying screen or flat surface rather than a hanger or clothesline to prevent stretching. After the item is dry, hang it on a correctly sized hanger.

A large clothing hanger stretches out the top portion of the clothing, causing a deformity in the material. If you fold your clothing, turn the hoodie inside out before storing it to prevent pilling.

Take special care with the hoodie string ties when washing and storing. Tie a knot at the end of each string or place a safety pin just outside the hole to prevent them from sliding out of place while washing.

If the ties slip out during cleaning, tie one end of any household string to the loop of a zip-tie and the other end to the hoodie tie. Insert the zip-tie through the hole in the sweatshirt and feed it through to the opposite hole. Pull the hoodie string tie through the hole back into its place.

We all desire the perfect fit when it comes to the clothes we wear. Perhaps your favorite new sweatshirt is a size too large straight from the store, or maybe it stretched out over time.

Whatever the cause, shrinking your favorite hoodie to the perfect size is easy using the right shrinking technique.

7+ Quick and Easy Ways to Shrink a Hoodie (2)

Now that you know how to shrink a hoodie to the perfect size and comfort, why not share our hoodie shrinking tips with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest?

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