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Dude Asks Latest Articles

How To Shrink a Hoodie?

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Reviewed by: Sara Madsen
How To Shrink a Hoodie?

If you’re an avid hoodie-wearer, you know that finding the perfect fitting hoodie can be a challenge. Unfortunately, even when you do find a hoodie that fits just right, it can be frustrating when it stretches out over time. Whether you accidentally washed your hoodie in hot water or you simply need it to fit more snugly, learning how to shrink a hoodie can save you from having to replace it. In this article, we’ll dive into the different methods you can use to make your hoodie fit better. From using hot water and a dryer to trying out different at-home techniques, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your favorite hoodie and get ready to learn how to shrink it to perfection!

1. Understanding Hoodie Fabric and Shrinkage Potential

Hoodies are a staple in any fashion-conscious individual’s wardrobe, and their versatility makes them a popular choice for many different occasions. However, one common issue with hoodies is the risk of shrinking after washing and drying. Understanding the type of fabric your hoodie is made of and its shrinkage potential is crucial in preventing any unwanted changes in size or fit.

Firstly, it’s important to note that not all hoodie fabrics are created equal. Hoodies can be made from a variety of materials, such as cotton, polyester, or a blend of the two. Each fabric type has its own unique properties and ideal care instructions.

Cotton is a popular choice for hoodies due to its comfort and breathability, but it is also more prone to shrinking than synthetic fabrics. Polyester, on the other hand, is more resistant to shrinkage but can be less breathable and may not offer the same level of comfort as cotton. A blend of cotton and polyester can offer the best of both worlds – breathability and durability.

Aside from the type of fabric, the knit structure is another factor that can influence hoodie shrinkage. Sweatshirts typically have a loopback knit structure, which means that the fabric is made up of loops on the inside and a smooth surface on the outside. This structure can make sweats more prone to shrinking as the loops can easily compress during washing and drying.

When shopping for a hoodie, be sure to check the care label for specific instructions on how to care for the garment. Some fabrics may require special attention or a specific washing method to prevent shrinkage. Understanding the properties of your hoodie fabric and following the care instructions can go a long way in maintaining the shape and fit of your hoodie for years to come.

2. Pre-Shrinking Techniques to Ensure Minimal Fabric Shrinkage

To ensure that your hoodie does not shrink excessively, you can follow some pre-shrinking techniques. Pre-shrinking involves subjecting the fabric to some form of heat or water treatment that will cause the fibers to shrink slightly. This will help to minimize shrinkage when you eventually wash the hoodie. Here are some ways you can pre-shrink your hoodie:

Method 1: Soak in Cold Water

Fill a bucket or sink with cold water and add some gentle laundry detergent. Place your hoodie in the water and leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain the water and gently squeeze out the excess. Do not twist or wring the fabric. Lay it flat to dry, reshaping it as necessary.

Method 2: Steam

You can also pre-shrink your hoodie using a steam iron or garment steamer. Hang the hoodie on a hanger and hold the steamer/iron a few inches away from the fabric. Move the steamer/iron over the entire hoodie, making sure to cover all areas. You can also use a pressing cloth to protect the fabric if you are using an iron. After steaming, lay the hoodie flat to cool.

It is important to note that pre-shrinking may not completely eliminate shrinkage, but it will help to minimize it. When washing your hoodie, be sure to follow the care instructions on the label and avoid using hot water or high heat when drying. Using a gentle detergent and drying on low heat can also help to reduce shrinkage.

3. Best Practices for Machine Washing and Drying Hoodies

To keep your hoodie in top-notch condition, proper washing and drying techniques are imperative. Below are some best practices for machine washing and drying your hoodie.

Machine Washing Hoodies

When machine washing your hoodie, remember to:

  • Separate colors: Wash dark-colored hoodies separately to avoid bleeding onto lighter ones.
  • Turn the hoodie inside out: This helps prevent color fading and minimizes wear and tear on the fabric.
  • Zip it up: Zip up the hoodie to prevent the zipper from snagging onto other clothes during the wash cycle.

Machine Drying Hoodies

When machine drying your hoodie, remember to:

  • Use low heat: High heat can damage and shrink hoodie fabric. Instead, opt for low heat and a shorter drying cycle to preserve the hoodie’s integrity.
  • Remove promptly: As soon as the drying cycle is complete, remove the hoodie promptly to minimize wrinkles and prevent fabric damage due to over-drying.
  • Avoid tumble drying: Air-drying is always the best option to prevent unnecessary wear and tear, but if tumble drying is a must, use a low heat setting and add some dryer balls or tennis balls to the load to keep the hoodie fluffed up.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your hoodie will look and feel great after every wash. Remember to always read the care label on your hoodie before washing and drying to ensure you are using the right techniques and settings for your specific hoodie fabric.

4. Natural Remedies for Hoodie Shrinkage Prevention

Hoodies are a staple garment in any wardrobe, but they are notorious for shrinking after washing. If you want to keep your hoodie looking and feeling great, you need to take steps to prevent shrinkage. There are a few natural remedies that you can try to prevent your hoodie from shrinking, and we have listed them below.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural fabric softener and also helps to prevent shrinkage. Add half a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle. This will help to remove any residue on the hoodie, prevent the fabric from shrinking, and leave it feeling soft and fresh.

Cold Water Wash

Washing your hoodie in cold water is another natural remedy for preventing shrinkage. Hot water can cause the fibers in the fabric to shrink, but cold water will not. To further protect your hoodie, turn it inside out before washing, and try to wash it with other clothes that are made of similar materials.

Avoid Dryer

Avoiding the dryer is the best natural remedy for preventing hoodie shrinkage. If you choose to machine dry your hoodie, choose a low heat setting and remove it from the dryer while it is still damp. Air dry on a flat surface to minimize shrinkage. Alternatively, you can hang your hoodie on a hanger to dry naturally and reshape it as necessary.

By following these natural remedies, you can prevent your hoodies from shrinking and keep them looking and feeling great wash after wash. Try these remedies and enjoy your hoodie for a long time.

5. Fixing Over-Shrunken Hoodies: Repair or Replace?

When all else fails and your hoodie has shrunk beyond repair, your last option is to either repair or replace it. This may be a difficult decision, especially if the hoodie is a favorite with sentimental value or if it is expensive. Before deciding on whether to repair or replace it, consider the extent of the damage and the cost of each option.

Repairing Over-Shrunken Hoodies

If you decide to repair your hoodie, there are a few options available to you. First, you can attempt to stretch the fabric back to its original size. To do this, you will need to dampen the hoodie with cold water and gently stretch it back to its original size. Be careful not to overstretch the fabric, as this can cause it to become misshapen. Another option is to take your hoodie to a professional dry cleaner or tailor. They may be able to use specialized techniques to stretch the fabric back to its original size.

Replacing Over-Shrunken Hoodies

If stretching or repairing your hoodie is not an option, you may need to replace it. When choosing a replacement, consider the type of fabric that your previous hoodie was made of and how it shrunk. If your previous hoodie shrunk significantly in the dryer, consider purchasing a hoodie made from a pre-shrunk fabric. If your previous hoodie was made from a natural fiber such as cotton, consider purchasing a hoodie made from a synthetic fiber such as polyester, as synthetic fibers tend to shrink less than natural fibers.

In conclusion, fixing over-shrunken hoodies can be a difficult decision. Stretching the fabric back to its original size, taking it to a professional cleaner, or replacing it are all options to consider. When deciding on a replacement hoodie, consider the type of fabric and how it shrunk, as this can help prevent future shrinkage. With these tips, you can be sure to keep your hoodies looking their best for years to come.

People Also Ask

1. Can you shrink a hoodie in the dryer?

Yes, you can shrink a hoodie in the dryer by using high heat settings. However, it may shrink unevenly if you don’t take certain precautions, such as turning it inside out.

2. Can you shrink a hoodie without ruining it?

Yes, you can shrink a hoodie without ruining it by using mild heat settings, such as the delicate cycle on your washing machine. This method is also less likely to cause uneven shrinking.

3. How much can you shrink a hoodie?

The amount you can shrink a hoodie depends on the fabric it’s made of. Natural fabrics, such as cotton, can shrink up to 20%. Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, may not shrink as much.

4. Can you shrink a hoodie that’s too big?

Yes, you can shrink a hoodie that’s too big by using high heat in the dryer or by washing it in hot water. However, if the hoodie is several sizes too big, you may not be able to shrink it enough to fit properly.

5. How long does it take to shrink a hoodie?

The length of time it takes to shrink a hoodie depends on the method you use and the size of the hoodie. Generally, it can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes in the dryer or up to an hour in the washing machine.


Shrinking a hoodie is a great way to make it fit better, but it’s important to use the right method and take precautions to avoid ruining the fabric. By using mild heat settings and turning the hoodie inside out, you can ensure even shrinking and a longer lifespan for your favorite hoodie.



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Hey there, I’m Bobby, but most folks around here know me as Dude. At, my mission is crystal clear: to untangle the knots of curiosity by bringing expert insights to life's most intriguing questions.
Curiosity fuels my existence. You'll catch me diving into the depths of quantum mechanics one moment and exploring the virtues of different veggies the next. From pondering life's existential mysteries in my younger years to now channeling that inquisitiveness into this platform, I've always hungered for answers.
Life's gotten busier since those early days, packed with work and family. But you know what hasn’t changed? The endless barrage of questions. DudeAsks bridges that gap between life’s whirlwind and our insatiable curiosity.
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