How to Stretch Jeans: Quick Tips for Everyone to Consider

How did I put on so much weight overnight? This is a question most of you would ask yourself after putting on your clean jeans. Sometimes your jeans may feel a bit tighter than usual. This is because jeans, no matter their material, can shrink.

Jeans can shrink in different ways:

  • When you wash the jeans with hot water
  • Drying jeans in high heat
  • Some jeans are not pre-washed
  • Online jeans look perfect until they arrive a little bit tight

However, there is good news in that you can stretch your jeans. Whether you are looking for space on the waist, legs, or foot hole, there are several tricks you can try. You should be careful with some of the conflicting suggestions on the internet. How do you do it then? We will help you answer this question.

Why Would My Jeans Shrink?

Cotton fibers are woven together to form the jeans. This is why jeans can change shape over time. Water and heat can affect the properties of cotton. The strength and shape of the fibers are mostly affected, eventually causing the change in the size of the jeans. This is where you decide to either shrink or stretch it.

Jeans shrink when it gets hot and dry, as the heat makes the cotton fibers less strong. The fibers lose their bonding, get smaller, and clump on each other. When the outdoor temperature goes back to normal, the fibers do not go back to their original shape.

Cotton can stretch when it gets wet. It absorbs the water and expands, being flexible. The fibers are stronger than before, and they can be molded into any shape. As such, cotton will not expand on its own. You have to do it too.

How to Stretch Your Jeans

You can stretch your jeans in 3 simple ways. The limit of stretching is about an inch if you do it in the right way. This applies to both old and new pairs of jeans. Here is what you need to know.

1. Spraying Lukewarm Water Before Stretching


  • Spray bottle
  • Some lukewarm water
  • Measuring tape
  • A pair of jeans (obviously)


  • Around 20 minutes


  • Measure the current size of your pair of jeans so that you can be sure if it stretches at the end.
  • Keep the focus on the part that you plan to stretch out the most. This is not compulsory.
  • Lay the jeans on the floor before proceeding to spray lukewarm water on both sides of the jeans so that it is soaked completely.
  • Identify a spot that is close to the waist.
  • Stand firm on the pockets and pull it from one of the sides first.
  • You will have to do this around 15 times.
  • The waist should be unbuttoned so that you can achieve the purpose and avoid ripping off the button.
  • You can try stretching it lengthwise if you want to. Just pick a spot near the knee so that it is easier to deal with.
  • Spray lukewarm water on the area you want to stretch.
  • Stand on the dry patches firmly, then pull them away from the floor.
  • Repeat at least 10 times before you think about measuring.
  • You can now take the final measurement and check if there is a change in size.
  • Lastly, you can try them on and comment yourself.

2. Spray, Make a Lunge and Stretch


  • Spray bottle
  • Lukewarm water
  • Measuring Tape
  • A pair of jeans


  • Around 45 minutes


  • Wear your pair of jeans, and then spray water on the area you would like to stretch.
  • Do the stretching on both sides.
  • You can then do a few lunges trying to stretch the jeans.
  • Repeat the cycle a couple of times until you get satisfied.
  • Take them off and hang them out to dry.
  • If you put them in the dryer, they might shrink.
  • Measure them and note the difference.
  • A few more lunges will complete the process.

3. Water Bath


  • Bathtub or shower with hot water
  • A pair of jeans
  • Measuring tape
  • Hot water


  • Around 15 minutes


  • Take measurements of your jeans before stretching them.
  • Wear the jeans before you proceed to sit in the bathtub for about 15 minutes. You should let the jeans completely soak.
  • The jeans will be more relaxed and make it easy to work with them at this point.
  • Hold it on the sides, and then stretch them thoroughly.
  • Do the same thing lengthwise.
  • You should then allow the water to drip off the pants first, then remove them.
  • Air-dry the jeans.
  • Measure to see the difference and then try them out.

4. Heating the Jeans for a Moderate Stretch


  • A hairdryer
  • A pair of jeans
  • Measuring tape


  • 15 minutes


  • Measure your jeans on areas that you want to change.
  • Lay the jeans on the bed or floor, provided it is close to the electric socket.
  • Spread the jeans out to make it easy to heat them evenly.
  • Heat the jeans with the hairdryer on a medium setting. The drier should be about 6 cm above your jeans.
  • Heat both sides of your jeans so that it stretches more.
  • Grip opposite sides of the jeans and pull to stretch them.
  • If the jeans begin cooling before you finish stretching, then heat them again.
  • You can then try the jeans on to see how they fit.
  • Note that this procedure is for a moderate stretch.

Ways You Can Prevent Your Jeans from Shrinking

No one wants their jeans shrinking soon. There are a few tips that will help you keep your jeans in the desired shape.

1. Try purchasing jeans made from sanforized cotton

This type of cotton is pre-washed, thus reducing the risk of shrinking. Normal cotton can shrink by about 20%, which is quite a margin. If pre-washed, it can only shrink by up to 5%. This should, however, not allow you to be careless with your jeans.

2. You can also try buying jeans made of blended materials

The common blending material is polyester. Polyester does not shrink at all. The jeans that contain blended polyester are less likely to shrink as polyester prevents cotton from stretching or shrinking. This type of jeans suits those who like to wash with hot water or dry on high heat.

Elastane is another great material to consider when buying jeans. It is a special synthetic material that has flexible properties. When added to cotton, it makes your jeans stretchy. So, even if your jeans shrink, they will still expand if you put them on because of elastane.

3. Taking proper care of your jeans

This is a great and cheapest way to avoid the shrinkage of your jeans. Do not dry with high heat or wash in hot water. Heat weakens the cotton fibers and makes them shrink. Just avoid hot water or hot air near your jeans.


As you can see, stretching your jeans does not have to be hard. Just make sure you do it correctly. Follow the methods we have mentioned above if you hope to achieve the best jeans look and ensure they are stretched correctly. You can always look at some other YouTube videos to get more ideas.

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