How to Shrink Spandex? 5 Methods You Can Try
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How to Shrink Spandex? 5 Methods You Can Try

I will show you five methods you can try to shrink your spandex clothes instead of throwing them away. 

Spandex can be stretched many times its length before returning to its original size without losing any of its elasticity. While spandex does not shrink when washed normally, it can be shrunk if heated to a temperature of just over 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Please read this article carefully if you want to learn how to shrink spandex.

How to Shrink Spandex in the Washer?

Some clothing or items containing spandex may shrink when washed and rinsed in hot water and dried at a high heat setting.

Things You’ll Need

  • Pillowcase
  • Ribbon tie

Step 1: Wash It

Wash one article of clothing at a time because they might all shrink at different rates. Select the smallest water level setting on the machine, and set the water temperature to the highest setting. Following a hot wash cycle, some washing machines have an automatic cold rinse cycle.

How to Shrink Spandex? 5 Methods You Can Try

However, the opposite of what you want will happen because this is meant to relax the fabrics of your clothing. If your washer uses cold water to rinse the load, skip the rinse cycle and move straight to the spin cycle after washing. When the spin cycle is finished, remove your item from the washer.

Step 2: Dry It

Put your item of clothing inside a pillowcase. Make a knot at the top or use a ribbon tie to close it. By doing this, the garment is kept coiled and the fibers are kept from stretching during the dryer’s spinning cycle. Turn the dryer’s heat setting up to its maximum. Keep the item in the dryer for a further ten minutes after it is dry.

Step 3: Try It On

Try on your clothing as soon as you remove it from the dryer. Be cautious because any zippers, snaps, or buttons will still be extremely hot. The entire process should be repeated if your garment still hasn’t shrunk to the size you want.

Once the spandex has shrunk, rewash the item, as usual, to get the detergent out if you had to skip the rinse cycle.

How to Shrink Spandex in the Dryer?

The clothing may shrink even more if you dry your spandex in a dryer. Combining the two processes will increase the efficiency of the shrinking because spandex needs high temperatures to shrink. The fiber of the fabric might weaken and break if the spandex is dried, but that is the only drawback.

The steps to use shrink spandex with a dryer are as follows:

How to Shrink Spandex? 5 Methods You Can Try
  • Squeeze out the extra water before removing your clothing from the washer.
  • Increase the temperature of your dryer.
  • Prior to placing your spandex clothing in the dryer, contain it with a pillowcase. To keep your clothes from escaping, knot the tip of the pillowcase. With this measure, you can better shield your clothing from the hot, direct sun.
  • To prevent scratching the surface, turn your clothing inside out.
  • Keep the drying time of your clothes to a minimum.
  • Take off your clothes 10 to 15 minutes after the drying cycle is finished so you don’t burn yourself.
  • Check if it fits by putting it on.

How to Shrink Spandex in the Hot Water Bath?

Your spandex clothing would shrink if you put it in hot water to soak. However, cotton-spandex blend clothing responds best to this technique. The steps to shrink spandex with this method are as follows:

  • Find a large bowl or tub large enough to hold your clothes and fill it with hot water that is at least 180°F.
  • To prevent color fading, turn your clothing inside out before putting it in hot water.
  • As an alternative, you could put the clothes in a bowl, boil some water in a kettle, and then pour the water over the clothes. Make sure the clothing is completely immersed in hot water.
  • Allow your clothing to soak for about 20 minutes while you trap the heat with a lid.
  • The clothes should be poured into a sink or drain after 20 minutes so they can cool before being squeezed.
  • Use the dryer if you want a better finish than air drying.

How to Shrink Spandex in Boiling Water?

How to Shrink Spandex? 5 Methods You Can Try

Another very efficient method for shrinking spandex is to submerge it in boiling water. For spandex and polyester blends, this technique, however, works flawlessly. If there is a higher percentage of polyester fiber than spandex, it is particularly effective.

Related: How to Shrink Polyester and Spandex?

The following are steps to shrink spandex with boiling water:

  • Water should be put in a big pot. adequate water to cover your clothing.
  • Put it on the burner, and let it begin to boil.
  • Put your inside-out clothing into the boiling water once it begins to bubble, using wooden spoons or metal tongs.
  • Before you seal the pot’s lid, make sure that your clothing is completely submerged.
  • Before turning it off, let it simmer on the burner for a few minutes.
  • Before opening the lid, lower the pot and let the clothes soak in the water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Before touching it, empty out its contents into a sink and give it time to cool.
  • Place in the dryer after squeezing. The clothes receive heat and friction from the dryer, which increases the efficiency of the shrinking process.

How to Shrink Spandex by Tailoring?

If all else fails, a tailor can reduce the size of your spandex clothing. This approach is fantastic because it spares you from worrying about weakened or faded clothing.

Additionally, it will give you a perfect fit as opposed to the inconsistent outcomes you might get when using heat-shrinking techniques.

How to Shrink Spandex? 5 Methods You Can Try

How to Shrink Spandex Leggings?

Spandex leggings can be shrunk primarily in two ways: first, by washing them at a high temperature, and second, by drying them in a machine set to high.

Shrinking Spandex Legging in the Washing Machine

  • Discover what other fabrics are used in the spandex leggings by reading the label. This is because they are made of various fabric blends, and the efficiency of shrinkage changes depending on the blend.
  • Most spandex leggings are advised to be hand-washed in lukewarm water and to air dry. If shrinking spandex leggings is your only goal, wash your clothes at a high temperature.
  • As washing on heat can drain or fade the color of the garment, turn the leggings inside out. The exterior of the leggings is less impacted when flipped.
  • Place the leggings in the washer and set the temperature for the wash cycle to high. On spandex, regular washing has no effect. To run the washing machine through a full cycle, set it to the heaviest duty and hottest setting.
  • If you want to clean the spandex leggings while washing, only use mild homemade detergent. There is no requirement to add detergent when simply shrinking.

Drying the Spandex Legging in the Machine Dryer

  • Put the spandex leggings inside the pillowcase, then knot the opening.
  • Add the dryer to the pillowcase. By putting the leggings in the pillowcase, you can prevent any unnecessary stretching while the dryer is on the tumble dry cycle.
  • Set the dryer to the highest heat setting and choose a 10-minute cycle.
  • The spandex legging will shrink due to vigorous turning and high-heat drying. This cycle should be set to the heavy dryer setting.
  • After cooling, test the size of the garment to see if it has shrunk, or hang the dryer on for an additional 15 minutes. Before putting them on, allow them to cool. If the size hasn’t been reduced to your satisfaction, try again.
How to Shrink Spandex? 5 Methods You Can Try

Can You Shrink 95% Cotton and 5% Spandex?

Yes, 95% cotton and 5% spandex can shrink, but you must exercise special caution when doing so. The fabric’s construction, the type of cotton used, and the proportion of spandex in the blend will all affect how much the fabric shrinks.

Consideration must be given to the fact that cotton shrinks more easily than spandex. To lessen the chance of shrinkage, it is best to wash with cold water rather than hot water.

When shrinking this kind of fabric, it’s also crucial to follow the care label’s instructions. A gentle cycle and not overloading the washing machine will also help protect the fabric from needless harm.

Last but not least, the best way to dry fabric to lower the risk of shrinkage is to tumble dry it on the lowest setting or air dry it.

Does Spandex Lose Its Elasticity?

The elasticity of spandex will degrade over time, yes. Heat, chlorine, or salt exposure are the usual causes of this. Any of these substances will cause the elastic threads in spandex to expand and weaken, reducing their elasticity.

Additionally, regular use and cleaning can weaken or harm the elastic fibers, decreasing their elasticity. When fabrics are properly cared for and maintained, such as by washing them in cold water with a gentle detergent and letting natural fibers air dry, some of the lost elasticity can be recovered.

Spandex fabrics’ elasticity will be preserved if salt, chlorine, and heat are not used on them.

Final Words: Shrink Spandex

You can wet spandex and dry it on a low to medium heat setting for 10 to 15 minutes to shrink the material. The fabric should ideally be checked for shrinkage every 5 minutes. The fabric should be taken out of the dryer after being heated and stretched while it is still damp.

When spandex does shrink, it does so both horizontally and vertically, or in both directions. If your clothing is made of natural fibers like cotton or another material that shrinks easily when washed, proceed with caution.


Does Heat Shrink Spandex?

You must use the hottest setting because spandex does not shrink in regular washing circumstances. This is often the setting for “heavy duty.” X Research source Then, let it complete a cycle while being set to the hottest setting. Use detergent only if you want to also clean the garment; otherwise, avoid doing so.

Does Hot Water Damage Spandex?

Clothing that contains spandex has special care instructions because washing with hot water or ironing at high temperatures will ruin the fabric permanently.

At What Temperature Does Spandex Melt?

High temperatures cause damage to spandex fibers. The melting temperature for spandex is about 240°C.

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