How to shrink leggings

Have your leggings started to sag? Is there a way to save them and get them back to their former glory without having to purchase another pair? The answer is yes! With a little bit of time, love and attention we can get them back to their best.

It’s such a shame when the inevitable happens. Your favourite pair of leggings start to show signs of sagginess. And it just has to be the favourite pair as well. The ones that give you the most flattering look. The ones that are the most comfiest to wear. And you always notice more heads turning out of the corner of your eye when you wear them, probably because it flatters that peachy behind off yours! But now the dreaded has happened and overuse has caused your favourite leggings to lose it’s one flattering shape. So is there a way to save them and get them back to their former glory without having to purchase another pair? The answer is yes! With a little bit of time, love and attention we can get them back to their best.

The three simple methods to shrink leggings

The secret to shrinking those leggings down a sinch so there back to their figure-hugging best is heat. Applying heat constricts the fabric down and helps to shrink your leggings. We’ve found three different ways to apply heat too and we’re sure one of them will work for you. Each method shouldn’t take long at all.

Method 1: Using a washing machine and dryer

To shrink the leggings we’ll be using a washing machine set to the hot water setting, and on the longest cycle you can. With the leggings soaking in the hot water for the longest cycle available, they will fully soak up the moisture.

Once the cycle has finished it’s time to place them in the dryer. Select the medium heat setting and tumble dry for about 20-25 minutes.

Now the tumble dryer has done its part, try them on. Still not as tight-fitting as you’d like? Simply repeat the process until they’re the right snug fit.


You’ll need

  • Access to a washing machine
  • Access to a dryer


  • Set the washing machine to use hot water
  • Set for the longest wash cycle
  • Set to the dryer to dry on high heat
  • Set the dryer to medium heat for 20-25 minutes

Method 2: The trusty iron and a large pot

Sometimes you just don’t have access to a washing machine, but don’t worry as there’s another way to heat up your leggings.

Simply fill a large pot with boiling water. Place your leggings inside the pot and stir with a wooden stick to avoid burning yourself. Leave inside for about 10 minutes. After the time is done scoop out the leggings with the stick.

Give it a couple of minutes to cool down a tad, then wring them out. Once wrung, place them over your ironing board.

You’ll want to add a tea cloth over the leggings as you iron to avoid burn marks. Once the tea cloth is in place you can carry out your ironing as normal.

Also, make sure the iron isn’t set to steam mode. You want your leggings to dry quickly to help them shrink more efficiently, so dry ironing without using steam is the best way to go.

Once ironed you can try them on. If they still haven’t shrunk enough to your desired fit, repeat the process again.


You’ll need

  • A large pot
  • An ironing board
  • An iron
  • Tea cloth


  • Add water to the large pot and boil
  • Place your leggings inside for 10 minutes
  • When done, string out the water
  • Iron your leggings on a low to medium heat
  • Pro Tip: Add the tea cloth over your leggings when ironing to prevent heat damage

Method 3: Shrink on the go with a blow dryer

Like above, if you don’t have access to the use of a washing machine or iron you can use a simple hairdryer and a spray bottle.

You’ll want to lay out your leggings on a flat surface. Fill your spray bottle with warm water and spray over your leggings.

A gentle spray that gets your leggings moist enough is what we’re looking for here. No need to fully drown them.

Once your leggings have enough moisture on them, set your blow dryer to the highest heat setting it can go to. Hold the dryer around 6 inches away as we don’t want the heat to damage the fabric.

Use the hairdryer in sections over your leggings. You can split the area into 5 sections. The right and left side below the knee, the right and left side above the knee, and the waistband area.

Work on each area separately until dry. Now the moisture has been evaporated by the hairdryer your leggings should shrink enough to get back to its former glorious figure-hugging shape.


You’ll need

  • A spray bottle
  • A hairdryer


  • Use a spray bottle to lightly moisten your leggings
  • Blow-dry the leggings on the highest heat possible


We hope this short guide helped get your leggings back into their best shape, ready to go another few rounds of working out or just chilling casually at home. 

It may take two or three rounds of one of the heat methods to really shrink up your leggings to your preferred style so if you find your leggings still not tight enough simply repeat the method you’ve chosen again.

If they do finally give up the ghost at another time we have a number of our favourite leggings you may want to take a look at from scrunch bum leggings to anti-cellulite leggings.


I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.

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