How To Shrink Polyester Shorts

Wondering how to shrink polyester shorts? Are your favorite gym pants a little too big? Shrinking polyester shorts is easy if you transition the polyester fibers beyond their solid stage, known as the glass stage. To that end, polyester must be immersed in temperatures close to boiling. But, keep in mind that shrinking polyester shorts is not selective. You will shrink the waste and the length of the shorts simultaneously. If this suits you just fine, here’s everything you need to know about how to shrink polyester shorts to fit you better.

What you’ll need to shrink polyester shorts:

  • Bucket
  • Large pot for boiling water
  • Stick
  • Rubber gloves (two pairs)
  • Foil paper
  • Towel
  • Access to a washing machine and clothes dry (preferred)
  • Ironing board
  • Iron

Follow these steps to shrink polyester shorts for a better fit:

  1. Create a hot environment. Unlike cotton, polyester will only shrink at high temperatures. Boil water in a large pot (or two medium pots). Keep a lid over the pot to quicken the process. Once the water boils, put your rubber gloves on to prevent scalding and pour the water into the bucket. Wear long pants during the process of shrinking your polyester shorts as boiling water will likely splash on you.
  2. Immerse the polyester shorts. Use a stick to push the polyester shorts under the boiling water. Make sure the pants are fully submerged without folds that may keep portions of the fabric dry. To maximize the shrinking of your polyester shorts, cover the bucket with foil paper and a towel. Wait ten minutes.
  3. Wring out the polyester shorts. Keep your rubber gloves on and use the stick to fish the soaking, steaming shorts from the bucket. Place the polyester shorts in a pot and carry them quickly to your laundry room. It’s best to wring the water out of your polyester shorts using the spin cycle of your washing machine. But if you have no access to one, wear two pairs of rubber gloves and wring the pants by hand.
  4. Dry the polyester shorts. Polyester will shrink better in dry heat than wet heat. You will, therefore, have better results with a clothes dryer. If you have no access to a clothes dryer, skip to the next step. Finish shrinking the polyester pants by placing them in the clothes dryer on the hottest setting. To shrink your polyester shorts even more, keep the dryer working for an additional ten minutes after the pants have dried.
  5. Iron the polyester shorts. If you have no access to a clothes dryer, you can still shrink your polyester shorts using an iron and ironing board. Place a towel over your ironing board to soak the moisture and make sure you are wearing rubber soled shoes (like sneakers) to prevent electrocution should your iron prove faulty. Heat the iron at the highest setting and slowly iron the polyester shorts until they dry. Be sure to wear your rubber gloves to protect your hands from the hot steam.

At this point, check if your polyester shorts have shrunk enough. If not, repeat the procedure for additional shrinking, but bear in mind that your polyester shorts may have shrunk to the max already.

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