The Viral Hack That Helps Stretch Out Shrunken Jeans (And Only Requires Water)

Everyone's been there. You reach for your favorite jeans and pull them up, but they're a little tight. Maybe they're digging into your sides, hugging your thighs, or just feel uncomfortable overall. No matter what, you know what's happened: Your jeans have shrunk a bit since being put through the dryer. Still, you want to wear them, so you need to figure out how to stretch them out to give yourself a little breathing room. 

Thankfully, there's no need to fear. Even if your jeans feel snug, there's a very simple hack you can use that'll make them fit right again. Even better, the trick takes just a few minutes, and requires virtually no supplies. No wonder it's gone viral on TikTok, with over 32 million views on the site at the time of this writing. All you need is your jeans, lukewarm water, a spray bottle, and some determination.

Shrink your jeans using water and elbow grease

There are a couple of ways to use water to stretch out your jeans. The first requires a spray bottle filled with lukewarm water. Katie Brown, who owns Rytina Fine Cleaners, explains to InStyle that you spray your jeans from front to back, then pull on the parts of the jeans that feel too tight. Then, you put them on while they're still damp so they stretch out that way as well. You can also spray the jeans while you're wearing them, or even hop in the shower while clothed, as Heck Yes Vintage demonstrates in a TikTok video.  

If you don't want to wear your jeans while they're soaked, stylist Amber Alexandrea tells InStyle that you can wet your jeans and then insert a foam roller into the legs for about 10 minutes each, which will have a similar effect. If that doesn't work, check to see if you're wearing jeans that are too tight for you. If so, consider going up a size for your own comfort.

You can use the bathtub to stretch out your jeans, too

If the spray bottle hack doesn't work for you, or if you don't have one, an alternative is to slip into your too-tight jeans and climb into your bathtub. It sounds silly, but water lets denim stretch out, which means the pants will fit you better. You can also wash your jeans and then put them on while they're still wet. 

If you don't want to try the water hack but you're still looking to stretch out your jeans, there are other tricks you can use. Grab your blow dryer or iron, heat up your jeans, and pull on them everywhere you need them to stretch (via Marie Claire Australia). You can also try doing squats or other stretches while wearing your jeans to get yourself some more space. Finally, pay attention to how often you're washing your jeans, as washing and drying them too much can make them shrink and wear them out.