How to Stretch Out Sweatpants

If you accidentally shrank your favorite sweatpants, don't toss them in the trash just yet. Although the pants may look like they'll never fit you again, it is possible to stretch them out. Sweatpants can be made of a variety of materials, but the way to stretch them works the same regardless of the fabric.

After you've stretched out your sweatpants, wash them in cold or warm water; avoid placing them in the dryer to keep them from shrinking again. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Fill the sink with 1 quart of lukewarm water. Add 1 tablespoon of baby shampoo or hair conditioner to the water and mix it up.

Step 2

Submerge the sweatpants in the water. Let them soak for 30 minutes to an hour. The baby shampoo or hair conditioner works to relax the fibers of the material, making it easier to stretch them back into shape.

Step 3

Remove the pants from the water and gently squeeze them to remove the excess water. Lay the pants on a flat surface.

Step 4

Stretch the pants carefully with your hands back to the original shape and size you want them. Place heavy objects along the edges of the pants to hold them in place. Leave them lying flat until they have air-dried completely.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon baby shampoo or hair conditioner

  • Heavy objects


If the pants are stiff as you’re trying to stretch them back into shape, run an iron with steam over them to make them more supple.

If you’re not sure how to stretch the pants to the appropriate size, find a pair of pants with a similar size and shape and trace an outline of them onto a large piece of parchment paper. Then,lay the sweatpants out onto the parchment paper and shape them according to what you have traced on the paper.

You can also stretch sweatpants by submerging them in water for 30 minutes, wringing them out lightly and hanging them up to dry. This causes the fabric to stretch out. Be careful when using this method, though; you have no control over how much the pants stretch.

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