How to Keep Cotton Pants From Shrinking

by Lee Mellott

Cotton has been around for centuries and has been worn by people since ancient times. Today, it is woven, dyed and sewed into a wide variety of goods. This natural fiber is used to make jeans, towels, curtains, dresses and more. It is also blended with other materials to make fabrics, such as polyester. Cotton is also used in other products ranging from paper to coffee filters. One problem that occurs with cotton clothing is that it has a tendency to shrink. Here is how to keep cotton pants from shrinking.

Items you will need

  • Cotton pants
  • Mild detergent
  • Water
  • Drying rack
Step 1

Read the care label to see if the cotton pants require special care. Some manufacturers may suggest hand washing or dry cleaning the cotton pants. Read the directions to see if special care is required.

Step 2

Wash the cotton pants in the washing machine, using cold water. Warm and hot water are likely to cause shrinkage. Use a mild detergent, such as Woolite, that is gentle on fabric.

Step 3

Remove the cotton pants from the washing machine when the cycle has ended. Shake the pants to help get the wrinkles out and hang them on a drying rack. Do not put them in a dryer as the heat will shrink the fibers. Do not hang them in the sun as the warm heat from the sun will also shrink clothing.

Step 4

Allow the cotton pants to air dry on the drying rack.

About the Author

Lee Mellott holds a Masters degree in education from Hood College. Her background includes freelance writing, Internet promotion, sales and education.