Do Gap Hoodies Shrink? How To Shrink & Unshrink

Gap hoodies are popular for their comfort and style, but the question on many minds is whether they shrink. The answer is yes, Gap hoodies can shrink, especially if not cared for properly.

Do Gap Hoodies Shrink

In this guide, we’ll delve into the reasons behind hoodie shrinkage and provide you with effective tips on how to shrink or unshrink your Gap hoodie.

Whether you’re looking to achieve a snugger fit or reverse accidental shrinkage, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover the secrets to maintaining the perfect size and shape of your beloved Gap hoodies.

Do Gap Hoodies Shrink?

Yes, Gap hoodies can indeed shrink. Gap hoodies are typically made of cotton or a cotton blend, and cotton is known to shrink when exposed to heat, moisture, or certain washing conditions. High temperatures in the washer or dryer, as well as overwashing, can lead to shrinkage.

To prevent this, it’s essential to follow the care instructions on the garment’s label, which usually recommend washing in cold water and air-drying to minimize shrinkage.

If your Gap hoodie has already shrunk and you want to reverse it, you can try gentle stretching methods, but success may vary depending on the fabric and extent of shrinkage.

Does Gap Hoodies Shrink In The Dryer?

Yes, Gap hoodies can shrink in the dryer. Gap hoodies are typically made from materials like cotton or cotton blends, which are prone to shrinking when exposed to heat. High temperatures in the dryer can cause the fabric to contract, leading to a reduction in the hoodie’s size.

To prevent this, it’s advisable to follow the care label instructions, which often recommend washing in cold water and air-drying or using a low-heat setting in the dryer.

Taking these precautions can help preserve the original size and fit of your Gap hoodie and prevent unwanted shrinkage.

Does Gap Hoodies Shrink In Wash?

Yes, Gap hoodies can shrink in the wash. Gap hoodies are typically made from materials like cotton or cotton blends, which are known to shrink when exposed to water and heat.

Washing in hot water or using high heat settings in the dryer can cause the fabric to contract, resulting in a smaller and tighter-fitting hoodie.

To minimize shrinkage, it’s recommended to follow the care instructions on the garment’s label, which often suggest using cold water for washing and air-drying the hoodie instead of using a high-heat dryer. These precautions can help preserve the original size and shape of your Gap hoodie.

How Much Do Gap Hoodies Shrink?

The extent to which Gap hoodies shrink can vary depending on several factors, including the fabric composition, washing conditions, and initial sizing.

Generally, hoodies made from natural fibers like cotton or cotton blends tend to shrink more than synthetic materials. Shrinkage can range from 3% to 5% in length and width, but it might be more pronounced if exposed to hot water or high-heat drying.

Additionally, oversized hoodies may experience a more noticeable reduction in size compared to those that already fit snugly. To minimize shrinkage, it’s essential to follow care label instructions, such as using cold water and gentle drying methods, or consider sizing up if you expect some shrinkage.

Can You Shrink Gap Hoodies?

Yes, you can shrink Gap hoodies, but it’s a process that should be approached with caution. To intentionally shrink a Gap hoodie, you can use methods like washing it in hot water or using a high-heat dryer.

However, it’s important to note that the extent of shrinkage can be unpredictable, and it may also affect the overall quality and lifespan of the hoodie.

It’s generally recommended to avoid intentionally shrinking clothing unless you have a specific reason to do so. If your Gap hoodie has unintentionally shrunk, you can try gentle stretching methods, but success may vary depending on the fabric and the extent of shrinkage.

How To Shrink Gap Hoodies?

Shrinking a Gap hoodie intentionally requires careful steps to avoid damaging the fabric. Here’s a method to shrink your Gap hoodie:

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Gap hoodie
  2. Hot water
  3. Washing machine
  4. Dryer


  1. Check the care label on your Gap hoodie to ensure it can be safely exposed to hot water and heat. Avoid this process if the care label advises against it.
  2. Set your washing machine to the hottest water temperature setting. If possible, select the longest wash cycle.
  3. Place your Gap hoodie in the washing machine and start the cycle.
  4. After the washing cycle is complete, transfer the hoodie to the dryer.
  5. Set the dryer to the highest heat setting available and let it run until the hoodie is completely dry.
  6. Check the hoodie’s size after the process. If it hasn’t shrunk enough, you may need to repeat the process.

Remember that intentionally shrinking clothing can be risky, and results may vary. Additionally, it’s essential to follow care instructions on the garment’s label and be prepared for potential damage or changes in the fabric’s quality.

How To Unshrink Gap Hoodies?

Unshrinking a Gap hoodie can be challenging, but it’s possible to try and reverse some of the shrinkage using the following method:

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Sink or basin
  2. Warm water
  3. Hair conditioner or baby shampoo
  4. Towels
  5. Large, flat surface


  1. Fill a sink or basin with lukewarm water. Ensure it’s enough to submerge your shrunken Gap hoodie.
  2. Add a few tablespoons of hair conditioner or baby shampoo to the water. These products can help relax the fibers in the fabric.
  3. Gently place the shrunken hoodie into the water and allow it to soak for about 30 minutes. Occasionally, agitate the water and gently stretch the hoodie.
  4. After soaking, carefully remove the hoodie from the water and gently press out excess water. Do not wring or twist the fabric, as it can damage it further.
  5. Lay a clean towel flat on a large surface and place the hoodie on top of it.
  6. Gently stretch and reshape the hoodie to its original size and shape. Pay special attention to the areas that have shrunk.
  7. Roll the hoodie and towel together, starting from one end. Press down on the rolled towel to remove additional moisture.
  8. Unroll the towel and carefully lay the hoodie flat on another clean, dry towel. Reshape it as needed to match its original form.
  9. Allow the hoodie to air dry completely. This may take some time, so be patient.
  10. Once dry, try on the hoodie to check if it has regained some of its original size. If necessary, repeat the process.

Keep in mind that unshrinking is not always successful, and the results may vary depending on the fabric and extent of shrinkage. Avoid using heat, such as a dryer, as it can further shrink the garment. Always follow the care label instructions in the future to prevent unintentional shrinkage.

How To Prevent Gap Hoodies From Shrinking?

Preventing Gap hoodies from shrinking involves proper care and handling to maintain their size and shape. Here are some tips to help you prevent shrinkage:

  1. Read the Care Label: Always check the care label on your Gap hoodie for specific washing and drying instructions. Follow these recommendations to minimize the risk of shrinkage.
  2. Use Cold Water: Wash your hoodie in cold water instead of hot or warm water. Cold water is gentler on the fabric and helps reduce the likelihood of shrinking.
  3. Hand Wash: If possible, hand-wash your hoodie in cold water with a mild detergent. This method is the gentlest and most effective for preserving the garment’s size.
  4. Use a Delicate Cycle: If you prefer machine washing, select the delicate or gentle cycle on your washing machine. This cycle is designed to be less harsh on fabrics.
  5. Avoid Overloading: Don’t overload your washing machine with too many clothes. Overcrowding can lead to excessive friction and potential shrinkage.
  6. Skip the Dryer: Air-dry your Gap hoodie by laying it flat on a clean towel or hanging it on a drying rack. Avoid using the dryer, as high heat can cause shrinkage.
  7. Avoid Sunlight: When air-drying, keep the hoodie out of direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to UV rays can affect the fabric’s integrity.
  8. Reshape When Damp: If your hoodie has stretched out of shape, reshape it while it’s still damp to help it regain its original form.
  9. Store Properly: Store your Gap hoodie in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, to prevent any unnecessary damage or fading.
  10. Pre-Shrunk Hoodies: Consider buying pre-shrunk or preshrinkable hoodies if available. These are treated to resist further shrinkage.

By following these preventive measures and being mindful of how you wash and dry your Gap hoodies, you can help maintain their size and shape over time.

Final Words

Preserving the size and fit of your Gap hoodies requires a combination of care, attention, and adherence to proper washing and drying practices.

By closely following the care label instructions, opting for cold water washes, and avoiding high-heat drying methods, you can significantly reduce the risk of shrinkage. Hand washing, if feasible, provides an extra layer of protection.

Remember to reshape the hoodie while damp if it loses its form. By incorporating these preventive measures into your hoodie care routine, you can enjoy your Gap hoodies for longer, maintaining their original comfort and style without the frustration of unwanted shrinkage.

Hello there! I’m Jessica, I'm a textile engineer and mom of two little boys. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for Fabrichow.

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