How to Shrink a Basketball Jersey

To shrink a basketball jersey, you need to wash it in hot water and dry it on high heat. After that, it should be the right size.

A basketball jersey can be a great way to show support for your favorite team or player. But what do you do if it’s too big? Luckily, there’s an easy way to shrink a basketball jersey to make it fit better.

Following a few simple steps, you can adjust the jersey size to fit your body comfortably.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to shrink a basketball jersey and provide some tips to keep the jersey looking great.

Preparing the Jersey For Shrinking

Before shrinking your basketball jersey, following the pre-shrinking steps is essential to avoid any damaging effects. The following key points will help you prepare the jersey for shrinking.

  • Sort jerseys based on their materials

Sort the basketball jerseys based on their fabrics. Made of 100% cotton material will shrink differently than synthetic blends. This step will help you avoid any cloth damage while washing your jersey.

  • Check the washing instructions

Always check the washing instructions on the tag attached to the jersey. Follow the recommendations and instructions to avoid damaging your jersey. For instance, if the label specifies hand washing, avoid machine washing to maintain the apparel’s original quality.

  • Wash with cold water

The next step is washing the jerseys. Use cold water instead of hot water to prevent any damage to the jersey’s fiber and design. Hot water may damage your t-shirt’s design or cause shrinkage, making you unable to achieve the desired results.

  • Use gentle detergent

Your basketball jerseys are more delicate than your regular clothing apparel, and it’s essential to avoid using harsh detergents. Use a mild or gentle detergent to wash your jersey to maintain the apparel’s quality.

  • Avoid using bleach

Bleach can cause significant damage to your basketball jersey, especially if your jersey is made of cotton. Bleach can leave yellow stains, thus damaging your apparel. If washing with bleach is necessary, follow the instructions on the label. It’s always advisable to avoid using bleach to improve your jersey’s lifespan.

Following the above guidelines, you prepare your jersey with proper pre-shrinking steps. This step is crucial in ensuring your basketball jersey remains in perfect shape and lasts longer. We also discussed in another post the best techniques of how to fold a basketball jersey.

Proper Techniques to Clean the Basketball Jersey

Basketball jerseys give players a sense of pride, and they might not want to switch to a new one just because the current one has become too large. So, if you have a basketball jersey that is too big, you can shrink it to fit your size.

Here’s how to wash your basketball jersey without ruining the material and how to shrink it effectively.

Wash the Jersey By Hand

If you want to take good care of your basketball jersey, wash it properly. Here are some instructions on how to wash your basketball jersey.

  • Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a small amount of detergent.
  • Soak the basketball jersey for around 30 minutes. Do not pull or twist it while soaking.
  • After 30 minutes, gently rub the stains with your fingers or a soft brush.
  • Rinse the jersey thoroughly until the water runs clear. Do not use hot water.
  • Finally, squeeze the excess water out gently.

Use a Washing Machine

You can also wash your basketball jersey using a washing machine by following these simple steps:

  • Turn your jersey inside out.
  • Pour a small amount of detergent into the washing machine.
  • Wash the jersey on the delicate cycle with cold water.
  • Avoid washers with agitators because they can stretch and damage the fabric.
  • Don’t add fabric softeners or bleach because they can damage the color of the jersey.
  • After the washing cycle has ended, remove the jersey and squeeze out the excess water.

Dry the Jersey

After washing your basketball jersey, you must dry it properly.

Follow these instructions for the best results:

  • Remove your jersey from the washing machine and lay it on a clean, dry towel.
  • Roll the towel and jersey together until all the excess water is out.
  • Place the jersey on a hanger in a well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause the colors to fade.
  • Let the jersey hang dry completely before trying it on.

Shrink the Jersey

Now that your basketball jersey is clean and dry, it’s time to shrink it.

Here are two ways you can shrink a basketball jersey:

  • Shrink the jersey in the washing machine: After washing it, rewash it in hot water. Use the dryer on its high heat setting to dry the jersey. Repeat the process if needed.
  • Shrink the jersey in the dryer: Place the clean, damp jersey on high heat for 10-15 minutes. Check on the jersey regularly to ensure it doesn’t shrink too much.

Following these simple instructions, you can wash and shrink your basketball jersey without damaging its material. Enjoy playing in a properly fitting jersey that makes you feel comfortable and confident on the court!

Air Drying and Machine Drying Methods for Shrinking a Basketball Jersey

Basketball jerseys don’t always fit snugly, making them uncomfortable for players. The good news is that you can shrink your basketball jersey using a few simple techniques.

One of the crucial steps is drying the jersey with proper techniques to achieve the desired fit.

This section discusses two drying techniques to shrink your basketball jersey effectively.

Air Drying Method

Air drying is one of the most common ways to dry clothes, including basketball jerseys.

Here are the key points to keep in mind when air-drying your jersey:

  • Prepare the jersey: Remove it from the washing machine and reshape it as needed. If there are any wrinkles, remove them by smoothing the jersey with your hands.
  • Hang the jersey: Use a hanger to hang the jersey. Use a hanger that fits the jersey; otherwise, it may stretch the material or cause any folds or bumps.
  • Air dry the jersey: Leave the jersey to dry in a well-ventilated area, out of direct sunlight. Make sure to keep away from any heat source that can cause damage.

Machine Drying Method

Many players prefer machine drying due to its effectiveness and efficiency. Machine drying can also be used to shrink a basketball jersey, but you need to follow the steps carefully:

  • Prepare the jersey: Remove it from the washing machine and reshape it as needed. Make sure to remove any wrinkles by smoothing the jersey with your hands.
  • Place the jersey in the dryer: Put the jersey into the dryer with a few towels. The jerseys need to be dried gently to prevent any damage to the fabric.
  • Set the temperature: Set the dryer to its highest temperature setting and spin cycle. Make sure to set the dryer to a medium heat setting and not to overheat the jersey.
  • Check the jersey periodically: Check the jersey every 10 minutes to prevent any damage. Once the jersey is dry to your satisfaction, remove it from the dryer.

Drying is an essential step in shrinking a basketball jersey. Use these techniques to dry your jersey and enjoy a more comfortable fit. Remember that different materials may react differently to drying techniques. Sometimes, you might want to go beyond the game, and we’ll explain how to dress up a basketball jersey for a stylish, sporty look in various settings.

So, carefully study the material before drying the jersey to avoid any damage.

Examining, Ironing, and Proper Storage of the Shrunken Basketball Jersey

After successfully shrinking your basketball jersey, you may think it is all done, but more must be done to maximize its durability.

Here are the post-shrinking care tips to help you provide the best care for your shrunken basketball jersey:

Examining Your Shrunken Basketball Jersey

Examining your shrunken jersey before proceeding with the ironing process would be best. You may spot minor damages, especially around the seams and stretchable areas.

Here are some tips to help you examine your jersey before ironing or storage:

  • Check for any loose threads or seams that might need repairing.
  • Look for stains, and use suitable stain removers to remove them.
  • Inspect under artificial or natural light to ensure nothing is missed.
  • Use fabric scissors to remove any stray fibers or fabric pills carefully.

Ironing Your Shrunken Basketball Jersey

After examining and repairing any damages, ironing your shrunken basketball jersey is the next step. Ironing helps restore its fresh look and evenness and prevents creases.

Here are some tips to help you iron your jersey:

  • Use low or medium heat to avoid melting the jersey.
  • For the best results, use the reverse side of the jersey.
  • Always iron collars and cuffs on the wrong side for the best results.
  • Do not spray water on the jersey or use steam ironing.

Proper Storage of the Shrunken Basketball Jersey

After examining and ironing your shrunken basketball jersey, storing it until your next big game is safe. Proper storage aims to avoid wrinkles and damage to the jersey.

Here are some tips to help you store your shrunken basketball jersey appropriately:

  • Wash and dry the jersey before storing it to remove leftover dirt or stains.
  • Fold your jersey neatly and stack it with similar apparel.
  • Avoid compressing the jersey to minimize the risks of damage.
  • Store it in a dry and cool area, away from direct sunlight.

Shrinking your basketball jersey is like a rebound; the post-shrinking care is like dribbling before scoring. Examining, ironing, and properly storing the shrunken basketball jersey ensures maximum durability and a fresh look.

By following these tips, you will extend the quality of your jersey’s life while representing your team in style.

Additional Tips and Considerations for Shrinking a Basketball Jersey

While the initial steps of shrinking a basketball jersey involve washing and drying, additional tips and considerations can help ensure the best results.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind when working to shrink your basketball jersey:

1. Choose the Right Water Temperature to Wash the Jersey

When washing the jersey, the water temperature can significantly affect the outcome.

Consider the following tips:

  • Use hot water for the most significant shrinking effect.
  • Use warm water for moderate shrinkage.
  • Use chilly water for minor shrinkage.

2. Be Aware of the Jersey’S Material

Different materials react differently to heat during the shrinking process. Keep the material of the jersey in mind when adjusting the water temperature and drying method.

  • The cotton material will shrink more than synthetic materials like nylon or polyester.
  • Always follow the care label instructions carefully to avoid damaging the jersey material.

3. Don’t Over-Dry the Jersey

The drying cycle can also make a big impact on the outcome of the jersey shrinkage.

  • Dry the jersey until it is damp.
  • Avoid drying the jersey completely because it can cause the fibers to over-shrink.

4. Use Natural Air to Dry the Jersey

After damp-drying, lay the jersey flat on a clean surface and let it air dry naturally.

  • Air drying can help maintain the quality of the material and keep the design intact.
  • Avoid using dryer sheets or fabric softeners because they can damage the materials of the jersey.

Considering these additional tips and precautions when shrinking a basketball jersey, you can help ensure that the jersey shrinks evenly and maintains its quality. Discover creative ways to express your passion for the game as we explore how to style a basketball jersey to make a fashion statement that’s uniquely you.


How Can I Shrink My Basketball Jersey Without Damaging It?

To shrink your basketball jersey without damaging it, wash it in hot water and dry it on high heat. If necessary, repeat the process until you achieve the desired fit. However, be aware that repeated washing can cause the colors to fade and the fabric to wear out faster.

Can Any Type of Basketball Jersey Be Shrunk?

Most basketball jerseys are made of synthetic materials that can be shrunk. However, some jerseys that are made of 100% cotton or are pre-shrunk cannot be shrunk. Check the label before attempting to shrink your jersey.

How Much Can a Basketball Jersey Be Shrunk?

The amount that a basketball jersey can be shrunk depends on the material it is made of. Synthetic fibers can shrink up to 5% without losing shape or color. However, natural materials like cotton or wool can shrink up to 10%.

Be careful not to over-shrink your jersey.

Will Shrinking a Basketball Jersey Change the Design or Logo?

Shrinking a basketball jersey can sometimes cause the design or logo to become distorted. Turn your jersey inside out before washing and drying it to prevent this. If the design does become distorted, you may need to have it professionally reprinted.

How Do I Prevent My Basketball Jersey From Shrinking?

To prevent your basketball jersey from shrinking, always wash it in cold water and hang it to air dry instead of putting it in the dryer. Do not use fabric softeners or bleach, as these can break down the fibers and cause them to shrink.

Also, do not wring out your jersey when wet.


After going through this guide, it is safe to say that shrinking a basketball jersey is not rocket science. By following the steps enumerated here, you can easily make that loose-fitting jersey fit you like a glove.

You have learned the necessary temperature, fabric, and duration to make shrinking a success.

It is important to note that you should only apply heat to the area where you want it to shrink. Careful consideration should also be given to the type of material used in producing the jersey.

The next time you have a basketball jersey that is too big, go ahead and try out these easy steps.

Be sure also to read the fabric label to know the best tips. Doing so can save you the time and cost of taking the jersey to a tailor for adjustments.

Muktadir Risan is a passionate author behind the Pro Sports Hack. With a knack for sports hacks, tips, and tutorials, he shares his expertise to help sports enthusiasts gain a competitive edge. His concise and actionable content resonates with readers, inspiring them to elevate their game.