Clothes shrinking is a huge problem for many people. How to prevent clothes from shrinking can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! In this blog post, we will share 7 Tips to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking.
Following these simple steps that you can take in order to keep your clothes from shrinking without too much work on your part.
Few things are worse than pulling your favorite shirt out of the dryer with the intention of wearing it only to realize that it has shrunk to an original size that would be more fitting for a toddler. Unfortunately, pretty much everyone has been there at least a time or two. While doing laundry techniques isn’t something that is inherently difficult, it’s easy to make mistakes that could cost us our favorite clothing.
How to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking?
There are plenty of tips and tricks to help prevent you from making this frustrating (and potentially expensive) mistake. Keep reading to discover 7 tips to prevent your clothes from shrinking:
1. Read the Tag
This tip is by far the easiest. But most of the time, it’s overlooked. Just about every piece of clothing you buy has a tag that details what type of fabric(s) it is made from and how to take proper clothing care for it. Simply taking the time to read the tag and learn what those little laundry symbols mean will most likely enable you to properly care for your clothing without shrinking or otherwise damaging it.
2. Know Your Fabric
Know the types of fabrics of the apparel. Most fabrics will shrink to some extent when exposed to high temperatures. Some shrink more than others, though. Wool is, by far, one of the worst offenders when it comes to shrinkage, so it is best to wash garments made from this fabric separately. One hundred percent cotton garments tend to shrink, too, especially the first time you wash them. If you want to avoid the hassle, buy pre-shrunk t-shirts or shop for t-shirt fabrics that will last longer and withstand shrinkage, such as polyester or cotton/poly blends.
3. Wash Using Cold Water
High temperatures cause many fabrics to shrink, so it’s smart to wash your shrunken clothes in cold water rather than warm or hot. While detergents used to require hot water in order to work properly, most modern products clean just as well in cold water. There are also detergents that are specially formulated exclusively for use in warm water and cold water if you are concerned about effectiveness or cleaning power.
4. Hand Wash Delicate Fabrics
If you have garments that are made from delicate fabrics, such as cotton, linen, wool, or silk garments, consider hand washing them rather than throwing them in the washing machine. All you need to do is fill up your sink or a basin with cold water and a bit of laundry detergent. Swirl your clothes around a bit and then let them soak. Rinse thoroughly and then hang or lie flat to dry. This takes more time than washing clothes in a washing machine. But it’s a good way to keep your garments from shrinking and help them maintain their shape.
5. Air Dry Your Clothes
Washing delicate clothes in cold water won’t do a whole lot of good if you throw them in a hot dryer afterward. In fact, the dryer settings often do more damage than the washer when it comes to shrinking t-shirts and other garments. For this reason, it is best to allow your garment air drying process whenever possible. Hang it on a clothesline or place it on a drying rack.
If you are hanging your clothes outside to dry cycles, though, it’s best not to hang them in direct sunlight on a hot sunny day. It may absorb excessive heat from the sun. And if you are drying them indoors, keep them away from radiators and other heat sources.
The amount of time that it will take for your delicate clothes to air dry depends on the ambient temperature, humidity, and thickness of the fabric. It can take up to 24 hours for a garment to completely dry, though. If you are in a hurry and need to use your dryer, use the lowest heat setting possible. It takes longer to dry clothing using no or low heat, but doing so lowers the risk of shrinkage.
6. Be Careful with the Iron
If you have clothing that needs to be ironed, keep in mind that the heat from the iron could cause the fabric to shrink a bit. Of course, it can also cause other types of damage, too. Always be mindful of the heat setting when using an iron, and use the lowest setting possible. This will help to minimize the damage. If possible, use a de-wrinkling spray instead of an iron. These products are made to make your garments look fresh and wrinkle-free without the use of potentially damaging heat.
7. When in Doubt, Take It to the Dry Cleaner
Some clothing simply is not meant to be washed at home. Garments that are made from cashmere, some types of wool, and other delicate fabrics are nearly impossible to wash at home without causing damage. If you own clothing with a tag that says “Dry Clean Only” or that you are especially afraid of damage, take it to a dry cleaner. Professional dry cleaning costs a bit of money, but it is a much better option than trying to wash an expensive garment at home and ruining it.
How to keep clothes from shrinking in the dryer?
There are few things as frustrating as clothes that you’ve just washed and dried shrinking in the dryer. It’s hard to know how to prevent clothes from shrinking, but with these four easy steps, it’s not difficult at all! Prevent Clothes from Shrinking by following these steps:
- Avoid overdrying your clothes.
- Don’t use too much detergent or fabric softener.
- Prevent Clothes from Shrinking by using a low-temperature setting on the dryer.
- Prevent Clothes from Shrinking by ironing them before they’re completely dry.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to keeping your clothing looking great and preventing clothes from shrinking, special care needs to be taken when laundering it. Heat is the greatest enemy of many fabrics, so it is best to use cold water and avoid the dryer and iron whenever possible.
Always pay special attention to the apparel’s care labels on your clothing. Following the instructions could save you a lot of frustration and prevent you from accidentally damaging your favorite clothes. If the garment label suggests having the garment dry cleaned, don’t try to save yourself some money by washing it yourself. You will likely shrink or otherwise damage it in an irreparable way.
Properly caring for your clothing and keeping it from shrinking doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require a bit of effort. Take the time to make sure that you are following the proper care protocols, though, and you will be able to keep your favorite clothes from shrinking and keep them in their original shape for years to come.