If you’re like the rest of us, it's likely you have gone to take out your favorite shirt from the dryer only to find it has shrunk two sizes. Yes, this can be a disheartening experience, but all hope is not lost.
No one wants their favorite shirts to shrink, and because of this, we have rounded up some tips and advice on how to prevent shirts from shrinking so you don’t have to worry about always having to buy a size up or discarding shirts altogether.
Keep reading for our top suggestions on how to keep your shirts from shrinking when you clean them with Tru Earth's eco-friendly laundry detergent strips.
What Causes Clothes To Shrink?
Clothes will shrink for a number of reasons, however, it mainly has to do with fibers and moisture in fabric. When clothes are washed, their fibers absorb moisture from the environment, which causes them to swell. Then during the drying process, these expanded fibers exert tension on the garment’s fit, leading to noticeable shrinkage.
High heat from a clothes dryer greatly accelerates this process, often resulting in clothes that are significantly smaller than when they started. Understanding why clothes shrink can help us better adapt our laundry routine and techniques in order to avoid those frustrating cases of clothes that just don't fit anymore after washing.
However, even though you can do everything right when it comes to shrinking clothes, there are fabrics that are more prone to shrinking. These fabrics will be listed below.
What Types of Fabrics Shrink?
When it comes to shrinking fabrics, cotton is the one most known to shrink. This is the case because when cotton is made, there is plenty of tension being applied to the fabric, which creates various sizes. Due to this, washing or drying this fabric will loosen the tension, and allow the fabric to fall back into its original shape.
Apart from cotton, the other fabrics that shrink include:
Ultimately, fabrics that are made from synthetic fibers, like all these listed above, are more prone to shrinking, no matter what steps you follow when washing and drying.
How To Keep Clothes From Shrinking
Even though there are countless fabrics that are more prone to shrinking, some things can still be done to mitigate the amount an item will shrink. Listed below are some recommended steps that you can follow, to do all your can in the fight against shrinking clothes.
Check the Fabric Care Labels On Your Clothes
This is an important step that must be done when it comes to washing your clothing carefully. On every item of clothing it contains a care label. This care label has laundry symbols and instructions so that you know what to do in terms of washing and drying for the best possible outcome.
Some care labels will claim the clothing is pre-shrunk, or that it needs to be dry cleaned only. This will give you a bit of an idea as to what to do when it comes to washing and drying.
Use Cold Water and the Proper Wash Cycles
After checking the care labels, you can then proceed to start washing. First and foremost, choosing the correct laundry detergent is key. When choosing a laundry detergent, it's important to find one that is not only good for your clothes, but good for the environment.
Luckily, Tru Earth's eco-friendly laundry detergent strips are the perfect solution. Our laundry strips offer powerful cleaning without sacrificing health or the environment! We use only the best ingredients and are free of parabens, phosphates, dyes, and chlorine bleach.
This makes these strips both hypoallergenic and vegan friendly as certified by dermatologists and independent laboratory tests respectively. Overall, laundry strips provide an eco-friendly, convenient and cost effective solution for people who want to keep their clothes looking clean and new for longer.
With these pre-measured strips, washing your clothes can be easy. And, ensuring they won't shrink can be done effectively. To do so, using the proper detergent, cold water, and the proper wash cycles will be crucial.
It's best to avoid heavy duty settings and warm water. Sometimes, using a mesh laundry bag can be done to really make sure that nothing will lose its size.
Select the Appropriate Drying Setting
Drying your clothes after you wash them may be the riskiest step. Clothes that like to shrink, will likely shrink while drying. Which is why it's recommended to use a tumble dry setting or air dry setting. Equally, it's good to know that overdrying can cause shrinkage, so sticking to these settings for the best amount of time is key.
On the other hand, you can always opt for air drying your clothes. Sometimes, hanging clothes inside in a laundry room, or outside on a clothesline, can be the best choice to ensure no shrinking happens.
Does Cold Water Shrink Clothes?
No! Cold water doesn't shrink clothes, however, hot water can be a large factor of clothes shrinking. Hot water causes fabric damage, and visible shrinkage.
Do Clothes Shrink in the Washer or the Dryer?
This is a question that many will ask, and honestly, the answer can vary. However, generally speaking, clothes will shrink more in the dryer if the proper setting isn't used. Similar to the question above, heat will cause fabric damage and shrinking clothes.
Additionally, over drying clothes will also cause them to shrink. Which means that air drying clothes, or drying properly in the machine and finishing them off with an air dry, will be beneficial in the fight against shrinking clothes.
How To Reverse Shrinking Clothes
In order to reverse the shrinkage of fabrics, a very straightforward process can be done. Begin by filling a sink with lukewarm water and adding two tablespoons of hair conditioner. Once this mixture is ready, submerge the garment in it and let it soak for 30 minutes. After this time, wring out as much water as possible from the fabric before laying it out on a towel.
The next step is to roll up the towel and press down firmly to help remove any remaining excess water. Then stretch out the garment as far as you can while still being careful not to pull too hard or damage the material. Now that all of these steps have been completed, leave the fabric to air dry completely before using it or putting it away for storage.
During this period, make sure that there are no sources of direct heat nearby since that could also cause shrinking or other types of damage to occur over time. By following these tips, you should be able to restore your garments without any further issues or problems.