How to Unshrink Clothes

How to Unshrink Clothes

Let’s face it, accidentally shrinking our favourite tops, jeans and knitwear is a mistake that happens more often than we would like to admit. While there are many reasons why clothes shrink, there are also simple solutions on how to unshrink your clothes at home, which we are excited to share with you!

9th November 2019
How to Unshrink Clothes

Heat from the dryer or hot water in the washing machine is the primary suspect to why your clothes have shrunk.

 

How to Unshrink Clothes

Depending on what item of clothing has had a washing machine or dryer mishap, there are a handful of ways to unshrink your tops, knitwear, jeans or anything in between. In essence, to unshrink your clothes, you need to find a way to loosen the fibres and stretch them back out to the right size.

 

 

How to Unshrink Cotton Clothes

1. Start by filling a container with warm (not boiling) water, such as a bucket or laundry basin.

2. Add 2 or 3 heaped tablespoons of hair conditioner to your container. Any hair conditioner will work but those labelled for ‘sensitive scalps’ or ‘gentle’ appear to work better.

3. Mix the conditioner into the water as best as you can. Don’t worry if it stays a bit chunky, it will still work the same.

4. Fully immerse the piece of clothing in the water for 30 minutes, giving it plenty of time to soak in our magical concoction.

5. Once the timer is up, rinse off the conditioner under lukewarm water.

6. Begin stretching your garment back to its original size with firm tugs.

7. Once stretched, air-dry your garment by hanging it up somewhere breezy.

 

How to Unshrink Knitwear

This method is a variation of the way we unshrink cotton clothes, however, it features a few changes to help stretch out animal fibres such as wool and cashmere.

1. Start by filling a container with warm (not boiling) water, such as a bucket or laundry basin.

2. Next, add a tablespoon of vinegar or Borax for every litre of water in the container.

3. Fully immerse the piece of clothing in the water for 30 minutes.

4. While the knitwear is soaking, stretch it out while submerged until it reaches its original size.

5. Once the knitwear has been stretched, take it out of the water and squeeze as much water out of it as you can.

6. To help the knitwear stretch while it dries, stuff it with towels to help it retain its original size. If needed, continue to stretch the garment in this step.

7. Finish the process off by air drying your knit away from direct sunlight or in a hot breeze.

 

How to Unshrink Denim

1. Start by filling a bathtub with warm (not boiling) water.

2. Put your shrunk jeans on (if you can) and sit in the bath for 15 minutes.

3. After that, walk around, sit, squat and lunge for an hour to stretch them to size.

If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can use the same method as how to unshrink cotton to achieve the same results.

 

What Causes Shrinkage

The two main culprits that cause your clothes to shrink are heat and agitation.

• Heat from the dryer or hot water in the washing machine is the primary suspect to why your clothes have shrunk. Heat loosens the threads of the fabric, relaxing the material and allowing it to shrink in size.

• Agitation occurs when your garments are pulled and pushed while in the washing machine, causing the fibres to bundle up and shrink.

 

How to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking

It may be common sense but following the instructions on the label is the best way to prevent shrinkage. If you can’t access the label, read our care guides on how to love your wool, knits and denim.

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