How to Unshrink Your Clothes: A Simple and Effective Method

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.15 - 2024 3:02 PM CET

Did your favorite outfit shrink in the wash? Don't worry! Learn how to easily restore shrunken clothes to their original size with this quick and effective method.

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It happens to the best of us: a beloved shirt or pair of pants comes out of the wash significantly smaller than when it went in.

But before you consider donating your shrunken clothes, try this surprisingly simple method to bring them back to their original size.

Step-by-Step Guide to Unshrinking Clothes

This method uses basic household items and can save your shrunken garments in just a few simple steps:

Step 1: Prepare Your Solution

Fill a basin with lukewarm water—ensure it's body temperature to avoid further shrinkage. Add a generous amount of hair conditioner to the water. The conditioner helps relax the fibers of the fabric, making them easier to reshape. Stir the mixture until the conditioner is well dissolved.

Step 2: Soak and Absorb

Submerge your shrunken garment in the conditioner solution and let it soak for about five minutes. This soaking process allows the fibers to soften and become more pliable. After soaking, remove the garment from the water and gently squeeze out excess liquid without rinsing. Lay the garment flat on a clean, dry towel.

Step 3: Roll and Stretch

Roll the towel with the garment inside to absorb more moisture. This helps the fabric to dampen evenly without becoming too wet. After a few minutes, unroll the towel and lay the garment on another dry towel. Gently stretch the clothing back to its original size. Be careful not to overstretch; gently tug and adjust the fabric to its desired shape.

Tips for Best Results

  • Use a mild hair conditioner to avoid any potential damage to the fabric.

  • For wool or cashmere, use a specific wool and cashmere conditioner for better results.

  • Allow the garment to air dry on a flat surface after stretching to maintain its shape.

Why This Method Works

The hair conditioner loosens up the fibers of the fabric, making them more elastic and easier to manipulate back into their original form. This method is particularly effective for cotton and knit fabrics, which are prone to shrinking.

By following these steps, you can rescue your favorite clothes from the donation bin and extend their life in your wardrobe. This quick fix not only saves money but also keeps your cherished garments wearable for longer.

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