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Guide to Prevent Clothes From Shrinking

Prevent your favourite clothes from shrinking. Here's how:

Updated

Guide to Prevent Clothes From Shrinking

Prevent Your Clothes from Shrinking

When it comes to preventing shrinkage of your clothes and other laundry items – the most important tip to impart is to check, check and check again!

Checking the laundry care label of all your garments before you wash them, is the first and most important step in how to stop clothes from shrinking. Some clothes need to be washed at a certain temperature for best results, some clothes cannot be washed in the washing machine but require hand washing, and some clothes require a certain setting of the washing machine to be washed and to prevent stretching or shrinking. There are a variety of care instructions that differing fabrics require – so let us say it again; check, check and check again!

Once you've checked how the garment can and should be washed, there are a few other handy tips to follow to ensure that shrinkage in the clothes department is a thing of the past.

Read on to find out more about why clothes shrink and how to prevent clothes from shrinking in the wash.

What Causes Clothes to Shrink?

Clothes shrink when the absorbent fibres of the garment are exposed to either moisture, heat or excessive action under the incorrect conditions.

In the case of moisture exposure, fibres soak up the liquid, swell, stretch and then shrink again when drying, which causes the fabric to shrink. Shrinkage can also be caused when fabrics that can’t handle it, are exposed to high heat like in the case of a tumble dryer. Finally, some fabrics can shrink when exposed to too much agitation like when clothes that should be hand washed are put in a washing machine.

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All of these factors could lead to clothing shrinking. Here are a few tips to prevent this from happening the next time you do the laundry.

How to Stop Clothes from Shrinking

Here are our top three tips for preventing the shrinking of your clothes, including how to stop t-shirts shrinking as well.

Tip 1 – Check the Label

Read the care label of every garment you wash first. Some fabrics require cold wash only, or hand wash only, or no tumble drying etc. These directions are put there in order to let you know under what conditions the fabric should be washed to prevent shrinking and other damage.

Tip 2 – Wash Cold

As a general rule, if you wash clothes on the coldest wash cycle possible, you can prevent shrinking of most fabrics. Cotton fabric in particular must be washed on a cold cycle.

Tip 3 – Air Dry

The tumble dryer – albeit a wonderful, helpful tool to have in the home for certain fabrics – can cause shrinkage in a lot of clothing items. It is always wise to hang your clothes on the wash line and allow them to air dry outside to prevent shrinkage. If you do have to use the tumble dryer, check the garment care labels first to make sure they can be tumble dried.

For more cleaning tips and tricks, visit Cleanipedia today.

Originally published