We all have our laundry day disasters, but few things inspire panic like seeing your best work shirt or your favourite pair of jeans come out of the machine in miniature. But don’t throw them out just yet – it’s easy to learn how to unshrink clothes.
What causes clothes to shrink?
Clothing shrinkage happens when heat from the dryer (or an accidental boil wash) changes the structure of the garment. Heat makes the threads expand and loosens the weave in the fabric, especially in a loosely-woven stretchy T-shirt. It’s annoying, but often reversible. You just need to learn how to stretch clothes using stuff you have at home.
How to stretch a shirt
When it comes to learning how to unshrink your clothes, getting a cotton shirt back to its original size is easy. Here’s how to stretch a shirt in a few quick steps:
- Fill a sink or bucket with warm (not hot) water and drop in two tablespoons of ordinary hair conditioner or baby shampoo.
- Leave it to soak for 30 minutes.
- Drain away the water (without rinsing the shirt) and wring out the fabric.
- Lay the shirt flat on a towel and roll it up to get rid of the excess water.
- Unroll the towel and lay the shirt flat again.
- Stretch the shirt out with your hands and use safety pins or a heavy object to pin it.
Air dry your shirt either hanging up or lying flat. Once it’s dry, it should be back to normal. If there are traces of conditioner left behind, just throw it in a (cool!) wash with a detergent you trust, like Skip.