Everyone’s been there: A beloved tee, tank, sweater, jeans, or even a pair of socks becomes a bit too tiny after a wash. Fortunately, with this easy guide to unshrinking clothes, you can learn the essential steps to getting your clothes fitting just right once again. You can save your fave comfy clothes without any stress!
To begin, you’ll need a few necessary materials and tools, but you are likely to have these items already on hand, making the process even simpler. Gather your supplies and get ready to reverse those pesky shrunken laundry mistakes.
* Baby shampoo, hair conditioner, or white vinegar (if using hair conditioner, make sure it is not a type that contains any oil, as that can stain the clothing)
* Medium-size bucket or plastic tub (you can also use a utility sink or kitchen sink if you can allow the garment to soak undisturbed)
* Warm water
* Clean, dry bath towels
* For very shrunken clothing, several paperweights (you can substitute other items for paperweights if you don’t have them; just be wary of metal items that could lead to rust stains if left on the garment)
Now that you have what you need, it’s time to begin. Grab your women’s sweater, pants, turtlenecks, or other clothing that has shrunk, and start these simple steps.
Fill the bucket, tub, or plugged sink with warm water. The water should be lukewarm, not very warm or hot).
Add one to two tablespoons of either baby shampoo, hair conditioner, or white vinegar for every liter of water. Mix the relaxing agent of your choice gently around in the water with your hand, then add the garment and submerge it completely in the solution.
Gently massage the solution into the garment, taking care not to harm delicate fabrics. Then, set your timer and leave it to soak for approximately 30 minutes.
Gently wring excess water from the clothing—just to the point that it is not dripping wet. Because the amount of product used is minimal, it should not feel soapy or have a residue. If it does, rinse the item in cool water before continuing to step 5.
Lay the clothing item on top of a dry towel, then lay another dry towel over the top. Begin gently rolling the garment, squeezing excess water out carefully as you go.
Reshape the clothing, stretching as you go, to the correct size. Lay it on a flat surface or drying rack to air dry. At this point, the water and product solution should have relaxed the material fibers and helped it return to its original size. For very shrunken items, you may need to gently pull on the clothing and stretch it a bit more, allowing it to dry under the paperweights or weights to retain the newly stretched shape.
That’s it! Once your clothes are dried, you should be able to wear them comfortably and have them fit correctly once more. This method works on most shrinking mistakes because it softens and relaxes the fibers so that the item’s size enlarges slightly and goes back to normal.
Use these additional tips and tricks to help unshrink laundry:
* For some casual items, such as T-shirts, gently pulling at the hem and neckline simultaneously can add a bit of extra stretch back into the garment if it’s shrunken slightly.
* Another method for slightly shrunken items is to place it on a hanger while you’re in the shower; the steam may help it return to its normal size.
* If you notice garments that have shrunk while they are still damp, hang them on a hanger to dry. Sometimes the extra weight of hanging can enlarge it again.
* Try spraying the clothing with a touch-up anti-wrinkle spray (found in the cleaning/laundry aisle in most stores). Then gently pull the garment in different directions to slightly relax the clothing fibers.
While most fabrics, including cotton, are receptive to this easy method, not all materials will respond the same way. 100 percent cotton may be more receptive to this process than cotton blends.
Whether it comes to tunics or women’s jeans, these steps are simple to do and will help you unshrink clothes with ease. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that depending on how badly the shrinking is, these steps and tips may not work for every situation. If all else fails, don’t stress — just treat yourself to a new sweater, blouse, skinny jeans, or other clothing item and you can still feel great!