7 Ways to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking  

When we were still kids, clothes shrinking seemed to be something that only happened in cartoons. A little something that made us laugh. That is until it finally happened in real life to your clothes.

Well, life is not a comedy act, and clothes shrinking are undoubtedly not funny when it happens in your laundry room! So, we’re here to help you keep your clothes in their original size!

1. Care Label

how to dry clothes without shrinking them

Always check the care label.

Some people never get to check the care label, while others check it out after they’ve bought the apparel and before they wash it. The truth is, everyone should check the care label before purchasing any clothes.

The care label will tell you many things that you need to know before committing to a garment. Usually, it lets you know what type of fabric you’re dealing with. It also tells you how to handle the clothes from start to finish. In addition, it can also tell you what products you can or cannot use.


With clothes made with natural fibers, you want to look for the preshrunk word in the care label. If it’s not there, it should be somewhere on the packaging. It is also possible not to find it. In that case, you might want to let go of that apparel.

Preshrunk means the fabric has been treated before it became a garment. This garment then should experience less shrinking in the future.

2. Cold Water

how to avoid shrinking clothes

The care label could also tell you about the washing temperature. Some clothes could endure hot washing temperatures, but if you want to avoid your clothes shrinking, then you might opt to wash them with cold water instead.

It is important to note that this alone will not ensure that your clothes will not shrink. However, choosing cold water over hot water is better in preventing shrinkage.

3. Laundry Cycle

how to stop clothes from shrinking

When it comes to the laundry cycle, you’d want to go with the most gentle option. With this setting, there would be less unnecessary movement inside the machine that could damage your clothes.

You might also want to opt to hand wash some of your favorite garments to ensure they don’t shrink. It would require a little more effort and time, but it could save tons of your favorite pieces.

4. Professionals

how to keep clothes from shrinking

Now, some pieces are best left to the professionals.

If you don’t have the time to spare for your favorite pieces, you might want to bring them to the experts instead.

5. Drying

how to keep shirts from shrinking

When it comes to drying, you’d want to choose the lowest heat setting on your dryer. Also, don’t let your clothes sit in the dryer for too long. Taking them out while they are still damp will help with the shrinkage problem.

However, if you could, it would be best to air-dry your clothes. It is the most gentle way to dry them.

In addition, air-drying offers many benefits, such as energy saving.

6. Ironing

how to make clothes not shrink

Not all clothes need good ironing, and you might want to skip this step if you’re scared of shrinking your favorite pieces.

One of the main reasons clothes shrink is too much heat. As you might already know, ironing uses heat. You might not want your beloved shirt to undergo the heat from the iron if it’s not necessary.

If you’re worried about wrinkling, there are other ways you can get rid of it. You can use ice cubes or even a damp rag. Throw one of these two inside the dryer with your clothes when you dry them. Make sure you take the clothes out as soon as possible and hang them. Otherwise, these methods might not work.

7. Be Careful

how to prevent shrinking clothes

Finally, you might want to be extra careful when wearing your favorite pieces.

As you might already know, stains could be challenging to remove.  Many methods include hot water and washing the clothes at the hottest washing temperature possible in removing stains. As we have said earlier, we want to avoid the heat, if possible, when trying to prevent shrinkage.

If you’re dealing with ink, oil, or anything that could stain your shirt, then you might want to wear an apron if you could.

If you’ve stained an article of clothing already and you’re worried it might shrink if you try to treat the stain, then going back to the care label would be a good idea.

Check what the hottest temperature the garment can take and don’t go above it. Additionally, you might want to focus more on blotting the stain out so the article of clothing won’t have to undergo the heat several times.


We’ve shown you how to prevent your clothes from shrinking. However, what if your clothes have shrunk already? Well, you don’t need to worry. There is still a chance to save your favorite articles of clothing.

Hot Water

You might be surprised, but the culprit might also be the solution! The following methods we’ll show you would all require some hot water, so make sure you have some ready!

Wear it in the Shower

how to prevent shirts from shrinking

Your clothes may now be smaller, but they probably still fit you. They might be a little snug and tight-fitting, but you could still probably wear them.

Wear them when you go and take a hot shower, and pull at them. Since you’ll be wearing the garments, then you would probably feel when you’ve done enough pulling.

On the other hand, it is a different story if we’re talking about jeans. Jeans could already be a little challenging to wear, especially skinny jeans, even before they’ve shrunk. You might not be able to wear them.

What you want to do with your jeans is soak them in hot water and pull a bit. Once you think you’ve stretched them enough for you to get into them, then wear them to the showers. This way, you’ll be able to adjust them until they fit great again.

Try to keep the garment you repaired on you for at least an hour. This way, your body will act as a kind of mold for the clothes.

Don’t pull too hard! You might do a different damage to the garment. Also, stop pulling when you think it’s back to its original size. If you don’t, then the clothes might stretch and become larger. That’s a whole new different problem we believe you don’t want.

Shampoo and Conditioner

how to stop shirts from shrinking

On the other hand, if you don’t like the idea of wearing your shrunken clothes while showering, then this next one might be for you.

Get a basin or a bucket, pour some hot water on it and add some shampoo or conditioner. You want to go for something mild. If you have baby shampoo, then that would be great.

Soak the affected clothes in it for a few minutes. After 5 to 10 minutes, you can start stretching. However, it might be hard to tell when to stop pulling when you can’t see the garment as a whole.

In that case, you can take the garment out of the solution. Wring out the water from it, but don’t wash it yet. After you’ve taken all the water you could out of the garment, place it on a clean surface. Start pulling.

Once you’re happy with the size, place something heavy on the corners. Let it sit like that for at least an hour.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

how to wash shirts without shrinking

Now, are we really talking about solving a laundry problem if baking soda or vinegar is not on the list? You can almost always find these two things in every kitchen. If not, they are easy to find in the grocery.

Because of how readily available they are and their amazing cleaning properties, you can almost always see these two things among the solutions for laundry problems.

This method is similar to using shampoo or conditioner.

Get a basin or a bucket and pour some hot water into it. Add some baking soda or vinegar and mix. As with the method above, you can start stretching immediately. However, you have to be a little more gentle if you’ll use vinegar.

Also, don’t forget to use only a small amount of vinegar to ensure you won’t ruin the clothes. To add, it would be a good idea to take a small amount of the solution and put a few drops of it in an inconspicuous part of the apparel before you start. This way, you’re sure the solution won’t ruin the garment.

It is important to note that it is not always possible to unshrink clothes, especially if they’ve shrunk a great deal and have been in that state for a long time already.


Are you still wondering how to prevent clothes from shrinking? Well, we hope not!

Shrinking clothes are a problem in more ways than one, but there is a way to stop it. Actually, there are ways to prevent it!

With the seven ways we’ve shown you how to keep your clothes in their original size, we hope you won’t have any shrinking clothes problems anymore!

how to prevent clothes from shrinking

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