3 Tips for Preventing Your Clothes from Shrinking While Doing Your Laundry

man and woman at laundromat with shrunken shirt

Photo credit: Shutterstock

We’ve all been there before; you toss your favorite sweater or jeans into the washer or dryer, only to find it shrunk down to an unwearable size. If you’ve ever wondered why your clothes go from human to child-sized after a laundry cycle, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution if you first understand what causes clothes to shrink in the first place. Below, we’re sharing a few helpful tips for preventing your clothes from shrinking.

What Causes Clothes to Shrink?

If you want to stop shrinkage in its tracks, you need to understand your fabric. Cotton, linen, and some synthetic fabrics are made by being pulled, stretched, and twisted. When you wash and dry them, it allows the fibers to relax and return to their pre-shrunken state. Wool and other furry fibers have a unique surface structure of overlapping scales which differs from the smooth surface of a typical synthetic fiber. Ideally, animal fibers should never see the inside of your dryer.

 

How to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking 

Always separate your laundry by fabric before washing. If you remember that heat and agitation are natural and animal fibers’ worst enemies, learning to avoid shrinkage is easy.

 

Always Check Fabric Care Labels Before Washing

Always read the care instructions to see what type of washing and drying cycle is best for your clothing. Pay careful attention to the recommended water temperature, laundry cycle, and drying instructions. Most natural fabrics require a gentle or delicate cycle, while wool and silk should be hand washed or dry cleaned.

 

Use Cool Water and Proper Wash/Dry Cycles

When you wash your clothing in hot water, more damage is caused. This can lead to shrinking and wear and tear on your clothes. While using cold water may not eliminate all types of shrinking, it will certainly decrease the likelihood of it happening. It’s also a good idea to avoid using heavy-duty wash cycles, which can further agitate your delicate fabrics.

Air Dry Your Clothes

If possible, air-dry your natural and animal fibers. Investing in drying racks or folding tables will give you the space to lay your clothes flat and let them dry on their own. If you absolutely must place your clothes in the dryer, choose a delicate cycle. Start drying your clothes on a low heat setting and then remove them while still damp. You can then allow them to air dry to complete the drying process. You can put very delicate clothing into mesh laundry bags to further protect them. When the cycle is complete, immediately remove laundry from the dryer to prevent shrinkage.

Why Choose Bakers Centre Laundry

At Bakers Centre Laundry, we are always here to help answer all your laundry questions, like “How to prevent clothes from shrinking?”. By following these handy tips, you can extend the life of your clothes and prevent shrinkage. If you’ve been searching for the nearest 24-hour laundromat that provides unbeatable customer service and is fully attended 24/7, look no further than our exceptional laundromat!