Tips to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking

how to prevent clothes from shrinking

It is quite frustrating when you remove clothes from the dryer and find out that your favorite pair of trousers or shirt has shrunk to the point that you can wear comfortably. So what is the solution? How to prevent the clothes from shrinking?

We all hate it when our clothes shrink when we take them out of the laundry. The shirt that was perfectly fit suddenly becomes tight, or the sleeves do not fit anymore.

Here is an article on how to keep clothes from shrinking. But before exploring the tips, let’s have a look at why clothes shrink in the dryer. 

Why Do Clothes Shrink?

Have you ever thought about why clothes shrink? Even if you wash the clothes properly, shrinking can still happen.

If you have ever wondered why clothes go from human size to the size of a pet, then trust me, you are not alone. 

  • There is a simple answer to this question. Shrinking of the clothes is due to temperature, fiber, and agitation. 
  • When linen, cotton, or other synthetic fabrics are manufactured, their fibers are stretched, pulled, stressed, and twisted. Washing these fabrics and then drying them allows the fibers to relax, which returns them to their previous state. 
  • Nevertheless, wool and other fibers are covered from hairs on the microscopic scale. When they are processed into fabrics, they snag one another. When you wash these fabrics, strenuously leads the scales to tighten more, which in turn leads the garment to shrink. 

Different types of fabrics react in a different way. Clothes made of natural fibers like wool or bamboo have more capacity to stretch as compared to the man-made fibers like nylon and polyester. 

Weaves of loose fabric stretch more than the tight ones; however, the loose weaves also tighten when exposed to heat, water, and agitation. 

Many clothes shrink in the dryer. Different combination of rotation and heat is used in the dryer to remove moisture from the fabric.

It is always a good idea to use different materials like baking soda for laundry according to the cloth types. You should check the side effects of different materials on clothes in order to avoid side effects like shrinking.


Many fabrics shrink when they are exposed to high temperatures. 

How to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking?

Almost all the garments shrink to some extent as a result of wear and tear. Luckily, following certain tips can help you in keeping your clothes from shrinking.

Following the right laundry tips can make a difference and reduce shrinking. 

Know the Fabric

The shrinking effect of the dryer’s heat differs based on a specific type of fabric. Many fabrics shrink rather than expanding when they are exposed to high temperatures. Moreover, some fabrics shrink more as compared to others. 

Knowing the type of fabrics and those that are highly susceptible to shrink will help you make better decisions when washing and drying the clothes. 

Wool is highly susceptible to shrinkage. Clothes made of wool should be dried in a separate load. This soft material shrinks at high temperatures.

In addition to this, pure cotton fabrics are also susceptible to shrinkage. So know the fabrics can help you in avoiding the shrinkage of clothes. 

Check the Labels

When you purchase clothes, you should check their labels. In the case of natural fibers, check for the word “preshrunk.” 

Many clothing manufacturers make savings by stretching the fiber during the process of manufacturing. It allows them to use less fabric. 

Opt for buying clothes that have preshrunk mentioned on their labels. In these clothes, fabrics are preshrunk before cutting and sewing the garment. It allows less shrinkage during the lifetime of the cloth. 

Read the Tips to Take Care of Clothes

After buying clothes, read the label and go through the tips to take care of the cloth. Washing and dry cleaning tips are mentioned on the labels.

In addition to this, the labels also include information about the laundry cycle, dryer cycle, and water temperature.

Following these recommendations can help you in keeping the clothes from shrinking. 

Use Cold Water

Using cold water while washing the clothes will not help avoid shrinking, using cold water helps avoid damage to the clothes compared to the warm water. 

Use Gentle Washer Cycle

Hand washing or gentle cycle present in the washer is also less damaging as compared to the cycles with longer agitation.

These cycles have high spin cycles of rotations in order to extract water. It can be damaging and can lead the cloth to shrink. 

So it is better to hand wash the fabrics that are susceptible to shrinkage. It will help in avoiding the shrinking of clothes and managing them in good condition. 

Use Front Loading Washers 

The top-loading or front-loading washers with high efficiency and no center agitators are less damaging.

They cause less shrinkage to the clothes as compared to the normal top-loading washers. 

In high-efficiency washers, the tumbling action is gentle on the fabrics. Whereas in the forced fabrics, it is less gentle on the clothes, which leads them to shrinkage. 

Air Dry

It is better to allow the clothes to air dry. It is the most gentle and effective method and helps in avoiding shrinkage.

In the case of knits or loosely woven fabrics, it is better to dry the fabric on a flat surface. It will also help in preventing shrinkage. It is a perfect solution to the question of how to not shrink clothes. 

Use Low Heat Settings

In case you can not air dry the clothes, you should dry the clothes in the dryer on low heat settings.

After that, remove the clothes while they are a little bit damp and then allow them to air dry. Excess heat is not good for the fabrics.

Tips to Prevent the Clothes from Shrinking

We all love our clothes, and seeing them shrinking can be disappointing. Here are some tips to prevent clothes from shrinking. 

  • Opt for the lowest heat setting in order to dry the clothes.
  • Read and follow the instructions mentioned on the labels of the garments.
  • Do not dry your clothes multiple times. It is okay to dry them only one time.
  • In order to dry cotton and wool garments, opt for buying a sweater drying rack. 
  • Opt for air-drying the clothes. 
  • Wash the clothes using cold water settings in the washing machine. 
  • Once you finish drying a load of laundry, remove the clothes immediately from the unit and then fold them. 

Final Words by Fix The Life

It is not difficult to prevent the clothes from shrinking. All you need to do is be careful while washing and drying the clothes. It will help you to avoid shrinking of the clothes and keeping them in good condition. 

Follow the above-mentioned tips on how to prevent the clothes from shrinking if you do not want your clothes to shrink. If you find the above-mentioned tips helpful, drop a comment.