How to unshrink your clothes after washing

Jan 19, 2020
Un-shrink your clothing by following this super simple method. Source: Getty

When your favourite top or pair of jeans shrinks in the wash it can really dampen your day with your money effectively just going down the drain.

Instead of being the perfectly fitted piece of clothing you purchased from the store just days ago, the item now resembles something one of your grandchildren could fit into. But, while your first thought is probably to throw it in the bin or hand it over to the Salvation Army or Vinnies, there are ways to bring shrunken clothes back to their former glory.

It might seem impossible, but there is a super simple way to stretch out clothes after they’ve shrunk and it won’t cost you a fortune as you most likely already have the products sitting in your bathroom cupboard.

All you need is baby shampoo or soft conditioner, lukewarm water, a towel and a sink. First you need to place the item of clothing in the sink, then fill it with lukewarm water and add two tablespoons of your shampoo or conditioner. The shampoo or conditioner (whichever you choose to use) helps to relax the fibres of the clothing and makes it easier to stretch back into shape.

Next, you’ll need to let it soak for around 30 minutes, rinse and dry. The best way to remove the excess water is to place it on a towel, roll it up tightly, then carefully unroll and lay it flat to dry. Once you’ve laid it out, gently pull at the garment to stretch it out. You can also pin the edges or use heavy objects to help it stretch while it dries.

You may be a little skeptical of the method but it really works, in fact many people have raved about the solution online.

“Oh my goodness! I tried this and I didn’t expect it to work but it has and it’s amazing! I love it!” @BearPope-Terry wrote on a YouTube video of the method.

“Thank you so much! I had just gotten a new shirt and was devastated to see it shrunk. But this helped so much!” @KendylMassey commented.

“Thank you so much. I just got myself out of a lecture. I took a sweater from my older sister and threw it into the dryer unknowingly. This tip worked great!” @MadiSteady added.

If you’re wanting to stretch out cashmere or other items of clothing made from animal fibres you’ll need to use vinegar instead of shampoo or conditioner. Meanwhile, for jeans there is a whole different method to stretching.

Instead of sitting the jeans in a tub of water and letting them soak, you can sit in a lukewarm bathtub for 15 minutes while wearing them. After soaking you should walk around wearing the wet jeans to assist with stretching, and if you’re up for a bit of light exercise, do some squats as well! But, if this method sounds too complicated (or odd), plain old baby shampoo or conditioner should do the trick too.

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Have you ever tried this un-shrinking method? Did it work for you?

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