Have you ever taken your favorite shirt out of the dryer only to find out it’s now a 5-year-old sized? You are not alone in this case. What caused this, and how to prevent clothes from shrinking? Let’s find out below.
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Understanding the Causes of Shrinking
Many factors might contribute to shrinking, depending on the fabric type. In general, a garment is more prone to shrink the more cotton it contains. Numerous variables affect how much it shrinks.
First, how long the garment has been in hot water. The rule of thumb is that your clothing will have shrunk by roughly 1% after 10 minutes in the wash. You should expect 2% shrinkage in the wash and the dryer after ten minutes, respectively.
The water temperature is another factor that causes shrinking. Your garment is more susceptible to shrink the hotter the water temperature is. Hot water causes the garment’s colors and fibers to wash out more quickly, damaging its elasticity.
Also, your garment will shrink more often if you wash them using hot water and dry them in high-heat settings. Hence, it’s crucial to know how to prevent clothes from shrinking in the dryer to keep the initial shape of your favorite garment.
So, How to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking?
If you look up on the internet how to prevent shrinkage, you will find a lot of ways. Some tips are better than others; therefore, it’s advised to use the following tips as a guide.
1. Check Fabric Care Labels Before You Laundry Clothing
The first step to keep your clothes from shrinking is to check the care labels. All clothing items come with one care tag, and this label is there for a reason, namely to inform its users of the proper way to take care of the product.
Therefore, always check the care labels on any clothing items you want to purchase so you know what you ought to expect before laundry. Care labels can give you information if the garment is pre-shrunk or susceptible to shrinking. Some garments even can only be washed on a dry clean.
Simply put, care labels tell you how to prevent clothes from shrinking if you adhere to what’s on the labels. By following the suggested washing method, there will be no more shrinking clothes.
2. Use Cold Water and the Water Cycle Properly
Most of the time, you won’t experience any shrinking garments if you wash them in cold water. While most fabrics can be washed, some can’t stand up well to heat. Hot water and high-heat dryer can harm the garment by melting its fibers and dyes.
Low-thermal-resistant apparel will be more prone to shrink under high-temperature water. Therefore, it’s best to use cold water to preserve the garment’s shape and longevity so that you can wear your favorite clothes for longer.
3. Choose the Right Water Speed Setting
Aside from using cold water, you should pay attention to the water speed setting when washing using a machine. Avoid using a high spin setting and, instead, use a gentle speed setting and tumble cycle. If not, you will put your garment at risk because it will be severely wrinkled or shrinking.
Clothes that always get washed with low-temperature water with delicate speed settings are not susceptible to shrinking. Let alone if they are washed by hand rather than a machine. There won’t be such a thing as shrinking clothes.
4. Do Not Over Dry Laundry
When it comes to drying clothes using a machine, it would be best to set your dryer at the lowest setting. You may also consider using an air dry or tumble dry setting because both can help prevent shrinkage while drying your garments quickly.
To preserve your garment’s shape while drying, the care label on the garment can tell you the recommended temperature for drying. Do not set the dryer setting above the advised setting since it can damage your garment and makes it more prone to shrinkage.
5. Remove Laundry from the Dryer As Soon As Finished
Do not ever leave your clothes in the dryer for an extended period of time. Take them out when the drying process is finished or when they are still damp. This will help you with the shrinking clothes issue.
If possible, you can air dry your clothes using a hanger or clothes clips. Not only does it prevent your clothes from shrinking, but air dry is the most environmentally friendly option. It can also help you save money on electricity costs.
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The rule of thumb on how to prevent clothes from shrinking is to always use cold water, a delicate speed setting, and a low-heat dryer setting. If you don’t mind spending time and effort, it’s advised to wash your clothes by hand and dry air them. These will help you preserve the shapes and longevity of your favorite clothes.