Help! My clothes shrink after washing them!
It is quit common that clothes shrink after washing them. But how does this happen and more importantly; what can we do about it? In this article we give you advice on how to prevent clothes from shrinking when you wash them.
Solutions for shrinking clothes
How often do you hear the advice to buy your clothes one size too big? “It will shrink when you wash it anyway,” is the logical explanation that follows. And then we nod in agreement, because we all know it. Us here at laundry-advice.com also shamefully have to confess that we turned many large size sweaters into puppet size clothes.
But what can you do to prevent this?
There are a couple of things to pay attention to when washing your clothes:
1. The temperature
This might be an open door, but make sure to wash your clothes on the right temperature. Too cold is not a problem, but too hot however will cause your clothes to shrink rapidly. Always check the label in your clothes for the appropriate washing temperature.
2. Usage of a dryer
Ever since the dryer found its way to the majority of the house holds, we hardly ever use our washing line anymore. Even if the sun is burning outside, you can still vaguely here the sound of dryers buzzing about inside. The dryer is a very handy invention, but it is not meant for every piece of laundry that you have. Using a dryer is the biggest cause for shrinking clothes. A dryer is designed to evaporate the water in your clothes. This is done at high temperatures. The sweater that you have just very carefully washed at a low temperature, will be exposed to very high temperatures anyway when you use a dryer. The result will therefore be the same: shrinkage. In other words, always check the label in your clothes to see what you can and can not put in the dryer. Usually you can use your dryer for towels, underwear and bed linen, but that is it. No regular clothes, unless you are okay with them shrinking a little bit.
3. The heater
We all know it. You have a party to go to in 3 hours, but then last minute you see a horrible stain on that one dress or t-shirt that you are dying to show off to your friends. You quickly throw it in the washing machine, but it comes out completely soaked. Luckily the heater is on so you throw it on there. 30 Minutes later, it is completely dry and good to wear to the party. But when you put it on, it turns out to have shrinked and not wearable anymore…Ever…
The same thing here applies as to the above statements regarding the dryer and washing temperature. High temperatures cause your clothes to shrink. The common rule is that clothes are allowed to shrink around 2% when you wash them according the label. But when using higher temperatures, that percentage will be a lot higher and your clothes will be unwearable after. Always make sure to follow the instructions in the label. If you decide to take your own path by speeding up the process, you risk causing your clothes to shrink.