Reverse Common Laundry Mistakes by Learning How to Unshrink Clothes

It’s happened to us all. You pull your favorite sweater out of the dryer only to find that it’s now a perfect fit for your Chihuahua. Regret sinks in as you realize the sweater should have been air dried. If only you could go back in time.

The shrinkable doesn’t have to be unthinkable. Before you head for the donation drop-off, try these tips and tricks to unshrink jeans, wool sweaters and cotton clothing. It is possible to reverse these common mishaps as you learn how to unshrink clothes.

How to Unshrink Jeans

Your go-to pair of jeans are perfect for a day at home or an evening out with friends. When they shrink, it’s disappointing. But don’t worry—there are ways to unshrink clothing and stretch those jeans back into shape.

  • Try baby shampoo.
    • Add the jeans to a basin of lukewarm water mixed with a small amount of baby shampoo. Soak for about 30 minutes. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible and allow them to air dry.
  • It’s bath time.
    • Squeeze into the jeans if possible and sit in warm water in the bathtub for about 15 minutes. Gently stretch the jeans with your hands. Leave the tub and squeeze out as much water as possible. Continue to wear the jeans for about an hour (if you can handle it). Then allow them to air dry.

How to Unshrink a Wool Sweater

Washing your wool sweater in warm or hot water can cause it to shrink. So can running it through the dryer. But don’t panic—there is hope to restore it back to its original shape.

How to Unshrink Cotton Clothing

Cotton clothing is comfy and cozy for everyday wear, yet it’s susceptible to shrinking. Not to worry—there are several tricks to unshrink cotton clothes. One option is to follow the tip above for wool sweaters. You can also try these other tips.

  • Spray and shrink.
    • Mix a capful of fabric softener with warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the front and back of the clothing evenly on a flat surface. Then gently stretch the garment back to its original size and hang it up to air dry.   
  • Use white vinegar and hair conditioner.

Reverse the Mistake and Restore the Shape

Shrink the problem by unshrinking clothing. The next time you accidentally toss your wool sweater or favorite jeans in the dryer, follow these simple tips to get things back into shape.