Editor’s note: I updated this post because so many readers added in their ideas. Read and become enlightened…and…unshrunk.
I do laundry with a certain level of ferocity. If I can’t bleach something into submission, I’ll stick it in the dryer on high heat until it screams “Uncle!”
While I recognize this is probably foolish, I didn’t really care until I shrunk my Juicy Couture velour pants. The most comfortable item I own! I wept until I found this brilliant solution. It does work, as evidenced by Juicy sweatpants. Bookmark. You’ll need it eventually. Many thanks to OneGoodThingByJillee
Be sure to scroll to the bottom for additional ideas from the community here at The Todd & Erin Favorite Five.
How To Un-Shrink Clothes
- Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add a capful of cheap conditioner into the water.
- Let the item soak in the conditioner-water and gently work it through. You’re relaxing the fibers in the clothing.
- Remove the garment from the conditioner water and gently squeeze it out.
- Take a large towel and lay the clothing flat on it.
- Roll the towel up with the clothing inside it.
- The towel is soaking up the extra moisture, so your clothing is damp but not wet.
- Then, get another dry towel and put the piece of clothing out on the dry towel.
- Gently stretch the clothing item as it lays out to dry.
- Continue to do this until the clothing item returns to its original size. Allow the item to air dry on the towel.
- I’ve had the most success with hanging sweaters and such from a sturdy wooden hanger to air dry. The hanger is strong enough to hold the garment during stretching, and keeps the shape a little better.
Excellent ideas from our readers:
It was a painful habit for me to learn, but we really do hang most everything and dry only towels and socks in the dryer. The above is why.
When hanging things up to dry, GENTLY stretch them back out first to do the same thing that you did up above, pulling the fibers back out, for items that should never go into the dryer (some people simply lay or hang them or clip them).
This is good to know for the after-the-facts tho…30 days after I threw out my trackie pants (d’oh!).
When my kids were young and growing tall too quickly I would wash their jeans as usual and dry them only for 5 minutes to soften them a bit. Then I would fold the jeans in half lengthwise and put the pant legs is a door way and close the door. Once closed I would pull on the still wet jeans until they didn’t stretch anymore. I got as much as 2 inches once stretched. Note: you need to put the jeans in the door way so when you pull you’re pulling the direction that closes the door.
I am on the tall side for a woman (5’9″ ) so shrinking clothes is devastating. Most of my knits I dry on low so they finish damp and hang up.
This is not a permanent fix if you throw them in the dryer you will have to stretch them out again, I run a laundromat so I see alot of this, All you have to do is wash in cold water as usual and make sure to use a liquid softener in the rinse cycle to relax the fibers . Remove item from wash stretch out and leave to air dry.