Laundryheap Blog – Laundry & Dry Cleaning

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What Happens If My Clothes Shrink?

Laundry mistakes are inevitable – you can’t stop them. We love our clothes and want to take care of them but unfortunately, clothes shrinking is common. While this can be quite the heartache, you can still save your clothes even after they’ve shrunk. In this blog, we’ll provide the answer to the question ‘what happens if my clothes shrink?’.

What Happens if my clothes shrink

Firstly, it’s important we dive a little deeper into why clothes shrink. The most common reason is that the dryer’s temperature was too hot, and some clothes and fabrics shrink when exposed to high heat. We always recommend you read the labels to make sure your garment is suited for tumble drying.

Cotton, wool, and linen are usually materials that are prone to shrinking.

Now to the main question. If you do come across the ‘oh dear my clothes have shrunk’ moment, here is what to do.

Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add baby shampoo. Stir it well until you see bubbles. You can also use a conditioner that will help stretch the fibres of your garment.

After you’ve done that, put the shrunk garment in lukewarm water and leave it there between 30 minutes and one hour.

Once time has passed, remove the garment but make sure you’ve let the water drip back into the sink.

Then, get a large absorbent towel and roll up the garment inside to squeeze out the remaining water. If the garment is getting damp, then it means you are doing it right.

Finally, stretch your clothing out so it starts to reshape and then air dry it but monitor it carefully.

Clothes shrinking is a common laundry mistake but as our guide has shown, clothes can be recovered. However, we do recommend always reading care labels to prevent clothes from shrinking.

A reminder that our laundry services are available to you if you found yourself too busy to do laundry! No hassle and no clothes shrinking!

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To learn more about Laundryheap, visit our website or download the free app on iOS or Android.

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How To Unshrink Clothing

Did you know that the trick to unshrinking clothing is actually so simple? Even a 5 year old could do it (with instructions of course!)

Whether your clothes shrunk from putting it in the dryer when you’re not suppose to or not washing at the right temperature, this issue can be fixed!

Here are the two simple methods you can try to unshrink your clothes:

Method 1

  1. Fill a bucket or sink with luke-warm water.
  2. Add two spoonfuls of baby shampoo or hair conditioner and agitate to mix it in with the water.
  3. Soak garment in water for 30 mins and periodically stretch out garment (whilst in water) to it’s original shape.
  4. Rinse out conditioner and lay clothing flat on towel to dry. 

Method 2

  1. Fill a bucket or sink with luke-warm water.
  2. Add two spoonfuls of baby shampoo or hair conditioner and agitate to mix it in with the water.
  3. Soak garment in water for 30mins
  4. Remove garment (rinse with clean water is optional).
  5. Lay garment on a flat towel and roll to remove excess moisture. Let towel soak up moisture for 10 mins.
  6. Unroll towel, remove garment and transfer onto a new, dry towel and lay clothing flat on the towel.
  7. Gently pull and stretch out the fabric until it is back to it’s original shape and hold the shape in place by placing heavy objects on the edges (you can use mugs or books). 
  8. Allow clothing to completely dry on the towel.

To avoid your clothes shrinking, make sure you always read the care label. Some items of clothing are too sensitive to take on heat and that’s why laundry care labels are there to instruct us on how to properly take care of our clothes.

If laundry just isn’t your thing, you can always count on Laundryheap to help with your laundry.

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Why Your Clothes Really Shrink In The Dryer

Isn’t it frustrating when you go to take your clothes out of the dryer and discover that your favourite shirt has magically shrunk into a kids’ size? *sighs*

After that experience, I’m sure you’re sceptical about putting your clothes in the dryer again.

If you didn’t know already, the main reason why your clothes shrink in the dryer is not because of the heat but because of agitation inside the dryer… and possibly because it has a ‘Do not tumble dry’ label but you choose to put it in the tumble dryer any way.

Here are 3 main reasons why your clothes shrink in the dryer and how to prevent them from shrinking!:

  1. It has a ‘do not tumble dry’ tag: For starters, you want to check to see if your garments are safe to tumble dry, even if that means checking every single clothing you want to put in there. Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointing results.

    If you’re not sure what the tumble dry label looks like, here’s a basic guideIf you’re still unsure and want a helping hand, you can always schedule a laundry collection service with us.

  2. Delicate fabrics x tumble dryer= Disaster: If you don’t want to read the label, then here are some common fabrics that display the ‘do not tumble dry’ label: Cotton fabrics, Silk garments, lace, wool jumpers, bathing suits and bras. Basically all delicate fabrics that require air drying.

  3. You’re using the wrong temperature with the wrong fabric!Too often, people use the wrong tumble dryer temperature settings. To stay on the safe side, use the tumble dryer at the LOWEST setting or on the normal setting BUT on a shorter cycle. This will prevent shrinkage as well as damages altogether.