HOW TO: UNSHRINK YOUR CLOTHES (EASY) | DIY TUTORIAL | JAIRWOO



How to Unshrink Clothes

Three Methods:

It happens even to the best of us: a sweater or pair of jeans got tossed into the dryer on high and are now a size smaller or just smaller than they should be. Technically speaking, you can never “unshrink” clothes. You can, however, relax the fibers enough to stretch them back into shape. Here are a few different ways to go about it.

Steps

Baby Shampoo Soak (Most Knitted Garments)

  1. Fill a sink with lukewarm water.Fill your laundry sink or a bucket with at least 1 quart (1 L) of lukewarm water.
    • Note that knitted clothes, like cotton, wool, and cashmere, respond to this tactic better than fabrics with tight weaves, like silk, rayon, or polyester.
    • The water should be roughly room temperature if not a little warmer. Do not use hot or cold water.
  2. Mix in baby shampoo or conditioner.For every 1 quart (1 L) of water, mix in roughly 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of baby shampoo or gentle hair conditioner, stirring it into the water until the water takes on a slick, soapy consistency.
    • Baby shampoo and conditioner can relax the fibers of your shrunken clothes. As the fibers are relaxed, they become easier to stretch and manipulate, meaning that you will be able to stretch the garment back to an appropriate size.
  3. Soak the clothing in your soapy water.Immerse the shrunken garment in your soapy solution, making sure that it is completely covered.
    • Let soak for 30 minutes or so.
    • If desired, you can begin gently stretching the garment underwater as it soaks, but this is not strictly necessary.
  4. Wring dry.Remove the garment from your soapy solution and roll it into a ball, squeezing firmly to wring out excess moisture.
    • Do not rinse the garment. The soapy water needs to continue actively relaxing the fibers as you work on stretching and re-shaping the garment.
  5. Squeeze extra moisture out between two towels.Lay a large towel out flat and place the garment on top of it. Gradually roll up the towel with the garment still inside.
    • The clothing should soak inside the towel for about 10 minutes. When done, it should be damp but no longer wet.
  6. Stretch the clothes out and hold them in place.Unroll the towel and transfer the garment onto a second flat, dry towel. Gently stretch the garment back into its proper shape and hold the shape in place by securing the edges with heavy objects.
    • For a more accurate gauge of the size and shape your garment must be, you can trace the outline of a similar, properly fitting garment onto a large piece of parchment paper. Place the garment you are trying to "unshrink" over this outline and stretch it to fit the marks.
    • If you have a hard time stretching the clothing out because it seems too stiff, use steam from an iron to make the garment easier to manipulate.
    • Possible weights for holding the stretched garment in place include paperweights, books, and coffee mugs.
    • If you do not have any heavy objects nearby, you could use clothes pins to pin the damp clothes to the towel, instead.
  7. Let air dry.Allow the wet clothing to continue drying flat until the remaining moisture has left.
    • If you have your clothes pinned to the towel instead of weighed down, you could place your clothes on a hanger and let them hang dry in a sunny, dry location. The gravity can help stretch the garment out further.
    • If this tactic produces some change but not enough, you could repeat it multiple times until the garment is sufficiently stretched out.

Borax Soak or Vinegar Soak (Wool, Cashmere)

  1. Fill a sink with lukewarm water.Fill you laundry sink or a bucket with at least 1 quart (1 L) of lukewarm water.
    • This method is generally recommended for wool and cashmere. Other knitted fabrics, like cotton, may also respond to this method, but synthetics and tightly-knit natural materials should not be treated with this method.
    • The water should be roughly room temperature if not a little warmer. Do not use hot or cold water.
  2. Mix in Borax or vinegar.Add 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 ml) Borax for every 1 quart (1 L) of water. Alternatively, mix in 1 part white wine vinegar for every 2 parts water, or 1/2 quart (1/2 L) for every 1 quart (1 L) of water.
    • Borax is a wool relaxant, so it naturally relaxes the fibers of wool garments, making them easier to manipulate and stretch.
    • Vinegar, too, is thought to have the capability of relaxing cloth fibers. White wine vinegar is generally preferred since it is clear and gentler than white distilled vinegar, but any clear vinegar can be substituted.
  3. Soak the clothing in the solution.Immerse the clothing in the soaking solution and let sit for a full 25 minutes.
    • If your clothing has become severely shrunken, you may want to consider gently stretching the garment while it sits in the solution after the first 25 minutes pass. Gently pull the clothing to begin stretching the fibers, then let soak undisturbed for another 10 to 25 minutes.
  4. Wring dry.Remove the garment from your solution and roll it into a ball, squeezing firmly to wring out excess moisture.
    • Do not rinse the garment. The soaking solution needs to continue actively relaxing the fibers as you work on stretching and re-shaping the garment.
  5. Stuff the garment with dry towels.Roll dry towels into bunches and stuff them into the garment until the clothing item is roughly the same size and shape as it originally was.
    • Use as many rolled up towels as needed to create a smooth outline. If the clothing is lumpy after you put the towels inside of it, the fibers may stretch out in an equally lumpy manner, and the result will be a sweater that has been "unshrunk" but one that looks less-than-flattering on you.
    • The towels will also help absorb the excess water, causing the garment to dry faster.
  6. Toss the garment around.Shake or bang the garment around with the bundled towels inside for 10 to 15 minutes to help stretch the fabric further.
  7. Let air dry.Place a hanger inside the garment and hang it with the towels still inside. Let it finish drying in this manner.
    • If this tactic produces some change but not enough, you could repeat it multiple times until the garment is sufficiently stretched out.

Plain Water and Gravity (Jeans)

  1. Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water.Fill the tub at least 1/3 full, or with enough water to cover your legs when you sit inside of it.
    • The water should be comfortable enough to sit in. Warmer water is better, but avoid steaming hot water or cold water.
    • If you do not have a bathtub available to you, you can still stretch out your jeans. Fill up a sink with warm to hot water, instead.
  2. Slip your jeans on.Put the shrunken jeans on. Zipper and button them if you are able to do so.
    • If the jeans do not zipper or button, or if the waistband has become too shrunken, place the jeans on and leave them unzipped.
    • If you cannot put the jeans on, do not have a bathtub available to use, or otherwise plan to use the sink method instead of the bathtub method, do not put your jeans on yet.
  3. Step into the water.Soak in the lukewarm bathwater with the jeans on until well drenched.
    • You will need to sit in the bathtub for 10 minutes or so to make sure that the jeans are thoroughly soaked.
    • Be careful as you get out of the tub to avoid accidentally slipping due to the additional weight of the heavy, wet denim.
    • If you could not zip up your jeans before hopping in the tub, try zipping them back up while in the tub. If the fibers cannot be relaxed enough to zip while wet, it may not be possible to return your jeans to the way they were before/
    • If you are using the sink method, let the jeans soak in the sink for 10 to 15 minutes. Take them out and slip them on afterward.
  4. Keep the jeans on for an hour or so.Move around as much as possible to help stretch the fibers out.
    • Take a walk or jog, dance, stretch, or do whatever you can to stretch the fabric as you wear it. Focus on areas that are in special need of being stretched. For instance, if the waist needs to be "unshrunk" more than anything else, make sure that your movements include plenty of stretching and bending at the waist.
  5. Remove the jeans and hang dry.Place your dripping wet jeans on a clothes line or drying rack and allow the jeans to finish drying.
    • The gravity pulling down on the heavy, wet denim can help stretch the jeans out vertically.

Community Q&A

Search
  • Question
    Could I use shampoo instead of conditioner?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Probably not. The active ingredients to soften are in the conditioner, and shampoo is generally meant to clean.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do you keep clothes from shrinking in the wash?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Use cold water on your washer machine's settings, then air dry your clothes on a clothes' line
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Do I have to use baby shampoo?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No. If you don't want to use or don't have it, you can use conditioner.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I unshrink a jean jacket?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Put it in the sink and do the same process as it says do jeans. Stretch it out by wearing it and see if it buttons after taking out of a 10 min soak in warm sink.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Do I have to repeat this process every time I wash now?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It depends, If your dryer continually shrinks your jeans each wash, you might need to put it on a colder setting and wash your jeans together. Jeans generally are made so they don't have to be washed that frequently, so you'll be fine. When they are dirty, put them on a colder setting. You only need to do this when they shrink, so if you notice they're a tight fit, try this out.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can the dry cleaners stretch a lace cocktail dress with polyester lining?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If you steam press the lace, it usually will stretch as you iron it. I did this with my granddaughter's dress. Her mother dried it in the dryer. That may not work though depending on if it really shrank or simply that it needed to be pressed out again.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Do I have to use "baby" shampoo, or can it be adult shampoo?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It can be regular "adult" conditioner, but not shampoo. If you do not have baby shampoo, then do not worry. It does the same thing.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    I know I washed my new dresses correctly, but the length shrunk by about an inch. They are 100% rayon. What should I do?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Generally rayon is something you'd want to dry clean. If you can't dry clean it, I'd wash it on cold, then hang dry it. When it's line drying, you can determine if it shrunk any. If it did, just gently stretch it until it's the correct length again.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I un-shrink a rayon dress?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can't. Rayon has to be dry-cleaned.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I remove pilling from a 100% wool coat?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Lay the garment smooth and flat on a firm surface - table or ironing board - and gently float over the surface of the coat with sharp scissors held sideways to carefully cut the pills off. I got too old to do this with a steady hand and bought a wonderful pill shaver that works on batteries and also has a cord! It is called Sewmeister Electronic Fabric Pill Remover and costs about . You can buy one on Amazon or at many fabric stores.
    Thanks!
Unanswered Questions
  • Can I use fabric softener instead of conditioner?
  • How do I unshrink a bamboo blanket?
  • Is there a way to unshrink a viscose shirt?
  • What should I use to clean my cotton matelasse coverlet?
  • Can I un-shrink polyester using shampoo?
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Warnings

  • Understand that each of the methods described above should be performed at your own risk. Once fabric has shrunk, there is no true way to ever “unshrink" it or completely undo the damage. The methods described here merely relax and stretch the fibers out, which can restore your clothing to its original size but may only work on a temporary basis.

Things You'll Need

  • Sink, bucket, or bathtub
  • Baby shampoo, conditioner, Borax, or white wine vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Towels
  • Weights or clothing pins
  • Clothes line or drying rack

Related wikiHows

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Date: 02.12.2018, 07:16 / Views: 92343