It’s a situation that’s happened to almost everyone. You take your clothes out of the dryer, only to find out that your favorite shirt, or your most comfortable pair of pants, has SHRUNK. And not in a “Gotta stretch these pants out again” way. We’re talking full-on “Where’s the flood?” shrinkage levels.
After cursing the heavens, or eating your feelings, or however you tend to deal with tragedy, you may be ready to toss your poor shrunken item in the trash, or toss it in the donation pile. But not so fast!
A few years ago, after accidentally shrinking a pair of my comfiest pajama pants, I started researching if it was possible to unshrink your clothes. And to my delight, it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE! I’ve used this method a dozen or so times now (because I never seem to learn from my laundry mistakes) and it has worked like a charm every time.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1 – Soak
Fill a sink (or bucket) with lukewarm water and add a capful of baby shampoo into the water.
Let the item soak in the sudsy water and gently work it through with your hands. This will help relax the fibers in the clothing.
Remove the garment from the shampoo water and gently squeeze it out. Don’t wring the item, and don’t rinse it out!
Step 2 – Absorb
Take a large, clean bath towel and lay the clothing flat on it.
Roll the towel up with the clothing inside it, and press on the towel gently. Your goal is to absorb the extra moisture, so your clothing is damp, but not wet.
Step 3 – Reshape
Then, grab your second clean bath towel and lay the damp piece of clothing out on it.
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. If you’re as impatient as I am, you may want to set the item in front of a fan to help speed up the drying process. ;-)
Author’s Note: You’ll notice there isn’t a step instructing you to rinse the shampoo water out of your clothing item. In my experience, this process doesn’t leave enough soap in my clothes to even notice, so I just let them be until they’re ready to be washed again. Just remember….don’t DRY them in the dryer next time or you’re likely to end up right where you started! :-)
That’s all there is to it! Your clothes can live on to see another day. So do everyone you know a favor, and spread the word before more innocent items of clothing meet a premature demise!