How to: Unshrink Clothing


If you’ve ever removed a jumper or shirt from the washing machine only to find that it’s now the ideal size for a robust toddler, you understand the true meaning of frustration.

Perhaps you didn’t read the care tag thoroughly or you set the temperature too high on your washing machine. Whatever the cause, these kinds of situations need mending.

Don’t fret – it is possible to unshrink most clothing with some tender, loving care.

Keep reading for the easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to unshrinking clothing!

1. Fill your sink with lukewarm water

Whether you use a sink or plastic tub, it’s inconsequential – as long as the receptacle is large enough to fully submerge the shrunken item.

Next, fill it up with lukewarm water.

It’s vital to ensure that the water is lukewarm – too hot and you’ll further shrink the item. Too cold and it won’t work.

2. Add 1/4 cup of hair conditioner to the water

Choose a conditioner of decent quality and measure out 1/4 a cup.

Pour the conditioner into the water and stir it around so that it fully dissolves.

3. Fully immerse your item & soak


Next, place your shrunken garment into the water and thoroughly submerge.

You want to ensure that the entire item can soak up the conditioner-laced water.

Then, let it steep for 30-40 minutes. This way, you’ll guarantee that the conditioner infiltrates the entirety of the item.

4. Remove & stretch

Next, place a towel on a flat surface to function as a platform on which to stretch your item.

After your garment finishes soaking, remove from the sink and gently squeeze out excess water. Next, lay it flat on your towel and begin gently stretching the fabric out to regain its original shape.

Pro tip: You can use a hanger to help recreate the shoulder-area-shape if you’re unshrinking a shirt or jumper.

5. Rinse & dry


Once you’re stretched the item out to a size you’re happy with, rinse the remaining conditioner out with lukewarm water.

To dry, lay your item flat on the towel and imagine you’re making a giant Swiss Roll.

Start by rolling up from the bottom with the item included and continue until you’ve effectively removed all remaining water.

Finally, lay your garment out flat to dry on a new towel and give it a few hours.

Once fully dry, see how the item fits. If it’s not large enough, you can repeat the process.

We hope that these tips help you rescue any shrunken jumper, shirt or trousers that need your help.


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