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My 19-year-old Shrunk His Favorite Sweater

by Diane
(Boston, MA)

My son's sweater after he dried it in the dryer.

My son's sweater after he dried it in the dryer.

My 19-year-old washed his favorite ski sweater - and actually dried it in the dryer on high heat. The sweater shrunk so much he couldn't even pull it over his head!


When he brought it to me, he apologized (I'd given it to him for Christmas) and said he was so sorry he ruined it in the dryer. He was quite surprised when I told him there was a chance we could actually save the sweater!

After I reminded him he needs to dry wool sweaters flat and not in the dryer, we set out to unshrink it. We used Dreft (a baby shampoo) and soaked the sweater for about 15 minutes. Then we rinsed out the soap and water and put it on his bulletin board. (We took the bulletin board off the wall for this.)

We first pinned it as far as we could stretch it. We did this again about 4 or 5 times over an afternoon. Our last pinning session had the sweater as big as it was when it went into the machine.

Although it took almost two full days for the sweater to dry, the sweater now fits him again! And my son actually learned something about laundry. It was so worth the effort!

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Dec 27, 2014
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19-year-old's sweater
by: Anonymous

Great to hear the sweater was returned to size! It's hard not to give up on clothes when they shrink. It seems so hopeless! This is a good reminder about not giving up.

Dec 27, 2014
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Unshrinking Your Son's Sweater
by: Tara

Thanks for sharing your son's sweater mishap and redemption story, Diane! Just goes to show that, especially when it comes to laundry, never, never, never give up!

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.