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how to unshrink clothes

Relax! It is possible to unshrink clothes that someone (not you, of course) popped into the dryer and are now small enough for little Bruiser to wear.

And all you'll need to do is help your clothing fibers relax, too, with a little help from baby shampoo. 

Here's how to unshrink clothes with baby shampoo (or other gentle shampoo) in 5 easy steps.

1. soak the item in warm water and a few squirts of baby shampoo.

Start the resizing process by soaking the shrunken item in a sink or bucket full of warm water and about two tablespoons baby shampoo. About 15 minutes should allow enough time for the shampoo to relax the garmet's fibers enough so that you may begin the letting-out process.

2. remove clothing from the soapy water.

Remove the clothing item from the soapy water. Rinse in cool water to remove the baby shampoo. Gently press or squeeze the garment to remove any remaining moisture. Don't wring - this can further damage and even break the fibers you're trying to stretch.

3. roll the item in a towel to remove remaining moisture.

Follow your rinse and squeezing routine with a roll in a clean, dry towel to remove any lingering moisture. It's important the clothing's fibers contain as little moisture as possible when you begin the resizing process.

4. gently stretch and pin the garment to a cork board.

Pin the garment to a cork board, stretching the neck, arms, and sides as taut as possible without damaging the fibers. Let it be for at least an hour. 

5. re-stretch and re-pin every couple hours.

Return to re-stretch and re-pin your garment every few hours.

It will take several stretching and re-pinning sessions to unshrink the garment, and ease it back to its original size. But if you adore that that shirt or sweater, you'll be glad you took the time to pin, pin, and pin again.

Next time, make sure you know whether to wash clothes in hot, warm, or cold water and so that you won't need to unshrink your clothes again. (But the good news is: You can if you need to!)

Check out the Clean Organized Home Store for the gentle laundry products and supplies you need to keep your wool wash - and all your laundry - safe and stain-free.




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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.