So we know why our clothes shrink and how to avoid this tragedy, but what about when the damage has already been done? You spent more than you’d like to admit on those jeans—there has to be a way to reverse this, right? Well, technically you can’t “un-shrink” clothes, but you can stretch them back out to their original form. So, here’s whats supposed to work best for each type of material.
How to Un-Shrink: CottonAfrica Studio/Shutterstock
Cotton is perhaps the easiest mistake to fix due to its easily manipulative qualities. All you need is baby shampoo or soft conditioner, lukewarm water, a towel, and a sink (or bowl). Place your article of clothing inside your sink/bowl, fill it with lukewarm water, and add two tablespoons of your shampoo or conditioner. Then, let it soak for 30 minutes. Afterward, some sources suggest rinsing out the shampoo/conditioner and others insist not to. Regardless of whether you choose to rinse or not, your ultimate goal is to get your clothing as dry as possible. An easy way to do this is by placing the clothing flat on a towel and rolling it up so that it is damp, not soaking wet. Then, carefully unroll your garment and lay it flat to dry. Be sure to pin the edges or use heavy objects to stretch out the material during the drying process. And voila! Your favorite cotton t-shirt is back to being wearable.