How to Not Shrink Clothes in a Dryer?
There’s nothing as frustrating as throwing in your favorite clothes into the dryer to remove a stain, only to be met with something that your 2-year old nephew can fit into. Sad as it is, you’d be surprised how often people accidentally shrink their clothes in the dryer. This article offers tips on how you can avoid shrinking clothes in the dryer.
Why Do Clothes Shrink?
This is not a manufacturing gimmick just to frustrate you since materials such as wool, cotton, and linen have a natural tendency to shrink when tossed into the dryer. This happens because these materials are held together using chemical bonds that weaken or break when exposed to high heat.
Steps to Prevent Your Clothes from Shrinking
- Read the instructions on your care label. Not everyone actually reads the care label that comes with their new clothes until it’s too late. You don’t want to wait until your favorite pants no longer fit you simply because you avoided reading the care instructions. Those instructions are usually there for a reason. The instructions will teach you how best to clean that particular garment.
- Use cold water when washing your clothes. Washing your clothes with cold water helps retain the color, and it also helps prevent your fabric from shrinking. The colder water is less likely to break the chemical bonds in your clothes.
- Choose a tumble or air dry option on your dryer. Some washing machines come with the “tumble dry” or “air dry” feature that uses motion instead of heat to dry your clothes. This is a better alternative to using heat to dry and eventually shrink your clothes.
- Avoid over-drying your clothes. Yes, there is such a thing as “over-drying.” If your washing machine does not have an auto shut feature, you must switch off the dryer yourself to prevent energy wastage once the cycle is done. Also, by switching off the machine, you prevent the garment from unnecessary exposure to heat.
- Use a low heat setting. Suppose your machine doesn’t have the tumble dry option. In that case, you can still set it to the lowest heat setting to ensure your clothes dry but are not overheated, leading to shrinkage.
- If you have space for it, you should consider air-drying your clothes. Even though this is not a fast or convenient way to dry your clothes, it may still be the best option to preventing shrinkage in your clothes if you do not have a dryer. You can even purchase a clothes rack that you can set up in your laundry room or the backyard and air dry your clothes. Air drying is also a great way to save on energy costs.
- If all else fails, you can try upgrading the washing machine you have currently. Suppose yours is in old model that doesn’t have features like tumble dry, or a low heat setting. In that case, you may benefit from replacing your dryer altogether.
With these simple yet effective tips, you no longer have to worry about accidentally shrinking your clothes again.