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A shirt getting washed by hand

Unshrinking your clothes 101


Has this ever happened to you: you’ve just bought yourself (or your little one) a brand new article of clothing, and experienced the excitement of wearing it for the first time? As soon as you got home from the shops, did you jump out of your old clothes and slide into your new one? It’s a great feeling, right? 

Well try this on for size – have you ever tossed that new piece of clothing into the washing machine, and when you took it out discovered to your horror that it was three sizes smaller than it was before you put it in? 

Now for the question of the hour – can you ‘unshrink’ your clothes? Thankfully the answer is ‘’yes!’’. Technically you won’t be unshrinking your clothes, but rather stretching them out so that they resemble their original fit. Here’s how it’s done! 

Wool socks

If there’s one thing most of us can sympathise with, it’s the never-ending sock dilemma that we’re all faced with whenever we do washing. If our socks don’t come out a little smaller than before, they don’t come out at all! But what should you do if your socks come out looking a little smaller than they did going in? 

It’s quite simple, actually. Fill your sink with lukewarm water and add a tablespoon or two of vinegar. Let your socks soak for a couple of minutes and stretch the fabric while you’re at it, working and manipulating its fibres with your hands.

Remove your sock or socks from the water and squeeze out as much water as you can. Then take a hand towel, stuff it inside the sock so that it resembles a semblance of its old size, and shake it about for a minute. Next, remove the hand towel, allow the sock to dry in the sun, and try it on! 

Cotton shirts

Luckily for all of us, cotton is very easy to stretch back to its original size – so don’t lose any sleep over this happening. Rather, fill your sink with room-temperature water, add two large spoons of hair conditioner, and soak your cotton shirt for half an hour. Finally, wring out as much water as you can, hang it up to dry and your shirt should be back to its old self again.