How Do You Shrink Clothes?

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To shrink clothes, wash the garment in hot water and dry with high heat. The exact method depends on the type of material of the particular piece of clothing. The timing on this project varies with how many washing and drying cycles the garment needs to undergo before reaching the desired size. You need a washing machine, a dryer, a pot and boiling water.

  1. Soak the garment

    Boil water in a pot. Place the garment, only if it is old or pre-shrunk, in the water, and allow it to soak. Cotton, wool and polyester fabrics do not require this step.

  2. Wash the garment

    Wash the garment in hot water. If the item you want to shrink is polyester, wash it in cold water. If the item is old or pre-shrunk, use very little detergent.

  3. Dry the garment

    After the washing cycle, put the garment in the dryer, and dry on high heat. If the garment is wool, use only medium heat. If the garment is cotton and new, check it for shrinkage regularly as it dries. If it is as small as you want it, change the dryer setting to low heat if the item is not dry yet.

  4. Repeat the process

    If the garment is still not small enough, repeat the steps, and try soaking the garment in boiling water first.