How to unshrink clothes

I followed a tip I saw on Pinterest, and it worked! Hard to believe I know. I had a dress that I wore once, washed, and (oops!) dried only to find out that it had shrunk. Desperate, I followed a tip on Pinterest figuring I didn’t have much to lose. I was thrilled when it worked.

As a fairly tall girl, I’m always happy when I find a maxi dress that actually goes all the way to my feet. I was thrilled when I found this one in a comfy tshirt fabric. I wore it once, washed it, dried it, and packed it for the BlogHer ’14 conference.

Unfortunately, when I put it on in San Jose I was disappointed to find that my perfect length maxi dress now hit a couple of inches above my ankles. Because I packed lightly I didn’t have many other options, so I wore my flood dress. Bummer.

Looking around for options I found the following tip posted with slight variations by a number of Pinterest users. I did it and now my dress is back to ideal length.

Here’s how to unshrink clothes according to people on Pinterest (and me):

  1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of baby shampoo in enough cold water to cover the garment.
  2. Soak the garment in the baby shampoo and water for 15 minutes.
  3. Wring out the garment. DO NOT RINSE.
  4. Lay the garment on a towel. Stretch to the appropriate shape using a properly fitting piece of clothing as a guide. (Many pinners suggested weighting down the edges, but I found that my dress kept the appropriate shape.)
  5. Let dry flat until damp then hang to finish drying.
How to unshrink clothes
No more tears over shrunken dresses.

My dress is 100% cotton, and this worked perfectly. I’d suspect that it may be less effective with blends, but of course, blends are less likely to shrink.

The best solution of all is to pay attention to what you are doing and not put 100% cotton garments in the drier, but in my busy life that’s hard to remember to do.

You can follow me on Pinterest (although I rarely post tips).

You can also find Kim Z. Dale on Twitter and Google+ and like Listing Beyond Forty on Facebook.

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