How To Not Shrink Clothes In Dryer

How To Not Shrink Clothes In Dryer?

How To Not Shrink Clothes In Dryer?

Do you dread doing laundry because of the fear that all your new and favorite clothes will shrink? We’ve all been there before, discovering a piece of clothing in the dryer that has been shrunk to unrecognizable proportions.

It is one thing if it was an already-worn item we no longer care about so much, but most times we would have preferred natural wear from proper laundering practices instead. Putting effort into how you wash and dry your items is important to keep them looking their best for as long as possible! Here’s how to not shrink clothes in dryer.

In this blog post, we will discuss step-by-step instructions for avoiding the dreaded outcome – shrunken clothing, to you can continue wearing your favorite pieces looking their best. So, keep reading to learn and know more.

How To Not Shrink Clothes In Dryer

What Are Clothes?

Clothes are items of clothing that you wear. They can be made from a variety of fabrics and come in all shapes and sizes. Clothes serve many purposes, such as keeping us warm, protecting our skin from the sun or cold weather, providing modesty, and expressing our style.

There are also different types of clothes for different occasions – formalwear for special events, casualwear for everyday use, activewear for exercising or sports activities, and sleepwear for when we rest. Choosing the right clothes can make us feel comfortable, stylish, confident, and put together.

When it comes to fashion trends there’s something for everyone – from classic cuts to more modern designs; vibrant prints to subtle solids; and light layers to heavy winter wear. Moreover, there are also ethical fashion brands that produce clothing made from sustainable materials and working conditions.

How To Not Shrink Clothes In Dryer?

We’ve provided you with exactly what clothes are, so how to not shrink clothes in dryer? Is it easy for people to not shrink clothes in the dryer?

The answer is absolutely yes! There are some simple ways to prevent clothes from shrinking in the dryer.

1) Check fabric care labels before doing laundry:

Make sure to check the fabric care labels on clothes before throwing them in the dryer. Different fabrics have different washing and drying instructions, so it’s important to follow these recommendations.

Moreover, it’s important for people to always read the care instructions on a garment before washing and drying. Many fabrics require special laundering techniques such as handwashing or air-drying.

2) Control the temperature of water:

It’s also important to adjust the temperature of your washer and dryer according to the fabric type. Hot water and high-heat drying can cause fabrics to shrink, while cold temperatures will help prevent it. When in doubt, always use a cooler setting for both washing and drying.

3) Dry clothes on low heat setting:

Most dryers come with multiple temperature settings – high, medium and low. Always choose the lowest setting when drying clothes as this will help prevent shrinking. Additionally, tumble-dry on a cool setting if possible or even hang your clothes out to dry.

4) Remove clothes from the dryer promptly:

Once the cycle is complete, remove your clothing from the dryer immediately – don’t let them sit in there for hours! The residual heat can cause fabrics to shrink further if left uncovered. To avoid wrinkles, make sure to fold and hang up the clothes while they’re still warm.

5) Air Dry When Possible:

When possible, air drying your clothes is the best option. Clotheslines, drying racks and indoor drying hangers are all good ways to let your clothes dry without using a dryer. The low-heat setting on a dryer can still cause some fabrics to shrink, so it’s best to avoid using one when possible.

These simple tips will help ensure that your clothes stay looking their best, even after being put through the wash and dry cycles multiple times. With a few simple changes, you can take better care of your garments and maintain their original shape and size for longer. 

What Causes Clothes To Shrink In The Dryer?

You’ve read some steps for how to not shrink clothes in dryer, it’s vital for people to know what causes clothes to shrink in the dryer? Actually, there are some reasons that are commonly understood by people.

1) Heat and agitation:

The primary cause of clothes shrinking in the dryer is heat and agitation. When fabrics are exposed to high temperatures, they can shrink dramatically due to the fibers in them tightening up.

Furthermore, when clothes are agitated during the washing and drying cycles, this can also contribute to their shrinking. The combination of these two factors is what results in your clothing becoming smaller after being put through the wash and dry cycles multiple times.

This is especially true for natural fibers such as cotton, linen, wool, or silk that are prone to shrinking when exposed to heat.

2) Poorly made garments:

Another factor that can contribute to clothes shrinking in the dryer is if they are poorly made. Low-quality fabrics and stitching can cause garments to warp, twist, and shrink after being put through the wash and dry cycles multiple times. 

If a garment was not sewn together properly or if it has weak seams, it will be more likely to shrink during drying. Additionally, low-quality fabrics tend to be more susceptible to shrinking than higher-quality materials.

This is why it’s important to invest in quality clothing pieces that have been properly constructed using strong fabrics and good sewing techniques.

3) Improper Care:

Finally, improper care of clothing items can also contribute to them shrinking in the dryer. It’s important to follow proper instructions when laundering your garments such as checking fabric care labels, washing according to garment type, and drying on low heat settings. Not following these recommendations carefully can result in clothes shrinking or warping over time.

Overall, there are many reasons why clothes may shrink in the dryer. By following proper care instructions and investing in quality clothing items, you can help to reduce the chances of this happening. Additionally, understanding what causes clothes to shrink is an important step towards taking better care of your garments and prolonging their life. 

Which Items Of Clothing Shrink The Most In The Dryer?

Now that you know what causes clothes to shrink in the dryer and how to not shrink clothes in dryer, which types of clothing items are most likely to shrink?

Generally speaking, natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, wool, or silk tend to be more prone to shrinking than synthetic fabrics.

  • Cotton:

Cotton is a delicate fabric that is most prone to shrinking in the dryer. Natural cotton garments such as t-shirts, dresses, and jeans should always be washed on cold and dried on low heat settings to prevent them from shrinking.

  • Linen

Linen fabrics are also known for their tendency to shrink when exposed to high temperatures. To keep linen clothing looking its best, it’s important to wash them in cool water and hang them out to dry or tumble dry on a low setting.

  • Wool:

Wool garments can easily shrink if they are not washed and dried properly. Always follow the fabric care label instructions carefully to avoid shrinking natural wool items such as sweaters or coats.

  • Silk:

Silk is an extremely delicate fabric that can easily be damaged by heat and agitation. To keep silk items from shrinking, always hand washes them with cool water and line dry or air-dry in the shade.

Additionally, garments made from thinner materials are more susceptible due to their weaker fibers. This includes lightweight knits such as t-shirts and thin sweaters. On the other hand, thick fabrics like denim or flannel are less likely to experience any significant shrinking when put through a wash-and-dry cycle.

So, different fabrics have different levels of susceptibility towards shrinking in the dryer. Natural fibers are generally the most prone whereas thicker man-made fabrics are less likely to shrink.

It’s important to follow the fabric care label instructions carefully and avoid using high heat settings when drying clothes to minimize the chances of them shrinking. Additionally, air-drying or hanging items out to dry can help prevent further shrinking as well.

Types Of Laundry Detergent Helps To Prevent Clothes From Shrinking

Most laundry detergents are designed to help get clothes clean while also protecting them from damage.

Some of the best types of laundry detergents for preventing clothes from shrinking include those with “no-shrink” claims, those that are specifically formulated for delicate fabrics, and those that use natural ingredients.

  • No-Shrink Detergents:

Many brands offer laundry detergent formulas that contain added polymers which help prevent fabric shrinkage in the wash and dry cycles. These special polymers can be found in both liquid and powder detergents, so you can choose whichever type works best for your washing needs.

  • Delicate Detergents:

Delicate laundry detergent formulas are specifically designed to protect delicate fabrics from damage such as shrinking, fading, and pilling. These detergents are often free of harsh ingredients that can strip fabric fibers and weaken them over time.

  • Natural Detergents:

Natural laundry detergents are made with plant-based ingredients that are gentle on fabrics while still providing a thorough clean. Many natural detergents also contain added polymers to help protect fibers from heat and friction during the wash and dry cycles.

Overall, using a no-shrink or delicate laundry detergent is one of the best ways to prevent clothes from shrinking in the wash and dry cycles. Additionally, using natural products is another great option for those looking for gentle yet effective formulas.

Drying Clothes Without Shrinking

The best way to dry clothes without shrinking is to air-dry or hang them out to dry. Air-drying, which can be done indoors or outdoors, is a gentler and more natural method of drying that helps protect fabrics from damage. 

Additionally, some garments such as sweaters and delicates should never go in the dryer and should instead always be air-dried.

If you must use a dryer for certain items, make sure to select the lowest heat setting available and use a fabric softener sheet in each load to reduce static cling and help keep fibers hydrated while drying.

If your garment care labels specify tumble drying on low or even lower setting (such as “air”), it’s best to follow these instructions to prevent further shrinkage.

What Setting Do You Set In the Dryer to Not Shrink Clothes?

To find out the best answer for how to not shrink clothes in dryer, you also know the setting you should be using. Generally, the best setting to use in the dryer to not shrink clothes is a low heat setting.

Not all garments can handle the high temperatures of a regular tumble drying cycle, so it’s always a good idea to opt for the lowest temperature possible when drying clothes

to protect them from damage. 

Additionally, certain delicate fabrics such as wool or silk may require even lower heat settings than what is suggested on the care label. In these cases, it may be best to air-dry or hang out your garments instead of using a dryer.

So, understanding how and why clothes shrink in the dryer is an important step towards proper garment care and prolonging their life.

Different types of fabric have different levels of susceptibility towards shrinking, so it’s important to select the right settings and detergents when washing and drying your garments.

Additionally, putting clothes outside to dry or air-drying them is frequently a fantastic method to stop additional shrinkage.


Why do many people choose dry cleaning?

Many people choose dry-cleaning as an alternative to traditional washing to avoid potential fabric damage.

Dry-cleaning is a process that uses chemicals and presses rather than water and detergent, which helps maintain the original shape of garments without risking any shrinkage or fading.

Additionally, it’s also helpful for removing difficult stains that regular washing may not be able to tackle completely. However, because of its use of chemicals, dry-cleaning can be more expensive than traditional laundry methods so it’s important to consider this when deciding which option is best for your clothes. 

Can synthetics be tumble dried without harm?

Yes, many synthetic fabrics can be tumble-dried without harm as long as the fabric care label specifies that it’s safe to do so. It is important to note, however, that certain synthetics such as nylon and spandex may shrink if put in the dryer at too high a temperature or for too long.

To avoid this, always use the lowest heat setting available and remove garments promptly once they have finished drying. Additionally, using a fabric softener sheet in each load can help reduce static cling and help prevent damage from friction during the tumbling process.  

Should dry clothes be hung to prevent shrinkage?

Yes, dry clothes should be hung to help prevent shrinkage. Hanging clothes out to dry is a gentler and more natural method of drying that helps protect fabrics from damage.

Additionally, certain garments such as sweaters and delicates should never go in the dryer and instead always be air-dried. If you must use a dryer for certain items, make sure to select the lowest heat setting available and use a fabric softener sheet in each load to reduce static cling and help keep fibers hydrated while drying.

Can you resize tumble-dried clothes?

In some cases, it is possible to resize tumble-dried clothes. If the garment has only shrunk a small amount due to heat exposure, then there are some methods that can be used to stretch out the fibers and restore its original shape.

One option is to use steam from a garment steamer or iron with the damp fabric setting on low. Additionally, you can also try soaking a shrunken garment in cold water for several minutes before reshaping it and laying it flat to dry. 

How Can The Dryer Cycles Help Garments Smell Fresher?

Taking care of clothes is not only about preventing them from shrinking, but also making sure they smell fresh and clean all the time. The dryer cycle helps in this regard by using hot air to remove odors and bacteria from fabric fibers.

Additionally, some machines offer additional options such as an anti-bacterial or steam function to further reduce the presence of bacteria on clothing items. This helps keep them smelling fresher for longer as well as eliminating dust mites that can cause allergic reactions.

By running clothes through a dryer cycle regularly, you are helping to maintain their freshness and prolong their life. It’s important to remember though that different fabrics have different drying requirements so always be sure to check the fabric care label first before tossing them in the dryer. 


In conclusion, now you know how to not shrink clothes in dryer and how to prevent clothes from shrinking while washing. We hope that this article has given you some useful insight into the effects of heat and water on clothes and how you can best protect your garments from shrinkage. 

Hot water or hot air can cause clothing to shrink because these excessive temperatures harm fabric fibers, reducing their flexibility and causing shrinkage. To prevent shrinking, it is crucial to utilize moderate temperature settings for washing and drying clothing.

Another excellent alternative is air drying, which is kinder and more natural than other drying methods and helps shield materials from harm. 


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  1. Great post! The information is really useful and truly interesting. I love this kind of blogs. Keep it up all the time!

  2. Hi Cinda Saunders,

    Thank you for writing this blog post! I found it extremely helpful and informative. I was surprised to learn that hanging dry clothes can help reduce shrinkage of clothes – that’s such a clever tip! Do you have any other tips on how to avoid shrinking clothes when washing them by hand?

    Best regards,

    Coley Hoover

  3. Thank you very much for your ideas to not shrink clothes in dryer. The content was really very interesting. I am really thankful to you for providing this unique information. Please keep sharing more and more information….

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