How To Shrink Bathing Suit

How To Shrink Bathing Suit?

How To Shrink Bathing Suit?

Summer is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to break out our favorite bathing suits! If you’ve had your swimsuit for a few years, however, there’s a chance that it may not fit quite as well as when you first bought it.

Don’t worry – instead of buying a new one, why not try shrinking your suit back to its original size? But how to shrink bathing suit?

In this blog post, we will cover exactly how to do so with tips tailored toward different types of materials. With the right approach and techniques, you can have your trusty bathing suit fitting like a glove in no time. So let’s dive in.

How To Shrink Bathing Suit

What Is A Bathing Suit?

A bathing suit is a type of clothing designed for activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and other water-related activities. It is typically made from lightweight fabrics such as Lycra, nylon, or spandex which are resistant to water and sunlight.

Bathing suits are available in a variety of styles and colors, including one-piece suits, two-piece bikini sets, and board shorts. Depending on the activity you plan to do while wearing a bathing suit, it’s important to choose the style that best meets your needs.

  • One-piece swimsuits provide more coverage for swimming laps or playing sports in the pool.
  • Two-piece bikinis are more appropriate for lounging by the pool or beach and are usually made up of a matching top and bottom.
  • Board shorts are ideal for surfing or other water sports where you need freedom of movement without sacrificing coverage or modesty.

No matter the activity, there is a style of bathing suit that will fit your needs!

What Is Shrinking?

Shrinking is the process of reducing an object’s size, area, or volume. The process can be used to reduce an item in size for storage reasons or to make it easier to manage, transport or handle.

It can also be used in manufacturing processes such as printing on fabrics and leathers. Shrinking is achieved by using heat and/or chemicals that disrupt the molecular structure of a material so that it contracts when cooled down.

For example, polyester fabric will shrink when exposed to high temperatures. The amount of shrinkage depends on the material involved but generally ranges from 1-5%.

Depending on what type of shrinking needs to take place there are several different techniques available such as steam shrinking, dry heat shrinking and chemical shrinking processes.

How To Shrink Bathing Suit?

We’ve provided people with the definition of bathing suit and shrinking as well, it’s time to discover how to shrink bathing suit. Is it hard to do this process?

In fact, as we all know, clothes after a period of use will become loose and bring you a lot of trouble. So, the process of shrinking clothes is necessary. Here, we mention some of the most common methods used to shrink a bathing suit.

Method 1: Shrinking Bathing Suit By Using Boiling Water

In order to shrink a bathing suit using boiling water, you will need a pot large enough to hold the garment, some water, and a stovetop or similar heat source. Additionally, you may want to wear rubber gloves while handling the garment and hot water.

A Step-By-Step Instruction:

Step 1: Boiling Some Water

Before you begin, make sure to fill the pot with enough water to completely submerge your bathing suit when placed inside. It’s also important to use a stovetop or other heat source that is powerful enough to bring the water to a rolling boil.

Step 2: Putting Your Bathing Suit Into The Boiling Water 

Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and carefully place the bathing suit into the pot of hot water. Make sure to fully submerge the garment in order to ensure it shrinks to your desired size.

Let the garment sit in the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes before removing it from the heat. During this time, you can add a few tablespoons of salt to create a more vigorous shrinking process.

To prevent fabric damage, make sure you do not leave your bathing suit in the hot water for longer than 15 minutes. After this time has passed, turn off the heat and remove your garment from the pot of hot water.

Step 4: Drying Your Bathing Suit

Once you have removed the bathing suit from the hot water, it is important to make sure that you properly dry it in order to prevent any further shrinkage or damage. The best way to do this is by laying the garment flat on a clean towel and allowing it to air dry for at least 24 hours.

You can also use a low heat setting on your clothes dryer, but make sure that you monitor the process and remove the garment as soon as it has finished drying. Finally, if possible, store your swimming costume in a cool and dark place when not in use, as this will help ensure its longevity.

Method 2: Shrinking Bathing Suit By Using The Dryer With High Heat Setting

Shrinking a bathing suit using a dryer with a high heat setting is another method to achieve the desired results. This process has some advantages compared to the boiling water method, as it does not require as much time and effort. Additionally, this method also helps to reduce the risk of fabric damage that is associated with boiling water methods.

A Step-By-Step Instruction:

Step 1: Drying Your Bathing Suit In High Heat Setting 

Before you begin, make sure your machine is set to a high heat setting. Then, place the garment in the dryer and turn it on for 5 minutes intervals until you reach your desired result. As with any drying process, it’s important to keep an eye on things so that you don’t over-dry or cause any unnecessary damage to your garment’s fabric.

Step 2: Check For Any Residual Shrinkage

After each 5-minute interval has passed, check the garment for any residual shrinkage and repeat until you have achieved the size you desire. Depending on the fabric of your bathing suit, this process could take up to 30 minutes.

Step 3: Drying Your Bathing Suit On A Low Heat Setting

Once you have achieved your desired results, remove your garment from the dryer and finish drying it at a low heat setting in order to prevent further shrinking or damage to its fabric. You can also hang your bathing suit up if possible in a cool and dark place when not in use in order to preserve its condition even further. 

It’s important to note that while this method of shrinking may be effective, it can cause more fabric damage than other methods due to its use of higher temperatures. Therefore, make sure that you monitor this process closely and only do it when necessary in order to get the most out of your swimming costume.

Method 3: Shrinking Bathing Suit By Using The Iron 

Shrinking a bathing suit by using an iron is another method that can be used to reduce its size. This method is particularly effective for smaller swimsuits and bathing suits with elastic waistbands or straps. However, it’s important to note that this process can cause fabric damage if overdone.

A Step-By-Step Instruction:

Step 1: Dampening Your Bathing Suit

Before you begin, make sure to dampen the fabric of your bathing suit with a wet cloth or rag in order to avoid burning or scorching the material during the shrinking process. Additionally, make sure the area that needs shrinking is completely dry before moving on.

Step 2: Setting The Iron To Low Heat

Once you have dampened your garment, set the iron to low heat and ensure all safety measures are met (e.g., use of trivets). Also, make sure you do not leave the iron on any one spot for too long as this can cause permanent damage to the swimming costume’s fabric.

Step 3: Moving The Iron In Short Intervals

Once you have set the iron to a low heat setting, start by moving it in short intervals across the area of your garment that needs shrinking. As you move the iron, make sure not to linger in one spot for too long as this could cause fabric burns or discoloration. 

Additionally, keep an eye on things and adjust your pressure as needed in order to prevent further damage or shrinkage.

Step 4: Allow Your Bathing Suit To Cool Off Completely

Once you have finished applying heat to your garment, allow it time to cool off completely before removing from heat. Once cool enough to handle safely, remove your garment from the heat source and check for any residual shrinkage that may have taken place during the process.

Finally, store your swimming costume in a cool and dark place when not in use in order to maintain its condition even further.

Method 4: Shrinking Bathing Suit By Using Washing Machine With A Hot Wash Program 

Shrinking a bathing suit using a washing machine with a hot wash program is an effective and convenient way to reduce the size of your garment. This method has some advantages compared to other methods, as it does not require as much time or effort and helps to reduce the risk of fabric damage.

A Step-By-Step Instruction:

Step 1: Preparing Your Bathing Suit

Before adding your bathing suit to the washing machine, make sure to carefully inspect it for stains and dirt and pre-treat any problem areas with a stain remover or laundry detergent. Additionally, check the care label on your swimming costume for any specific cleaning instructions that need to be followed.

Step 2: Selecting The Right Program On The Washing Machine

Once you have checked all of the above, set your washing machine on a hot wash program in order to achieve maximum shrinkage results. Make sure that you select the hottest temperature setting available as this will help to ensure that your garment shrinks effectively when washed. It’s also important to note that more delicate fabrics such as silk may require a cooler temperature setting. Therefore, make sure that you always double-check the care label before starting this process.

Step 3: Adding Detergent To The Washing Machine

Once you have selected the right program on your washing machine, add a tablespoon of detergent and start the cycle immediately. It is best practice to avoid overloading your machine with too much clothing as this can cause uneven shrinkage or damage to its fabric whilst being washed. 

Additionally, make sure that you use mild or gentle detergents in order to prevent any unnecessary damage or discoloration during the process. 

Step 4: Removing Your Bathing Suit From The Washing Machine

After the cycle has finished running its course, turn off your washing machine and remove your bathing suit immediately so that it does not continue shrinking in the residual heat from within the machine drum. Once removed from heat, lay flat on a clean towel and allow time for air drying for further shrinkage prevention.

Overall, the methods mentioned here are all about how to shrink bathing suits. However, it is important to note that there are certain fabrics that may not respond well to some of these techniques, hence you should always check the care instructions on the label before attempting any of these methods.

Reasons Why People Want To Shrink A Bathing Suit

There are several reasons why people may want to shrink their bathing suits.

For example, some people may have outgrown their suit due to weight gain or age, and wish to make it fit better. Others may want to reduce the size of a new suit they’ve purchased in order to make it more comfortable or flattering on their body type.

Additionally, some people may not be able to find the exact size of bathing suit they are looking for and thus attempt to shrink a larger-sized one in order to achieve the desired results.

In addition, shrinking an ill-fitting swimming costume can help improve its appearance and provide greater mobility while doing water activities such as swimming or surfing. This is because when clothes fit well, they are less likely to ride up or bunch up while being worn in the water.

Shrinking a suit can also enable users to extend its lifetime if the garment has shown signs of wear or strain from multiple uses over time. By shrinking it, you can help make it look good as new and keep it wearable for longer periods without having to purchase a replacement.

Furthermore, shrinking your swimwear at home with household items such as an iron or washing machine is much more cost-effective than buying a brand new one every time you wish to resize your existing piece of clothing.

Factors That Will Affect The Process Of Shrinking A Bathing Suit

Besides knowing some common methods for how to shrink bathing suit, people also need to know some factors that can affect the process of shrinking a suit.

  • Types of fabrics

When it comes to shrinking a bathing suit, the type of fabric plays an important role in the success of the process. For instance, synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester are typically more resilient to shrinkage than those made from natural fabrics such as cotton or wool.

Additionally, some blended fabrics such as spandex may require special care when attempting to reduce their size due to their elastic nature. On the other hand, synthetic materials are unlikely to shrink but can still be subject to discoloration if not handled properly.

  • Processes used to shrink a bathing suit

The process used to shrink a swimming costume can also affect the outcome of the task. For instance, using an iron or applying hot water directly onto the fabric may cause more damage on delicate materials such as silk or satin compared to washing them in a machine with a hot program. 

As such, it is important to take note and be mindful of this factor when attempting any method mentioned here.

  • Time invested in the shrinking process

Finally, time is another key factor that can determine whether your swimwear shrinks successfully or not. Generally speaking, allowing your garment sufficient time for cooling off after being exposed to heat will help prevent over-shrinkage and ensure maximum results from your efforts.

Therefore, it is important to follow the instructions provided and take note of any specified time intervals so that your bathing suit will shrink to the desired size without compromising its overall condition.


Do Different Materials Of Bathing Suits Require Different Shrinking Methods?

Yes, different materials of bathing suits do require different shrinking methods.

For instance, when attempting to shrink a suit made from synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester, it is important to take extra care. This is because these fabrics are more resilient and less likely to shrink compared to those made from natural fabrics like cotton or wool.

On the other hand, blended materials such as spandex need to be handled with special attention since they have an elastic nature which can be affected more easily by heat or other sources of shrinking.

What Causes A Bathing Suit To Shrink?

A bathing suit can shrink due to a variety of reasons. Some of these include exposure to heat, improper storage or washing methods, and prolonged wear. Additionally, certain fabrics are more prone to shrinking than others which is why it’s important to always check the care instructions on the label before attempting any of the methods mentioned here.

Can I Stretch My Bathing Suit Back Out If It Has Shrunk Too Much?

In some cases, stretching out a bathing suit back out after it has shrunk too much may be possible depending on the fabric and materials used in the garment. However, it is important to note that this process can be difficult and even result in further damage if done incorrectly. 

What Are Some Potential Side Effects Of Shrinking A Bathing Suit?

Shrinking a bathing suit can have potential side effects such as damage or discoloration of the garment. 

Additionally, it is important to pay attention to the instructions provided and adhere to any specified time intervals in order to prevent over-shrinking and ensure maximum results. 

Moreover, certain materials may respond more easily or require special care when attempting any of these processes so it is best to check the label beforehand. 

How To Buy The Right Bathing Suit To Prevent Shrinking Of Bathing Suits?

When purchasing a bathing suit, it is important to consider the material and fabric type of the garment. Avoid buying suits made from materials that are prone to shrinking such as wool or cotton.

Additionally, opt for fabrics like nylon or polyester which have greater resistance to shrinkage and will be less likely to show signs of wear and tear over time. 

It’s also helpful to check the care instructions on the label for additional information regarding storage and washing methods so that they will last longer without having to buy a new one every time you want to resize your existing swimwear.


In conclusion, learning how to shrink bathing suit can be relatively straightforward if done correctly. However, people need to be aware of the factors mentioned here in order for their efforts to yield positive results.

By taking into consideration these aspects and following all necessary steps carefully, you should be able to achieve the desired effect without damaging or discoloring your swimwear. Thank you for reading! We hope that this guide will be useful to you. Have fun trying out different methods of shrinking your swimming costume!


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  1. Thanks for the great tips on shrinking your bathing suit, Cinda! It’s really helpful. I was wondering, how do you know when a bathing suit is too small? Do the same methods apply for shorts and tank tops? This would be really useful to know

  2. Dear Cinda,
    I want to thank you for the fantastic blog post about shrinking a bathing suit. It was very informative and gave me all the information I need to do this safely. Your tips are invaluable and I really appreciate your advice. Thank you!
    Grover Weber

  3. Thanks for the tips, Cinda! I think the biggest challenge with shrinking a bathing suit is trying to make it fit without turning into a raisin. Good luck everyone! 😉 #shrinkingsuccessfulbathinguitsforall ! 😁

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