Can Clothes Shrink in Cold Water?
Clothing shrinkage is a common issue amongst laundry-goers, but does cold water cause more shrinkage than other temperatures? Many people may be wondering if washing clothes in cold water instead of warm will prevent them from shrinking. The short and sweet answer is, yes, clothing can still shrink in cold water.
How Does Cold Water Make Clothes Shrink?
When clothing is washed in cold water, it usually doesn’t shrink as drastically as it would have in hot water. This is mainly because the fibers and fabrics that make up the garment are not exposed to as high of temperatures and don’t experience as much agitation from the washing machine’s cycles.
Although clothing may not shrink as much in cold water as it does in hot, the fibers and fabrics still experience some wear and tear when it’s exposed to cold temperatures. Over time, this wear and tear can cause the clothes to shrink slightly.
So, What Steps Can You Take to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking in Cold Water?
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to minimize clothing shrinkage while washing in cold water. Here are few of them:
- Check the clothing tags. Always check thecare tags on clothing to make sure you are washing in the correct temperature. Not all garments are suited for cold water washing.
- Wash in delicate modes. Whenever possible, switch your washing machine to a delicate cycle when washing in cold water. This can help prevent extra agitation which can lead to clothing shrinkage.
- Avoid harsh detergents. Strong detergents can be too abrasive for delicate clothing and may cause shrinkage over time. It is best to use a gentler, cold-water specific detergent.
- Turn clothes inside out. Turning your clothes inside out before washing them can help to protect the outer surface from damage that can lead to shrinkage.
- Line dry. Drying clothing in a machine can be too rough for sensitive fabrics and can lead to further shrinkage. Whenever possible, hang clothes to air dry instead.
At the end of the day, cold water washing can still cause clothing to shrink. With the proper precautions and techniques, however, this can be minimized. As long as you take the time to check the tags, use a delicate cycle, avoid harsh detergents and hang to air dry, your clothes should stay looking their best for a long time.