can dry cleaners unshrink clothes

can dry cleaners unshrink clothes

Can Dry Cleaners Unshrink Clothes?

Do you have a favorite sweater that accidentally got thrown into the dryer and has now become uncomfortably tight? If so, you might be wondering if anything can be done to reverse the shrinkage. After all, there is nothing more frustrating than your favorite item of clothing becoming unusable. The good news is that some dry cleaners can unshrink clothes.

Dry Cleaners

Dry cleaners use solvents and mechanical actions, such as steaming, to refresh and clean clothing items. These solvents and mechanical actions can be used to reverse the shrinkage of woolen items. However, one should be aware that any attempt to unshrink an item could damage the fibers irreversibly, so it’s best to consult with a professional before attempting a shrinkage reversal.


One beneficial steaming method utilizes a facial steamer. This type of steamer mixes hot water vapor with moisture to open fiber cuticles, which can lead to clothing fibers expanding. This method is much gentler than a regular steam and allows the fibers to recover their original shape.

Manual Methods

Dry cleaners often try additional manual methods to unshrink clothes. These methods are often used to stretch out the fibers, thereby allowing the item to recover its initial shape.

  • Soaking: soak the item in lukewarm water and gentle soap for a few minutes, then squeeze out the excess water.
  • Tugging: hold the item of clothing and gently pull at the edges to stretch it out.
  • Drying: lay out the item on a towel, then use your hands to stretch the garment while it is drying.


Accidentally shrinking clothes can be devastating, but luckily some dry cleaners can successfully unshrink them. This is usually done through gentle steaming, but there are manual methods that can help stretch the clothing, as well. Before attempting manual methods to unshrink clothes, it is best to consult with a professional to make sure they are done correctly and that the item of clothing is not damaged irreversibly.

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