Can Hot Water Shrink Clothes?
Clothing that is made of cotton or other natural fibers may shrink when washed in hot water.This is especially true if the clothes have not been pre-shrunk before it was manufactured. Hot water can also cause cloth to fade faster and cause colors to bleed from certain fabrics.
Reasons for Shrinking Clothes in Hot Water
- Natural Fibers: Natural fibers such as cotton, wool and linen are more prone to shrinkage when exposed to hot water.
- Pre-Shrunk: Manufacturers often make garments pre-shrunk, but this is not always the case. When a fabric is not pre-shrunk, it may shrink more in the wash.
- Temperature: Hot water will shrink fabric more than cold water, as the heat tightens the fibers of the fabric.
If you do not want your clothes to shrink, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Always read the care instructions on the label and pay attention to the temperature of the water.
- Wash items made of natural fibers on a gentle or delicate cycle (with cold water).
- Hang clothes made of natural fibers to dry or lay them flat or shape them when wet.
- If you are unsure about the type of fabric an item is made of, do not expose it to hot water.
In summary, hot water can shrink clothes that are not pre-shrunk and are made of natural fibers. To avoid shrinking, read the tags on your clothing and pay attention to the temperature of the water when washing.