Can Hot Water Shrink Clothes?
Clothing has a tendency to shrink over time, but many people are curious to know whether hot water can cause clothing to shrink faster. While there is potential for hot water to make clothing shrink, it also depends on the fabric of the clothing item.
How Hot Water Can Shrink Clothes
Hot water exerts its shrinking power on clothes primarily when the water is used to submerge the clothing, such as when handwashing or laundering. The fibers in some fabrics, such as 100% cotton, wool, and linen, contract when exposed to hot water. This can result in clothes shrinking smaller than their original size.
What Fabrics are Prone to Shrink?
Different fabrics react differently to hot water, so knowing the fabric composition of your clothes can help you determine how vulnerable they are to shrinkage. Fabrics that are prone to shrink include:
- Cotton: Cotton is a natural fiber that is prone to hot water shrinkage.
- Wool: Wool, especially when blended with synthetic fibers, can quickly shrink when exposed to hot water.
- Linen: Linen is a natural fiber and absorbs water easily, causing it to shrink.
How to Minimize Hot Water Shrinkage
There are several things you can do to avoid hot water shrinkage.
- Use Cold or Warm Water: To avoid shrinkage, when laundering clothes, use cold or warm water instead of hot.
- Avoid a Hot Dryer: When drying clothes, use a low setting and remove the clothes while they’re still slightly damp.
- Use the Delicate Cycle: When washing delicate fabric, use the delicate cycle and tepid water to minimize potential shrinkage.
In conclusion, it’s possible for hot water to cause clothing to shrink. Knowing what fabrics are more vulnerable to shrinkage, following laundering instructions, and avoiding hot water and hot drying can help you keep your clothes looking their best.