Do Clothes Shrink in Hot Water?
Have you ever put something in the wash and it comes out looking a bit different? Many people worry about clothes shrinking in hot water and the answer is, yes—they can.
What Causes Clothes To Shrink?
Clothes are made from fabric, which is made from fibers like cotton or wool. Fabrics that are made from natural fibers, like cotton and wool, are more likely to shrink than those made from synthetic fibers. Natural fabrics shrink when exposed to high temperatures, and hot water heats the fibers up, causing them to contract and the fabric to shrink.
How Can I Avoid Shrinking My Clothes?
To avoid shrinking, you should:
- Check the tags on your clothes: Make sure you follow the washing guidelines. If it says to wash on a cold cycle, follow that!
- Read labels: If a garment has a special label like “dry clean only,” that means it could shrink or get damaged if you put it in the washing machine.
- Use a low setting: Even if the tags say you can wash something on hot, use the warm or cold setting instead to help protect against shrinking.
- Hang or lay flat to dry: In general, it’s best to be careful when drying clothes. Hanging them or laying them flat allows them to dry without shrinking.
Understanding how hot water and heat affects your clothing can help you make sure it stays in good shape for longer. So just remember – when in doubt, wash on a cold, gentle cycle.