Tips&TricksRescue your shrunken sweaters: simple steps to restore your favorite clothes at home

Rescue your shrunken sweaters: simple steps to restore your favorite clothes at home

Holiday sweater
Holiday sweater
Images source: © Getty Images | olgakr

6:07 PM EST, January 10, 2024

Washing laundry is among the most disliked household chores. Clothes tend to pile up in the basket, and while setting up the next cycle, we rarely pay attention to the labels. We just want to finish the task quickly.

Just one wash at the wrong temperature can cause your favorite sweater to shrink up to three sizes. Is it possible to salvage it? Luckily, the answer is yes. What's more, you don't need any special detergent. Everything required is already in your house.

Sweaters, especially ones made of natural materials like cashmere, mohair, or wool, require special care. The safe way to clean these is by hand. Fill a bowl with cold water (70-90°F) and add a gentle detergent. Add a tablespoon of hair conditioner to the water if you want the sweater to remain soft. This will soften the fabric. You could also prepare a rinse with lanolin. Regular use of this will keep your sweater looking new for years.

What about sweaters made from acrylic or nylon? These can be machine-washed. However, select the shortest cycle and set the lowest temperature (not exceeding 86°F). To maintain the shape of your sweater, dry it flat. Never lay it on a radiator. High temperatures will cause the sweater to shrink.

Restore your shrunken sweater by soaking it in water

Has your favorite sweater shrunk considerably? Don't give up on it. You can restore its former size and shape. How can you do this? Prepare a large bowl filled with cold water. Stir into this 2-3 tablespoons of hair conditioner. Thoroughly immerse the sweater in this mixture. Let it saturate for about half an hour, after which you can squeeze out the excess water. Finally, lay the sweater flat to dry, for instance, on a drying rack. The combination of cold water and softening conditioner will help your sweater regain its original shape.

Related content