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How to Unshrink a Cotton Shirt

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Oh no! You accidentally washed your favorite cotton shirt in hot water, then dried it on high heat. Now, as a result, your once pristine favorite shirt is more suited to a child's doll than to an actual human, and you're pretty sure that teacup chihuahuas might fit in it pretty comfortably. Lucky for you, we've all been there. Even more lucky, there is a way you can try to reverse the shrinkage. In the most severe cases, this may not work as well, but if you get on damage control quickly, you might be able to salvage that shirt before it's totally ruined!


First, fill your sink with warm water. Not hot, not cold, but just warm. Mix in about 2 tablespoons of a mild shampoo: think baby shampoo or anything made for mild skin. Place the shirt in the full sink, and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Once it's done soaking, lay out a large towel, and place the shirt flat on top of it. From one end, roll the shirt tightly into a cylinder, applying pressure so that the shirt gets dried on the towel. You should do this until the water coming out no longer soaks the towel when you roll it up.


Next, stretch the shirt out. Tug at the arms, collar, sides, and the bottom hem. Then, lay it out taut to dry on a flat surface, placing something heavy on each side and at the ends and sleeves, to keep it from shrinking up again. Once it's completely dry, it should be more stretched out than it was. This doesn't always preserve the shape of a shirt very well, but it can save an old favorite in a pinch!


Photo: Pixabay


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