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How to Unshrink a T-Shirt

So many of us find ourselves at that sorry point, where we are standing in front of the dryer or washer looking at a T-shirt that fit us beautifully the first time we put it on but is now suitable for our 4-year old cousin. What can you do? How do you unshrink a T-shirt? Sorry to have to tell you, but you simply can’t. Once a T-shirt has been shrunk, it is that way for good and you are stuck with a miniature version of a T-shirt you once loved. However, the good news is you can prevent it from happening again.

When you are buying T-shirts, be sure to look for ones that are of good quality and are made of pre-shrunk cotton. This does not mean that the T-shirt will not shrink at all, however the amount of shrinkage to expect is much less than with T-shirts of lower quality or ones that have not been pre-shrunk. Luckily, the industry standard now is pre-shrunk cotton, so unless you are looking at super cheap T-shirts, you should be buying pre-shrunk tees. If you are in doubt about whether it is pre-shrunk or not, check the label.

Choosing the right size T-shirt will also help you prevent that terrible feeling when you realize you’ve shrunk a T-shirt to an unwearable size. When you try on T-shirts or are ordering them, get one size larger than would normally buy if you were buying a regular shirt. Expect some shrinkage with the first wash and plan for it. That way you will avoid disappointment and wasted money.

When you are washing your T-shirts, keep the water temperature cold. Choose a good detergent that dissolves well in cold water and always do your laundry in it. This is not just good advice for T-shirts, but also for pretty much all your clothes that is machine washable. Check the label for drying recommendations. If it says that machine drying is acceptable, go ahead, but keep the temperature down. Do not go with the highest heat setting when drying clothes. If you are in doubt about drying your T-shirt in the dryer, hang it to dry. This is always the safest method.

Now that you know that there is no way to unshrink a T-shirt, what are you going to do with the one you’ve just shrunk? No need to toss it in the trash. You can always give it to a friend who wears a smaller size than you. If it has shrunk incredibly, you can give it to a neighborhood kid or bring it to Goodwill. Other options are to use it on your teddy bear or wash the car with it. Then get another one to replace it because now you know how to avoid shrinkage.

Order a custom-made T-shirt now that perfectly matches the one you have shrunk. That’s the beauty of custom-made tees, you can replace any shirt and no one will ever have to know that you shrunk the original.

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1 Comment

  1. LisaAnn · October 5, 2011

    Who are you, Captain Hindsight? This is the worst article, you did NOT instruct. There is no how to, just how NOT to. “Give the shirt to a friend?” That is so stupid. You suck. Loser.

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