This genius life hack will give your shrunken clothes a second chance

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • You can thank us in cashmere

    You’re in a rush; you grab a pile of similarly coloured clothes from the washing basket, bundle them into the machine with a generous glug of detergent, heap them into the dryer and you’re out the door, ready to seize the day. You return to discover somewhere along the line, your favourite new jumper is now only fit for a five year old (it’s okay to cry over cashmere).

    It happens. But to save your devastation in future – and stop you having to shell out for a replacement – we’ve come across the most ingenious hack to revive your shrunken wares. According to the folks at Good to Know, simply soaking them in baby shampoo and warm water can help get them back to their original size.

    Lifestyle blogger Jill Nystul explains that leaving your garms in soapy water ‘will relax the fibers in the clothing’. So, all you need to do is add a third of a cup of baby shampoo to a bucket of warm water and soak your clothes for half an hour. Then, ring them out gently – but don’t rinse them as the soapy water needs to continue actively relaxing the fibers while you work on stretching and re-shaping it back to life. Gradually roll up the towel with the garment still inside and leave it to dry for 10-15 minutes.

    The final stage is to unroll the towel and transfer the garment onto a second flat, dry towel. Gently stretch the garment back into its proper shape and hold the shape in place by securing the edges with heavy objects (such as paperweights, books, and coffee mugs – clean ones, naturally). Ta-da! They should back to their former glory (or near enough). If you happen to have a steamer, this also helps with breathing life back into clothes that have suffered a shrinking.

    Our best advice to avoid this happening again is to always keep a separate washing basket or bag for your delicate knits.

    Reading now

    Popular Life stories