Living Life

Does Hot Water Really Shrink Clothes: 4 Best Tips


The main misconception about washing clothes is that hot water shrinks clothes and does any kind of laundry with hot water. Does hot water really shrink clothes all the time?  Hot or cold water which one is perfect for washing jeans.  Can multiple washes shrink your clothes?

You need to find the reason behind these myths. And find out the scientific reason for this. When heat affects diseases of the items and even the human body and its color it can also affect the fabric of the clothing item and the shrinkage depends on other factors like what is the type of fabric used in the clothing item. 

You need to check how the fabric is made and the instructions given by the manufacturer of that clothing piece. Natural fibers, for example, cotton and wool, can feel shrinkage because the protein structure present in them may be affected by the heat of the hot water. But synthetic fibers like nylon polyester rayon are resistant to shrinkage.

By keeping these points in mind, you need to learn about how to take care of your garments and find the reason behind these myths and you can minimize the risk of washing your clothes in hot water. In this article, we will learn about the factors that are responsible for the shrinking of clothes and will give you an understanding of how hot water affects clothing items. 

By Annie Spratt/ from Unsplash copyright 2020

1. Understanding the Concept of Fabric Shrinkage

The structure of the fabric is responsible for its shrinking and that is why a hot dryer and some close drinks without it does hot water shrink clothes whereas some don’t. Natural fibers like cotton wool for silk have unique properties that make them shrink cable when washed properly in hot water.

Most of us wear cotton clothes in the summer. Because they are breakable and absorb water and sweat well. Cotton clothes are made up of cotton which contains cellulose molecules. When we give heat to those, the water molecules get trapped in the fiber and evaporate, causing the fiber to contract from its original size. And when you see your cotton t-shirt again after a hot wash, it reduces its original size.

We wear woolen clothes in winter and because of the low temperature most of us try to wash clothes in hot water as well but because of the presence of protein molecules in the wool, it becomes highly sensitive to the moisture and the temperature present in it. When you wash with hot water it gives it a high then the protein arranges, and it tightens and shrinks. 

2. What are Synthetic Fibers?

Synthetic materials like polyester nylon are made up of different types of new and resistant materials because they do not shrink or get affected by heat. These fibers are made up of long chains of polymers and during manufacturing, they are made by giving heat stretch and cool temperature then they come in final shapes white clothing and different fabrics shrink all kinds of articles.

The construction of the fabric is also an important part of shrinkage. For example, some fabrics can be one or needed and the other fabrics are interlocked with it then the ability to show gives it to lose its shape and size. Manufacturing companies of different kinds of synthetic fabrics use these techniques to minimize maximum shrinkage capacity. Manufacturers write a description when they produce fabrics. Like in stitching Indian wear, they wash the clothes before making the clothing item.

In most laundry places, they use a method called Preshrinking. This process involves boiling water for washing or giving heat and steaming the fabric to remove any kind of shrinkage. Gives less shrinkage when given exposure to warm water than to hot water due to high temperatures during laundry.

By Jason Leung / from Unsplash Copyright 2021

3. Does Hot Water Really Shrink Clothes?

Hot water is attached to clothes that have been shrinking for a long time and people believe that the items shrank because of hot water. But actually, the shrinkage of the cloth depends on its fabric, not on the hot water. Heat can affect the fabric and it is important to remember it is not just hot to blame. 

When you wash clothes with high force and rub them against each other the fabric experiences friction that can lead to shrinkage well or even they can tear apart. You can use the gentle cooler wash setting at the correct water temperature.  Now we know hot water shrinks clothes so use lukewarm water or cold water.

The process of drawing also plays an important role in fabric shrinkage full stop some manufacturers won about Note drawing the article in direct sunlight because it that can affect the color of the item as well as its length stopped high heat settings in dryers are not for every kind of clothes especially if the garment is damp a drying is done at low heat settings to minimize the shrinkage risk. 

Now we know which fabrics do shrink and which fabrics don’t shrink clothes can’t, but we cannot just simply discard those items which shrink we still need to wear cotton shirts and woolen items in winter so to prevent excessive favorite shrinkages you need to remember to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer to take care of these fabrics.

The instructions are specially designed to keep natural fibers tending to the fabric intact and minimize their shrinkage risk. Most of the articles if bought from the market come with guidelines to follow for washing, drying, and water temperature.

Does Hot Water Really Shrink Clothes
By Dan Gold / From Unsplash Copyright 2018

4. What are the Factors Affecting Shrinkage?

Yes, we know about how boiling water and can help in the shrinkage of clothes and so as the heat but there are other factors also that can cause the shrinkage of clothing items full stop understanding these factors that can help in shrinking clothes and keeping your item’s integrity will minimize shrinkage fully stop some factors are following.

The type of fabric which is used in the garment is the significant determinant that it will shrink in the future or not you need to check if it is cotton wool or another kind of material whose topper cotton and wool will absorb with the material and will drink when exposed to heat so you can try to dry them under shade.

This will minimize shrinkage and remember that other clothing items like synthetic fibers do not shrink, but they need to follow a different kind of washing technique with different detergents than normal, otherwise, they will shrink or may tear apart. 

Take care of the blending and combination of material items by giving them special treatments. For example, some of the clothing items come in a blind like leather. You cannot just simply wash them or dry them in direct sunlight. The manufacturing company of that article has given the methods of pressure drinking that can help them in taking care of these items and you can keep them for longer years. 

While washing the clothing items you need to check whether these are hand wash to clothes or machine wash. If the material is hand washed, then wash the items without using the harmful chemical with your hands and lightly dry them with shades. If the article is a machine, then keep the machine at medium wash timing. 

Following the care instructions given by the manufacturer is the most important thing when you buy a costly product. This will lead to minimizing shrinkage and following the recommended water temperature washing method and drying process. 

5. Tips to Keep Your Garment Intact

Most of us love shopping and buying new items. We want to keep the items with us for years to come. Some clothing items hold great sentimental value. So, we need to learn how to take care of the garments properly.

When you buy a product, you need to read the label first and always check about the clothing specification that gives proper washing and drying instructions to stop, always pay attention to the recommended water temperature, or just in case always use look water for washing all types of clothing in all types of weather.

You need to separate your laundry based on different color fabric types and the level of dirtiness. Keep your separate white clothing, light clothing, and workout clothes. So, you can prevent your clothes from getting harmed with different colors or damaged because of you not washing them properly or watching them properly.

Always try to wash your clothing with gentle hands and follow a delicate cycle of washing from the machine. When you press any article, they are given an option in ironing that is particularly based on the kind of fabric the same goes with the washing and drying techniques. 

Try to use mild detergent because using detergent requires pH-neutral detergent water that always works for delicate fabrics like seeds etc. Avoid using harmful chemicals or bleach for clothing items.

That’s what our mother does with our clothes: try to turn your clothes inside out when you dry them in the sunlight or even wash them. It has the benefit that you can save the front of your clothing, or you can keep the color and texture of the product as well.

Don’t just overload the washing machine with all kinds of clothes, try to wash white clothes separately and colored clothes separately, do not try to wash the dirty clothes with the lesser dirty clothes that will cover your washing machine without giving it enough space and proper movement. The washing of the cloth will get hard, and you will get wrinkles on your clothes that can lead to shrinking.

Always try to air-dry the products and articles of clothing that you buy. You should just use a dryer in emergency conditions and remember one thing: don’t hang your cotton T-shirts, they will increase in size, so you just put them on a clean chair. With this technique, clothes will not lose their color because of Sunlight and their size also will not change for hanging them.

Iron your clothing safely and keep it always under low heat settings. High heat can lead to the shrinking of fabric and especially the natural fibers. Remove the clothes one by one and try them in the air when you press them, keep the temperature medium, and remember on the neck of the item like a t-shirt it is mentioned whether it is an iron -able clothing item or not. 

Always keep your clothing items in a dry, well-ventilated, and clean place. Stored in a perfect wardrobe. Try to check your and the buttons before washing to make sure they are fully functioning. Washing the zipper items in the washing machine can be a hustle. Wash them upside down.  Always avoid the direct sunlight falling on the colorful t-shirts, pants, and shirts. Dry your clothes in the shaded area.

6. Conclusion

After reading this article you know that hot water is not the only reason to make your clothes shrink. The reality is much different to stop. You need to check the fiber type, fiber construction, and other factors also to keep your clothes with you for a long time and maintain the true size of their original piece.

When you try to follow the instructions given, you can take care of the items you love and buy with your hard-earned money. Try to save energy by washing clothes in cold water. Wash dark clothes separately, wash brightly colored clothing with your hands, and dry them in natural air.

Suggested Reading: How Often Do You Water a Cactus? The 4 Different Types of Cacti




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