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How to Shrink a Shirt: Here are 3 Really Easy Ways

How to Shrink a Shirt
Bought a shirt that is a size too large? You can easily shrink it if you have a washing machine and/or dryer at your disposal. Here's how!
HomeQuicks Staff
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2018
Shirts are clothing items one would find in every wardrobe. With its different styles and materials, it makes the perfect apparel for any occasion. But what when you've lost weight, but your shirt is still the same size; or you just had to buy a shirt because it was perfect, though it was too large? Whatever your situation may have been, there is a way to shrink a shirt to your size.
Before you decide to go ahead and shrink your shirt, keep in mind the material that you are dealing with.
A shirt other than one that is cotton-based, i.e. polyester and cotton blend, or rayon, may not be affected by the shrinking procedure. Also, certain shirts are pre-shrunk. The shrinking process will have no effect on these shirts.
These steps will tell you how to shrink a shirt.
To Shrink a Shirt
  • Put your shirt in the washing machine and put the machine on the highest water temperature. The tumbling action of the washing machine contributes to the shrinkage of a shirt.
  • If there are chances of the shirt losing color, put a cup of vinegar along with the detergent into the washing machine.
  • You can add a cup of boiling water to the machine if you feel the water is not hot enough.
  • After the wash cycle has completed, flip the shirt inside out and toss it in the dryer on the highest heat setting. You will notice that your shirt has shrunken at least by one size.

To Shrink it Further
  • If you feel you want to shrink your shirt further, repeat the aforementioned cycle.
  • This time, do not let the shirt dry completely in the dryer. Instead, when it is half dry, iron the shirt on the highest temperature. This will make the shirt smaller.
  • If your shirt happens to dry up completely in the dryer, iron the shirt with a steam iron. The steam will add to the shrinkage of the shirt.
  • To achieve maximum shrinkage, begin ironing from the outside towards the inside of the shirt. Doing the opposite will cause the shirt to stretch further.

To Shrink a Shirt Without Washing
  • Toss your shirt in the dryer, on the highest temperature setting.
  • An alternative to this option is to place the shirt out, in strong sunlight.
  • Follow either of the procedures by ironing the shirt with a steam iron. The steam will contribute to the shrinking process.

The main factor involved in the shrinking process is heat. So if you want to shrink your shirt a lot, you will have to use the maximum heat possible in all the appliances you use for the process. Again, first check if your shirt is prepared to take heat like this. Sometimes certain shirts are to be washed as per the specifications mentioned on their labels.
If you don't have the time or the inclination to put your shirt through the entire washing process, you may utilize the above-mentioned method. However, you must note that shrinking a shirt without washing it may not be as effective as shrinking it by first washing it.
It is important to remember that the process of shrinking cannot convert a shirt from extra-large to a medium or small. Also, a lot of care has to be taken while conducting the process. Sometimes your shirt may become too short, or may go out of proportion. However, though it is risky, shrinking a shirt yourself is definitely a time-saving procedure, and can help you achieve that perfect fit you may have been aiming for.
Washing Machine
Washing Machine