How To Fix Clothes That Shrunk in the Wash

We’ve all experienced this household tragedy: you pull a favorite sweater out of the dryer, only to find that it is now about two sizes too small. You may not have MEANT to put that clothing item in the dryer, but the deed is done, and you now have to suffer the consequences. An unwearable, too-tight sweater. Well, never fear, you actually reverse your mistake using this handy little tip! (No time machine required.) Whether it was a slip of your hand or your beloved partner made a horrific laundry mistake, the damage can be undone with this one simple secret weapon. Watch the video below to see how you can un-shrink your favorite clothes in a snap.

All you’ll need to get your clothes good as new is a hot tub of water, your shrunken garment, and the secret weapon…baby shampoo! You can use any brand of baby shampoo that you would like.

Why baby shampoo? Well, when you mix this gentle hair product with the hot water and get your garment wet, the shampoo helps to relax the fibers in the shirt. With the fibers loosened a bit, you can then stretch the garment back to its original size.

Disclaimer: this trick, as good as it is, will not work on wool sweaters! Unfortunately, once you dry a wool sweater, it’s done for. However, you can use the material to make some pretty cool DIY crafts! There’s a silver lining in there.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • Tub of hot water
  • Shrunken garment
  • Baby shampoo
  • 2 towels

Step 1: Put about a sink-worth of hot water into a tub (or just fill up a clean sink). Add a cap of baby shampoo and gently stir to combine.
Step 2: Put your garment in the water. No need to soak it, just get the clothing item wet.
Step 3: Stack two towels on top of each other. Place the garment flat onto the top towel and roll it into the towel. Squeeze the towel to get as much moisture as you can.
Step 4: Lay the slightly dried garment onto the second towel to stretch. Gently tug at the clothes until it stretches back to the size it originally was.
Step 5: Leave the clothing for a few hours to dry.

You will be amazed by these results! Tell everyone you know about this handy new tip – this is the answer to one of the biggest laundry conundrums most of us face.

Make sure that after you soak the garment, you don’t rinse it. You WANT the shampoo to linger in the fibers of the clothing item; that’s what’s keeping the fibers loose and allowing them to stretch back to size. The whole tip is in the baby shampoo, so you do not want to wash it away before it can do its job!

What do you think of this amazing clothing-fixing trick? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.