How to Shrink Clothes Using a Laundromat’s Washing Machine and Dryer

How to Shrink Clothes: A Guide for Using a Laundromat's Washing Machine and Dryer

Shrinking clothes may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes it’s necessary to get the perfect fit. Whether you accidentally purchased a garment that’s a size too big or want to tighten up a loose-fitting item, shrinking clothes is a simple process that can be done with a washing machine and dryer. In this article, we’ll explain how to properly shrink clothes using a laundromat‘s washing machine and dryer.

What kinds of clothes can I shrink?

First, it’s important to note that not all fabrics will shrink in the wash. Natural fibers like cotton, wool, and linen are more likely to shrink, while synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon are less likely to shrink. However, even natural fibers may not always shrink, as some garments are pre-shrunk during the manufacturing process (Nina’s Laundrette actually provides a prewashing and preshrinking commercial laundry service for clothing and apparel manufacturers). So, before attempting to shrink any clothes, check the care label to ensure that the garment is not labeled as pre-shrunk or if there are any specific instructions for washing.

Step 1. Soak the garment in hot water

To begin the shrinking process, fill a bucket or sink with hot water. Hot water helps to open up the fibers of the garment, making them more susceptible to shrinking. If the garment has any embellishments or delicate details, place it in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from damage. Add a small amount of detergent to the water and agitate it to distribute the soap.

Once the washing machine is filled with hot soapy water, place the garment inside and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. After the 10-15 minutes is up take out the garment and gently ring out so that it is damp, and not ringing wet.

Step 2. Washing the garment on a hot cycle

After the soaking period, run the washing machine using the hot cycle. Avoid using the ‘super-wash’ option as the extra rinses and spins can prevent the garment from shrinking properly. Once the cycle is complete, remove the garment from the washing machine and again gently wring out any excess water.

Step 3. Dry the garment using our commercial dryers

Next, transfer the garment to the dryer. It’s important to use a high setting on our dryers to facilitate the shrinking process. You can add a few clean, dry towels to the dryer to help speed up the process and reduce the risk of overheating the garment.

Set the dryer to run for a short amount of time, 10 or 15 minutes to start with. Then check the garment intermittently to ensure that it’s shrinking evenly. If the garment is not shrinking evenly, adjust it as necessary and continue drying.

Ensuring you shrink your clothes for the perfect fit

Once the garment has reached the desired size, remove it from the dryer ensuring that is it completely dry. Be sure to let the garment cool down before trying it on. Be aware that some garments may continue to shrink slightly even after the drying process is complete. It’s best to check the garment periodically to ensure that it’s still the desired size. Once the garment has reached your desired size it’s a good idea to wear the garment for an hour or two to ensure that it holds its shape.

Shrinking clothes using a laundromat’s washing machine and dryer is a simple process that can be done with a few easy steps. Remember to check the care label before attempting to shrink any garments, as not all fabrics will shrink in the wash. Additionally, be careful not to overheat the garment during the drying process, as this can cause damage to the fabric. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to achieve the perfect fit for any garment in no time.

Our Northcote Laundromat is located at

267 St Georges Rd, Northcote