Clothes Shrinking Prevention Guide - Elite Cleaners Wichita
Clothes Shrinking Prevention Guide

What Causes Clothes To Shrink: Prevention Guide

If you spend a long time finding the perfect-sized shirts or pants, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to have them shrink. But what causes clothes to shrink, and what can you do to avoid this common issue? Below, you’ll find a few laundry tips to prevent shrinkage.

What Does It Mean When Clothes Shrink?

Clothing shrinkage is just what it sounds like: shirts, pants, and other fabric garments getting smaller than they used to be. Your best pair of jeans might become unwanted highwaters, your go-to T-shirt might look more like a crop top, and your favorite sweater might get too tight around the chest. Shrinking usually happens when you wash and dry your clothes.

Why Does Clothing Shrink?

You can only solve a problem once you identify and understand its reason. To avoid shrinkage, you’ll want to know what causes clothes to shrink in the first place. There are four basic types of shrinkage:

  •     Relaxation: Silk, linen, cotton, wool, and other fabrics may expand (or relax) in warm water temperatures. However, the natural fibers might curl tighter once they dry, leaving your garments smaller than their original size.
  •     Consolidation: Consolidation shrinkage occurs when moisture, heat, and mechanical washing affect your clothing. These processes can soften the fibers and compress (or consolidate) the flat surface, causing your clothes to shrink accidentally.
  •     Contraction: Another common cause of clothing shrinkage is contraction. This often happens when you use high heat for drying and pull all the natural moisture out of the fabric. Wool and cotton clothing are especially susceptible to contraction shrinkage.
  •     Felting: Natural fabrics containing animal hair fibers have microscopic scales that can gently squeeze together when exposed to hot water and air. This process (known as felting) causes your clothes to shrink.

How Do You Prevent Clothes From Shrinking?

Having your clothes shrink in the wash can be irritating. However, it is preventable. The following are some practical steps you can take to avoid clothing shrinkage:

  •     Follow the care label instructions: Pullovers, button-ups, sweatpants, and other clothes come with labels that tell you how to care for them. You should always read the fabric care labels and follow the washing instructions to reduce the chance of shrinkage.
  •     Use cold water: Hot water can damage your clothing and cause it to shrink. It’s best to use cold or lukewarm water for most fabric types.
  •     Let the clothes air dry: Do you constantly struggle with shrinking clothes? It could be due to excessive drying. A great way to remedy this is by using a low heat setting or letting the garments air dry using the air-drying setting.

Elite Cleaners: Your Go-to Laundry Service in Wichita, KS

Consider sending your laundry to a reliable dry cleaning company if you’re concerned about shrinkage when washing clothes. At Elite Cleaners, we know what causes clothes to shrink and how to prevent shrinking and even unshrink clothes. Our full suite of services provides top-quality solutions for all your laundry needs.

Avoid shrinking clothes with the help of Elite Cleaners. Call us at (316) 651-5997 to get started today!

Benefits of Elite Cleaners

Give us a Call and

Let Us Take a Load Off!

We’ll pickup your laundry and bring it back to you!  Wash and Fold Laundry services are great for busy families and professionals who just have too many other tasks and have no desire to do laundry after a long day.

“Perfect name for this business and they have earned the “Elite” moniker in my book. They not only pick up your sack (that they provide) of dirty clothes and deliver your perfectly pressed clothes in two days, but they do it at a price better than most of their competitors! Oh, and they’ll do linens, curtains, and smoke damaged fabric too! Kudos to the team at Elite, you should be proud.”

— Nathan R.



We are a company that prides itself on operating with the utmost professionalism and attention to detail. We will take care to ensure that your laundry is as clean as it can be. We also have the friendliest and most helpful staff in Wichita, KS.

Our customers are our number one priority, and we treat them as such. Our services are also consistent: we will have your clothes ready on schedule each time.

If you think that this high level of service comes with a high price tag, think again. At Elite Cleaners, we offer affordable prices for our wash & fold services—as well as all our other laundry and dry cleaning services.

If you are looking for an affordable, reliable laundry solution in Wichita, KS, give us a call at 316-651-5997. We are conveniently located on E 13th Street in Wichita and we will be glad to help you with all your laundry needs. Once you have used our convenient wash & fold services, you will wonder how you ever got by without them.

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