Does Air Drying Shrink Clothes?

does air drying shrink clothes

When it comes to washing and taking care of our clothes, only 35% of us read the instructions on clothing tags. Still, it is frustrating to get a new shirt, jacket, or new pair of pants and pull them out of the dryer only to find out they don’t look the same in size.

Does air drying shrink clothes? Sometimes, hot air can shrink clothes due to the high heat exposure. It happens due to the absorption of water into the fabric, so before turning on the drying cycle, check what types of materials are the articles of clothing in question.

Is it possible to prevent shrinkage and protect your new clothes? Below we’ll provide all the information you need to know about how to use your washer and dryer the right way without shrinking your clothes.

How Do Hot Water and Air Make Clothes Shrink?

During the creation process, manufacturers stretch the fabric to get as many items as possible out of the material. When exposed to heat, clothes return to their natural form due to the tension in the fibers. For example, if you dry your new sweater, it will probably come out a little tighter.

Hot air isn’t the only reason why some clothes shrink. Hot water can also impact the size of your clothes. When you dry wash some clothes, the danger is that the fabric will not contract to its natural state but keep shrinking.

The tumbling process is another possible reason for shrinkage. When you put your clothes into your drying machine, it blows hot air, and the drum spins at a great speed, causing the clothes’ fibers to shrink.

Related: How Long Does Dry Cleaning Take?

How to Prevent Clothes From Shrinking

does air drying shrink clothes

How to prevent clothes from shrinking is a question every homeowner wants to know the answer to. Those who have already discovered the secrets on how to not shrink clothes in the washer are in great advantage and are probably enjoying their appliances without worrying about the results.

If you are still struggling to wash your clothes and dry them out properly, here is what to do:

Read the Labels

Reading the labels can save you a lot of time and money. The labels on your garments contain information that informs the wearer how to care for the clothing. Manufacturers give clear instructions for washing, so make sure to read the labels before you add your clothes to the dryer.

When washing natural fabrics, such as wool, you should know that they are very delicate. In addition, wool, linen, and cotton absorb water, so a hot wash followed by a hot tumble could significantly affect the fibers and material’s quality.

If the label says to wash only on cold or to hand-wash only, follow the instructions.

Related: How Long Does Dry Cleaning Take?

Adjust the Water Temperature

Water temperature is one of the main factors for shrinkage, so it is better to adjust it before you press “start.” Many think they need to wash their dirty clothes, such as sportswear and socks, at high temperatures to remove the stains. However, sometimes, high temperatures can do more harm than good.

Sweat, blood, and other types of stains might set further into the fibers on a hot wash, so if you want to clean them, you might want to use a different strategy.

Wondering how to not shrink clothes and remove stains successfully? Try detergents and cleaning solutions specifically designed to remove stains in a cold wash.

Adjust the Tumble Speed of the Dryer

If you want to learn how to prevent pants from shrinking or any other type of clothing, you need to start from the basics, such as adjusting the tumbling speed. Your clothes will still be exposed to a high temperature, but it won’t be as intense. Constant washing and drying may affect your clothes over time, so avoid cleaning them frequently.

Adjusting the tumbling speed can also help avoid any clothing damage. Although it may take longer to dry out your clothes, they will maintain their quality and come out in excellent shape.

Know the Materials

If you want to learn how to wash clothes so they don’t shrink, you should first learn about clothing materials. The more you know about the materials, the easier it will be for you to adjust the temperature and the tumbling speed of the dryer.

  • Synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester absorb less water during the washing cycle.
  • Polyester and nylon can hold up to the heat better than other materials.
  • Silk is a delicate fabric and can be damaged in high temperatures.
  • For wool and cashmere, it is better to avoid drying. 

When choosing clothes, read the labels and see what they are made of. Then, you can sort them and know what to do when washing time comes.

Related: How to Get Oil Stains Out Of Clothes

Air Dry When Possible

Throwing your freshly washed clothes into the dryer is one of the easiest options for homeowners. All you need to do is press “start” and walk away.

However, as you have read, a few possible factors may cause shrinkage. Although you are very careful and respect all instructions, there’s always a possibility you may shrink your clothing because of the high heat. If you want to avoid shrinkage and preserve the quality of some delicate clothing types, air dry when possible.

Air drying is better for the environment, saves energy, and reduces monthly bills.

How to Avoid Shrinking Clothes: Is There Another Option?

Yes, there is another option to consider, and it is a perfect one for those who want their clothes to look new and fresh and to save time on washing and drying. Professional dry-cleaning services are a go-to solution for many people who struggle to clean delicates or other fragile types of fabrics, heavy materials, and other pieces of clothing that require hand-washing.

Here is why so many people choose professional dry-cleaning:

  • Convenience: Instead of wasting your free time doing laundry, waiting for your clothing to dry, and then folding, taking a bag of clothes to the local dry-cleaning service is more convenient. Many professional dry-cleaning services also offer ironing, so your clothes can look just as good as the first day you bought them.
  • Speed: Every step of the cleaning and drying process is automated. When ironing, human help is necessary, and usually, the team has trained professionals who complete the job quickly and on time.
  • Efficient and Safe Stain Removal: It is difficult to remove stubborn stains from some pieces of clothing. You will be surprised by how efficient dry-cleaning services are in removing all kinds of stains, from coffee to ketchup and oily stains.

Contact the Best Professional Dry-Cleaning Service in Citrus Heights, CA

Does air drying shrink clothes? Are you thinking about how to avoid shrinking clothes? Although we have answered some of your shrinking questions, you may still be unsure about some delicate pieces, sweaters, and jackets.

Instead of worrying, consider contacting the best professional dry-cleaning service in Citrus Heights, CA – Judi’s Cleaners. We offer fast pick-up, cleaning, drying, ironing, and delivery of your clothes. All you need to do is place your order and inform us of the pick-up spot.


Free Pickup & Delivery