How to Shrink a Shirt in Different Ways

How to Shrink a Shirt in Different Ways

You might have experienced the annoying feeling when you just bought a piece of a shirt, but that shirt is too big for you, so you might want to know how to shrink a shirt.

Some people might prefer to return it to the warehouse or buy a new one that is more fit in your body, but you can shrink it.

There are some different ways to shrink your shirt. You just need to be thorough in choosing which way you prefer.

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Choice 1: Wash and Dry the Shirt

The first choice that can be applied to shrink your unfitted shirt is by washing and drying your shirt until it feels fitted.

But of course, you need to follow these steps to avoid any mistakes.

1. You need to check your shirt’s tag

The first step that you need to take before you implement this method is by checking all the tags that are placed on your shirt.

Usually, there are various tags that you can find on your shirt. Some fabrics will shrink with a hot temperature, but other fabrics can’t.

Fabrics that will shrink when being applied with hot water are wool and cotton, so if you have a shirt with those fabrics, you can use this method.

Make sure to check for other specific instructions on your shirt. Usually, instructions will be placed on your shirt to let you know how to wash it in order to avoid shrinking.

That specific instruction can be the water temperature requirement, such as cool or warm water. You can shrink your shirt by washing it at the opposite temperature.

2. Then, fill a sink with a hot water

If the first step is done, you can move on to the second step. After checking the tags on your shirt, you can pour hot water into a bucket.

Then, you are allowed to shrink your cotton or wool shirt by soaking your shirt in a bucket full of hot water.

You can rest your shirt in the hot water for around 5 minutes, then you can put it up and wring it out directly.

But you also need to remember that if your shirt is not white, then this method may lose the intensity of your shirt’s original color.

When using this method, you also need to pay attention to setting the appropriate temperature, because the hotter the water, the more your shirt will shrink.

If you are afraid that you might damage the intensity of your shirt’s color, you are allowed to try soaking your shirt in lukewarm or cool water.

After soaking your shirt, then you can hang your shirt directly in a warm place and let it dry for some time.

3. To make your shirt dry, lay it down

After soaking your shirt in hot water, then you can move to the next step to make your shirt dry as soon as possible.

First, you need to lay your shirt flat on a drying rack. Tidy it up and let the fresh air help your shirt to dry.

You can also use a dry towel if you don’t have a drying rack, then lay your shirt flat on top of your dry towel.

It doesn’t matter as long as you are not hanging your shirt to dry because hanging your shirt, can stretch your shirt in the shoulder area.

Whenever you find a side of your shirt that is already dry, you can flip that side over and let another side dry.

You can also place your shirt in a warm place to make it dry faster and shrink your shirt even more!

4. Go to the washing machine and place your shirt there

You can move to another step if you feel like those three steps don’t fulfill your needs and want to shrink your shirt fully.

Go to the washing machine and place your shirt in it. Then, you can try to wash your shirt at a hot temperature.

You need to select the ‘whites’ setting to set a hot temperature to rinse your shirt. And if you are afraid your shirt color is going to fade away, you can add some vinegar.

Another thing that you can try if you’re afraid of the result is to use the ‘permanent press’ setting or cold water.

5. Go to the dryer

After the fourth step, you can move to the last step of this method. Go to the dryer and let your shirt dry in the dryer.

This step can help your shirt shrink a little bit more. But if you think that you still don’t think your shirt is shrunk enough, you can try to use the dryer at a high temperature.

To prevent your shirt from getting damaged, you can use the setting of ‘gentle dry’.

And to make your shrinking process faster, you can use the ‘regular dry’ or ‘permanent press’ setting.

Choice 2: Use the Method of Spot Shrinking

Another way to shrink your shirt if you are afraid to connect your shrinking process with heat temperature is to use the method of spot shrinking.

To make it successful, follow the steps below one by one.

1. Pour water into a spray bottle

The first step that you need to do when using this method is to pour water into a spray bottle as much as possible.

You are definitely allowed to use a spray bottle to make your shirt wet and shrink your shirt in certain areas or all over your shirt.

You just need to fill up your spray bottle with some water, and make sure your bottle is clean! But if you reuse an old spray bottle, make sure your bottle is free of any chemicals.

2. Then, spray your shirt very lightly

After filling water into a spray bottle, then you can begin your shrinking process by spraying your shirt very lightly.

You can use the spray bottle to spread the water on your shirt on all sides because it will dampen the fibers of your shirt.

If your shirt gets damped, your shirt will shrink, but you need to remember to not completely soak your shirt.

If you oversoak your shirt, your shirt will end up in a smaller size than you initially want, so you need to be careful.

You also can shrink your shirt in certain areas by spraying the water in those certain areas, such as arm holes or hips.

3. Let your shirt dry 

After that, you can let your shirt dry. You just need to go to the dryer, and put the shirt in it on the cycle of the ‘permanent press’.

Then, you can let your shirt dry for approximately 2 minutes at a time and check every 2 minutes to see its progress.

You can dry your shirt as long as you need, and when you think it’s enough, you can remove your shirt when it’s completely dry.

But if you, by any chance, want to shrink your shirt more, you can repeat your shrinking process and use a higher temperature on your dryer.

Choice 3: Go to the Professionals

The last way that you can use to help shrink your shirt is by getting a professional service. In this term, it means you need to go to a tailor, dry cleaner, or knitwear specialist.

1. Go to a tailor or seamstress

If you are too afraid to shrink your shirt with your own hands, you can go to a tailor or seamstress to make it more fit in your body.

They for sure can repair your shirt based on your actual specifications and measurements.

2. Request to shrink your shirt to the dry cleaners

You can also request to shrink your shirt to the dry cleaners, but you need to remember that water is necessary when shrinking your shirt.

Thus, if you choose dry cleaning, your shirt might not end up shrunk unless the dry cleaning machine is leaking.

But you can ask them how to shrink it properly because they might have a safe method to shrink your shirt without damaging your shirt.

3. Take your shirt to a knitwear specialist

And last, you can also take your shirt to a knitwear specialist to make your shirt become more fit for your body.

Even though this method can be quite pricey, the result will be satisfying.

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There are various ways to shrink your shirt effectively, depending on your needs, your budget, and your connection with your shirt.

You need to choose the method wisely and know the type of your shirt before deciding on it.


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