General Question

GD_Kimble's avatar

Does wash temperature shrink laundry?

Asked by GD_Kimble (2277points) September 20th, 2007

When washing my dress shirts, I hang them to dry rather than risk shrinking them by machine drying. I was wondering, however, if the wash temp itself can shrink things.

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4 Answers

figbash's avatar


My experience has been that hot water shrinks things, and fades colors. Particulalry with cotton. Warm water shrinks things slightly, but I suck that up in order to get things “cleaner.” Cold water preserves size the best, which is why it’s used for delicates.

manahouri's avatar

Hot water will shrink dress shirts. Warm water will, too, but ideally, not too much, and then your body stretches it out just fine. I wear custom made shirts, and the shirtmaker makes them with a bit of shrinkage in mind. This gets you the perfect fit. Never wash things in hot water, unless they’re really dirty linens.

Brenda's avatar

through the years, I’ve saved quite a few “favorite outfits”... I am still the same size I was (the last 10 years), yet the clothes I’ve stored in boxes seem to have shrunk…is this possible???

jassica123's avatar

Yes I think water temperature (hot water) shrink fabric.

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