JAN 09, 2019 06:07 PM PST

Here's Why Your Clothes Shrink When You Wash Them

Washing your clothes is an essential part of keeping clean and preventing irritated skin, but have you ever wondered why new clothes shrink every time you put them through a load of laundry? The answer lies within the fabric.

When clothes are manufactured, their comprising fibers are placed under a ton of stress to take the shape we want. Exposing these stressed fibers to heat helps to alleviate some of the stress imposed during manufacturing, causing them to tighten back up to their natural state (or as close to it as possible).

Heat from both your washer and dryer can impact shrinkage, so the best way to avoid unwanted shrinkage is to wash with colder water and avoid using high temperatures while drying. Many dryers feature a cool setting, and for those that don’t, hanging laundry outdoors to dry in the wind is an excellent temperature-controlled alternative to using one.

When it comes to clothing fabrics, cotton and wool are often the easiest to shrink with heat. Alternatively, polyester and nylon-based clothes are more heat-resistant and tend to hold up better when put through warm wash cycles. You can also purchase pre-shrunk clothing from the store, which helps mitigate the shrinking issue right out of the box.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 10, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 10, 2018
Ultra-Powerful Magnetic Field That Beats Out Hundreds of MRI Machines
In a recently published report, a group of physicists from the University of Tokyo detailed how they generated the strongest magnetic field in the rec...
NOV 06, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 06, 2018
How do Moths Avoid Being Eaten by Bats? The Secret Might Lie in Their 'Fur'
It’s no secret that bats enjoy munching on moths when they’re feeling a bit hungry, but one thing that has always captivated scientists is how...
NOV 07, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 07, 2018
Here's How Far Your Sneeze Can Travel
When you get stuck with a cold or the flu, sneezes are inevitable. But have you ever wondered how far your sneezes travel? As it turns out, your sneeze may...
DEC 05, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 05, 2018
Stretchable Ultrathin Electronic Skin Produced from a Desktop Printer
Electronic tattoos or e-tattoos are flexible polymer patches that can sense and transmit electrical signals. e-tattoos have great potential in advancing medical prosthetics and human-machine...
DEC 06, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 06, 2018
Rare Uranium Compounds Capable of High-temperature Superconductivity at Near Normal Pressure
Uranium is often associated with nuclear fuel materials, but very soon they could be used to power a new wave of industrial revolution. Scientists from Rus...
JAN 15, 2019
Space & Astronomy
JAN 15, 2019
Are You Prepared for This Weekend's Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse?
Nighttime sky gazers are in for a beautiful treat this weekend as the Moon prepares to put on a spectacular show. Beginning Sunday, January 20th at approxi...
Loading Comments...