How to Shrink Preshrunk Shirts

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Shrink a preshrunk T-shirt
Shrink a preshrunk T-shirt (Image: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/barunpatro)

Many T-shirts and other clothing items are now preshrunk, making it next to impossible to get it down to a smaller size. Although preshrunk T-shirts were meant to be helpful, more petite children and adults may have a hard time getting a shirt from a sports event to fit them because they so often only come in very large sizes. All you need to shrink a preshrunk shirt are items that you already use to do your laundry. Follow the steps here to learn how to shrink even the largest of preshrunk shirts.

Things You'll Need

  • Tea kettle
  • Preshrunk T-shirt
  • Washer
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dryer

Soak the shirt ahead of time in very hot water. Heat water over the stove in a tea kettle and place the shirt in a large pot or sink. Pour hot water over the shirt and let it soak until the water is cool.

Place the shirt in the washing machine by itself and run the cycle on "small load." Turn the water temperature on "hot" and pour a small amount of laundry detergent into the washing machine before starting the cycle

When the cycle has completed, immediately stick the shirt in a very hot dryer. Continue to dry the shirt on "hot" until it has reached the desired size.

If you take the shirt out of the washer and it has not reached the desired size, soak the shirt in boiling water again and try drying on hot one more time.

Sometimes T-shirts, especially preshrunk shirts, only will shrink so much. Once you have tried to dry the shirt twice, it probably will not shrink any more.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful when handling boiling water.

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