Rescue T-shirts you've shrunk in the wash with this hair conditioner hack shared on TikTok

Marie Claire Dorking
·5-min read
People are loving a TikTok user's hack to rescue shrunken clothes. (Getty Images)
People are loving a TikTok user's hack to rescue shrunken clothes. (Getty Images)

Your favourite T-shirt coming out of the wash two sizes smaller than it went in, is one of the most upsetting mishaps that can occur when doing the laundry.

Thankfully, a TikTok user has shared a simple, yet effective hack that could enable you to save your beloved top from the clothes recycling bin, and all you’ll need to try it out is hair conditioner and water.

“This has saved me hundreds of dollars, and I hope it helps you out as well,” @sir_tyler_wright_the_1st wrote in the caption alongside his laundry trick.

Read more: Why you should never wash your jeans - and how to keep them clean

Though the hack has nine steps, it’s actually pretty simple to follow.

First, you’ll need to fill a bucket with warm water, then add a tablespoon of any conditioner to the bucket.

Mix the conditioner into the water with your hands, breaking up any bigger lumps, before putting the shrunken T-shirt into the bucket to soak for 30 minutes.

After removing the tee, you’ll need to rinse out the conditioner with water from the tap before stretching the fabric out by pulling on it until you’re happy with the size.

Hang it up to dry. Then give it a try on to test out the hack’s success in restoring your T-shirt to it’s original size, or as near as.

Read more: These laundry bags for your delicates spell the end of snagging

Sarah Turner, laundry expert who runs eco-friendly laundry care company Little Beau Sheep told Yahoo UK that the hack works great with cotton fabrics because the hair conditioner relaxes the fibres and allows the garment to be stretched back into its original form.

“The same can also be done on wool items (as long as they have not been fully felted) but it is worth adding some lanolin enriched laundry detergent in too, to condition the fibres,” she adds.

Turner also has some advice for those of us who have accidentally shrunk our jeans in the wash.

“If you can still get your jeans on, try filling a bath with warm water and sitting and soaking in it for 10-15 minutes,” she suggests.

“Then get out, move and stretch, allowing them to dry while wearing them for at least another 30 minutes.”

Read more: Stella McCartney's doesn't always clean her clothes: 'It's better to simply brush the dirt off'

The TikTok hack could also work on woollen items. (Image posed by model, Getty Images)
The TikTok hack could also work on woollen items. (Image posed by model, Getty Images)

Of course it goes without saying that it is best not to shrink the items in the first place. Lauren Clark, AO.com’s large appliance expert, has some expert tips on preventing laundry shrinkage.

Always check the labels

This sounds self-explanatory, but who really takes the time to check the care instructions on their clothes? Try to follow the guidelines provided to you on garment care labels as closely as possible. They indicate the best temperature to wash your item, dryer cycle recommendations, type of laundry cycle and whether you should wash your item at home or take it to a dry cleaner.

‘Pre-shrunk’ fibres are a good buy

Some natural fibres come ‘pre-shrunk,’ which is great if you are looking to avoid shrinkage during a wash cycle. If the fibres are pre-shrunk prior to the fabric actually being woven there is likely to be less shrinkage during its lifetime. Some fibres are stretched as far as possible during production so that brands can avoid using lots of fabric, and these are more likely to shrink when you get them home.

Be wary of high temperatures and unsuitable wash cycles

Although cold water won’t completely prevent shrinkage, using cooler water is definitely less damaging to fabric than hot water. You should also ensure that you put your garments on a tailored cycle rather than a pre-set one to avoid any unwanted shrinking. Most washing machines feature a hand-washing or gentle washing cycle, which we would also recommend using, as they have lower rotation spin cycles so are less likely to damage delicate garments.

Avoid the tumble dryer

Although it might be tempting to pop your garment into the tumble dryer, allowing it to air dry is the most gentle method and naturally helps prevent shrinkage. If you’re washing a loosely woven knit or garment, drying it on a flat surface will also assist in further preventing shrinkage.

Organisation is key

An easy way to ensure your delicate garments don’t accidentally get placed in the machine with your whole washing basket, is to keep a separate bag or storage box for your more delicate items.

This isn’t the only TikTok hack people have been loving recently.

Earlier this year one user shared her clever trick promising to help you pick out the perfect pair of jeans, without the need to try them on.

Back in June parents expressed their gratitude for a clever pyjama folding trick that helps keep sets together.

Meanwhile another mum came up with a genius hack for cutting a cake perfectly - using tongs instead of a knife.

We’ve also had our eyes opened to a new way of filling up an ice cube tray, making us think we’ve been doing it wrong this entire time.

Oh and let’s not forget the game-changing reveal about how much easier it is to cut an avocado with a special £5.50 tool to do the job.

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