Q:

Does hot water shrink clothes?

A:

Quick Answer

Using hot water to wash clothing can cause shrinkage, depending on the type of fiber the fabric is made from. Fibers that are more likely to shrink when washed in hot water include cotton, wool and linen. More-stable fibers, such as polyester and silk, are less likely to shrink.

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Full Answer

Pre-shrunk garments, which contain fibers that have undergone a special compression process, usually do not shrink very much when washed in hot water. Although hot water is often used to wash linen and white clothing to remove heavy soil or germs, it can also cause clothing to wrinkle and fade as well as damage the clothing's color quality.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Will hot water shrink cotton?

    A:

    Cotton shrinks in both hot and warm water because it is a natural fiber. Natural fibers are often combined using a loose weave in order to give garments more give. Looser weaves tend to tighten up and return to their natural state when they become wet.

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  • Q:

    Do you shrink shirts in cold or hot water?

    A:

    Shirts shrink in warm or hot water. A hot or warm wash cycle heats and agitates woven fibers. This process relaxes the fibers, returning them to the natural state they were in before being pulled and stretched to make clothing.

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  • Q:

    How do you shrink a cotton sweater?

    A:

    To shrink a cotton sweater, first wash the sweater in the washing machine with hot water. After washing, put the sweater in the dryer on the highest heat setting. The combination of heat from both washing and drying causes the sweater to shrink very quickly.

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  • Q:

    What is the best way to wash spilled gasoline out of clothes?

    A:

    The best way to wash spilled gasoline out of clothes is by a multi-step process involving odor removal with baking soda, pretreating with both liquid dish detergent and stain stick, and a final wash with hot water. For best results, blot up as much of the gasoline as possible from the clothing with an absorbent cloth or some paper towels as soon as the spill occurs. Then begin the washing process as soon as you get home.

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