Does Dry Cleaning Shrink Your Clothes?

Does Dry Cleaning Shrink Clothes: 6 Real Reasons To Know!

Ever felt like your clothes are playing a sneaky game of ‘shrink and seek’ after the dry cleaners visit? If you also wondered ‘Does dry cleaning shrink clothes on real’ then you are not alone.

Most people face this challenge and are left perplexed by the thought of shrinking. But fear not!  We are here to solve this puzzle for you.

By the end of this article you know the facts about why clothes shrink and the ways to tackle this age-old menace.

I think by now you already have some shrunken clothes, let us resolve this issue with our simple and effective laundry hacks.

Also, learn the real reasons behind why dry cleaning shrink clothes in the first place and preventing tips!


How To Prevent Shrinking Clothes?

Here are the tips to know how to prevent shrinking clothes:

girl showing colorful shrinken clothes
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1. Choosing High-Efficiency Washers

Either front-load or top-load high-efficiency washing machines without a center agitator are less damaging and will cause less shrinkage in clothes than standard top-loading washing machines.

The tumbling action of high-efficiency washing machines is more gentle on clothes than standard washing machines.


2. Choose the proper drying method

Allowing clothes to air dry is the most preferable method and helps prevent shrinkage. Drying on plane surfaces will also reduce stretching.

If you do not have a provision to air dry clothes, use lower heat settings on the dryer to remove the clothes while slightly damp.

Allow them to air dry naturally as excessive heat is hard on fabrics.


3. Choosing Gentle Water Temperatures

Select water temperatures based on fabric type whether it is cold or hot water.

Using only cold water will not prevent all shrinking, preferring both cold or warm water when washing is less damaging to fabric than hot water.


4. Opting for Gentle Washing Cycles

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Opting for a gentle cycle in the washing machine or hand washing is less damaging than washer cycles.

The longer the use you opt the more stretching happens unnecessarily which causes additional damage to the clothes.


5. Following Clothing Care Labels

Read the instructions mentioned on labels properly and follow the guidelines regarding home washing and dry cleaning, water temperature, type of laundry, and dry cycle.

Suggested Read: 4 Ways to Quickly Streamline Your Laundry Load.


What Is Dry Cleaning Of Clothes?

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Dry cleaning launders use a chemical solvent that contains no or less amount of water to remove stains. It uses a special liquid called a solvent.

This solvent cleans the outside of the materials but doesn’t soak into the fibres as water does in a normal wash.

Some clothes can’t handle being washed with water. For instance, certain types of wool can shrink or lose their shape.

Also, delicate fabrics or clothes with decorations can get damaged or lose their colour in water.

To keep your clothes safe, they’re checked and treated before they’re cleaned with these special solvents, which don’t need water.


How Professionals Avoid Shrinking Clothes with Dry Cleaning?

Here are steps that professionals follow to avoid clothes shrinking with dry cleaning

1. Tagging The Garments

The cleaner tags each item with an identification number, which is either a paper tag pinned or stapled to the fabric or an iron-on strip with a barcode.

Similarly, soiled garments from different customers are cleaned together according to the number. The tagging process will help you to return the clothes easily.


2. Inspecting The Garments

Inspecting the fabric
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Before clothes are cleaned, they are inspected for items left in pockets, rips, tears, and missing buttons. These items are returned to customers and problems are noted before cleaning.


3. Pre-Treating The Stains

As part of the inspection process, the cleaner checks for stains on the clothes and treats them before the solvent-cleaning process.

At this stage, a cleaner should also remove or cover delicate buttons and trim to prevent damage.

Related Read: How to Remove Stubborn Stains from Clothes: 5 Laundry Hacks That Really Work.


4. Machine- Based Dry Cleaning

Soiled clothes are loaded into a large drum machine and cleaned with a water-free chemical solvent. The clothes are gently agitated in the solution to remove the soil.

The solvent is then drained, filtered, and recycled and the clothes are rinsed in a fresh solvent solution to flush away remaining soil.


5. Spot-Checking After Cleaning

steaming the fabric
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All garments are reviewed for remaining stains. The stains are treated with steam, water, or a vacuum to remove the remaining traces.

However, dry cleaning cannot always remove all the hard stains.


6. Finalizing The Garment

The final step includes getting the garment ready to wear. This includes steaming or pressing out wrinkles, reattaching buttons, or making repairs.

Items are hung or folded to return to the customer. The plastic bags provided protect your clothes.

Take the bags off clothes immediately when you get home because any trapped moisture may damage clothing.


Do Clothes Shrink In Dry Cleaning: 6 Reasons

Are you frustrated about your clothes shrinking which is a common problem that many of us face even after washing them with care?

Don’t worry I’ve got some reasons. Let’s check it so!

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1. Clothes shrink in dry cleaning due to Water-Based Stains

Stains on clothes that are caused by different beverages are not simply removed by the dry cleaning process.

Dry cleaning involves the usage of chemical solvents rather than water.

Sometimes there may be a need to use water-based solutions to remove the stains that cause shrinking.

Especially if the fabric is sensitive to water and moisture, shrinking levels are high.

Suggested Read: Remove Water Stain From Fabric Couch: 16 Quick Solutions!


2. Clothes shrink in dry cleaning due to Insufficient Testing

Before starting the dry cleaning process the cleaner should test the garment by taking a small area to assess the fabric reaction with chemical solvent.

If this process is neglected or the cleaner fails to attempt there may be a chance of shrinkage of clothes.


3. Clothes shrink in dry cleaning due to Inadequate Drying

girl drying clothes
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After completion of cleaning the stains, the garments should be dried properly by using high-efficiency dry cleaning machines.

If the cleaner removes the garment in damped condition without drying there may be a chance of accumulation of moisture.

That leads to the shrinking of clothes especially if the fabrics which will contract when they are washed with water.


4. Clothes shrink in dry cleaning due to Age and Wear

When the garments are used frequently or left unused for a long time cause wear and tear which weakens the fabric material.

This can further result in shrinking during the dry cleaning process.

In some cases, the garment is stretched or pulled to remove wrinkles which also leads to additional shrinkage of clothes.


5. Clothes shrink in dry cleaning due to Steaming

man steaming clothes
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After completion of the dry cleaning process, the clothes will be sent to pressing or steaming to remove any remaining wrinkles and also to stay new and fresh.

But if the pressing or steaming process is not done properly without any care the garments can damaged due to exposure to heat.

This can sometimes pressure the fabric to shrink or damage completely!


6. Clothes shrink in dry cleaning due to Aggressive Cleaning Process

The dry cleaning process will involve a step called agitation. In this process, cleaners will use harsh chemicals in the form of solvents to remove stains and dirt.

If the cleaner uses a standard machine rather than a high-efficiency machine for the cleaning process the garment can subjected to high agitation.

This heavy agitation can result in the shrinking of your clothes.

Suggested Read: How To Get Fiberglass Out Of Clothes: 10 Easy and Quick Hacks!


Does Dry Cleaning Damage Clothes?

Everyone thinks that dry cleaning helps clothes to look fresh and clean but knowing about these potential risks is important for deciding what’s best for your wardrobe!

does dry cleaning damage clothes?
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1. Chemical Exposure

When we decide to go for a dry cleaning clothes are treated with strong and harsh chemical solvents to remove stains and odor without using water.

But these chemicals sometimes lead to loss of softness, and elasticity and also cause damage to the fabric.


2. Fabric Degradation

Dry cleaning is not the best option for all types of fabrics sometimes silk or woolen clothes can damage or become weakened in the dry cleaning process.

There might be a chance of losing their originality or even getting holes.

Simply it is like when your favorite sweater starts looking a bit worn out after too many washes.


3. Fabric Color Fading

color fading of fabric
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Have you ever noticed that sometimes your clothes do not look as bright after dry cleaning? Yes right!

The main reason behind this is color faded a bit especially it is observed in dark or vibrant color fabrics. The chemicals used in this process cause dullness to the original color.

And if you’ve got different colors on one piece, they might mix, which is not always good to look.


4. Added Fabric Shrinkage

Sometimes natural fabrics like wool or cotton clothes can shrink a bit in the dry cleaning process due to the usage of different chemical solvents.

This can lead to clothes becoming smaller especially when they are not handled or pressed properly. So, your favorite pants might feel a bit tighter after a trip to the dry cleaners.



Thus, Follow these simple steps like cleaning your clothes regularly, and sending them to dry cleaning regularly without any delay.

Keep in mind that with a small effort, we can preserve our clothes a long way during the dry cleaning process and also avoid unwanted shrinkage.

So, don’t wait! Start implementing these tips today for clothes to look fresh and keep your wardrobe top-notch.


Does Dry Cleaning Shrink Clothes: FAQs

does dry cleaning shrink clothes? FAQs
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1. why are my clothes shrinking in cold water?

Depending on fabric material or agitation in the washing machine may be the reasons for clothes getting shrunk in cold water.


2. Why Do Clothes Shrink In Hot Water?

Yes, some fabric materials like cotton and wool clothes have the property to contract or tighten when they are washed in hot water which results in fabric shrinking to smaller in size.


3. Why Do Zara Clothes Shrink?

Zara clothes are mostly made from materials like cotton or wool as they have the property to shrink when they are exposed to heat or moisture during drying and washing.


4. how can I dry clean my clothes at home?

To dry clean your clothes at home, find out the stains and wash them with mild detergent, or use a steamer to freshen them up. Avoid using chemicals and always follow the instructions for the best results.


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