How To Shrink Your Polyester Clothes

If you have a polyester shirt that you would love a whole lot more if it was just a little bit smaller, there may be a solution for you. Although you will hear that it is impossible to shrink polyester, this is not actually the case if you know what you are doing. Polyester will not shrink much, as it is a synthetic fabric, but you can certainly get something to fit you a little bit better.

Heat is the most important thing when it comes to shrinking polyester; this is why you will find that the washing instructions on your polyester clothes advise you to wash your clothes in cold water and to dry them on a low temperature. In order to shrink these polyester clothes a little bit, these washing instructions must be ignored!


For all polyester clothing items (not just shirts, but pants and anything else!), the first thing you want to do before trying to shrink them is turn them inside out. As your clothes go through the heat of the washer and dryer, the colors will be protected if they are inside out. You will want to wash your polyester clothes on the highest possible temperature, unless your washer has a “boil wash” setting, which can cause polyester to harden. You do not need detergent for this; you simply need to get your polyester clothes into that hot water for a fair amount of time.

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As soon as the clothes finish washing, you need to immediately transfer them to the dryer; run the dryer on the hottest setting as well. If the clothes are still damp when you take them out of the dryer, you will not achieve the desired results; make sure the clothes are completely dry before you remove them. Finally, check your clothes to see if they have tightened up to the size you want them to be. In order to get the clothes to just the right size, you may have to repeat this process one or two additional times.

It is not possible to shrink polyester a great deal in the way you could cotton or wool, but you can still adjust the fit a bit, if you take the proper steps!