Does Handwashing Clothes Prevent Shrinking?

In your daily life, you may not have time to hand wash clothes. Both front-loaded and top-loader washers are available in the market. Throw detergent, softeners, and select a cycle. You’re done. So, why will someone waste time hand washing clothes? Does handwashing clothes prevent shrinking?

Does handwashing clothes prevent shrinking? Hand washing clothes is the most affordable way to keep clothes in shape. Just use powerful laundry detergent and wash clothes as usual. In contrast, washing machine and dryer can cause shrinkage to your items.

Handwashing garments to prevent shrinkage

garments are kept in a tub
Hand washing garments can prevent shrinkage.

Some fabrics like silk, cotton, and linen shrink more. As they are expensive, always take proper care of them. It would be better if you never machine wash them. Instead, hands wash those with a slight amount of laundry detergent.

To ensure better hand washing, follow the steps mentioned below-

Check garment care label

First of all, read the care label of your garment. It’ll provide you with the correct temperature and way to better clean your items.

Pretreat stains

If your clothes, especially the whites, have stains, pretreat them. For this purpose, choose laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, stain remover, baking soda-water-paste, or hydrogen peroxide.

Grab a tub

Take a clean tub and fill it with water. As hot water may shrink items, room-temperature or cold water is the correct way to pursue. However, choose cold water for washing fabrics like silk, cashmere, or wool.

Add laundry detergent

It’s time to add laundry detergent. Powder and liquid detergents are both available in the market. As powdered ones may leave residues on items, choose liquid types.

Many detergents contain harmful chemicals, scents, dyes, phosphates, and softeners. Discard those and choose eco-friendly detergents.

Soak your clothes

Before throwing clothes into tub, sort them carefully. We suggest you not place whites with colored ones. Most importantly, avoid washing soft clothes with denim. Always wash delicates separately. Lastly, turn clothes inside out to save the surface from detergent residues.

Now, gently move your hands through water to mix detergent properly with water. Then, soak clothes and leave them there for around 30 minutes.

Rinse properly

After thirty minutes:

  1. Remove the soapy water and refill tub with cool or tepid water.
  2. Rinse clothes using your hands.
  3. Never put pressure on items as such actions may distort the shape. If needed, press non-delicates like polyester, denim, rayon, linen against the bottom of tub to remove stains.
  4. Drain the soapy water away.

Continue this process until your clothes are properly cleaned and soap-free.

Dry items

To dry clothes quickly, put your items in dryer. Prior to doing that, you must know how to use dryer correctly. Otherwise, your clothes may come out of the dryer wrinkled. To save clothes from wrinkling,

  • Use correct dryer settings.
  • Sort clothes properly.
  • Never overfill the dryer.
  • Use permanent press cycle.
  • Remove clothes as soon as the cycle finishes.

However, you shouldn’t put delicates in the dryer. To dry those, roll them in a towel to remove excess water.

If you aren’t in a hurry, air dry items using clothesline. Hang clothes in the open air or on the balcony, where airflow is abundant.   

Frequently asked questions

How do you prevent clothes from shrinking?

In addition to hand washing, there are many ways to prevent clothes from shrinking. To save items from shrinking,

  • Wash clothes using cool water instead of using hot water.
  • Use delicate cycles to retain the shapes of items.
  • Seek professional dry cleaners for washing wool and cashmere items.
  • Use lower heat settings in dryer.
  • If possible, throw a few ice cubes with items into dryer.
  • Read the fabric care label to identify the proper way of washing.
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