Molly Maid
Man looking in a mirror tugging down on a shrunken sweater he is wearing

How to Unshrink a Sweater

Due to the falling temperatures outside, you probably spend more time insideLink opens in a new tab during the winter than any other season. You may love wearing wool sweaters to help you stay cozy while keeping a lid on your heating bills. Of course, you need to wash wool garments occasionally to remove sweat, skin oils, and stains. Fortunately, wool fibers are self-regulating, so you don’t need to launder your sweaters as often as other clothes.

However, if you forgot to follow all the right tips on cleaning and caring for wool, your favorite sweater may have shrunk. This can happen if you wash the garment in warm or hot water or run it through the dryer.

You may feel like crying when you discover that your beautiful wool sweater now looks like it would fit a four-year-old. Don’t donate your shrunken sweater just yet – you may be able to make it fit again with these tips on how to unshrink wool.

Unshrink a Sweater in 7 Steps

  1. Fill the kitchen or bathroom sink with tepid water and two tablespoons of fabric softener or gentle wool detergent, such as Woolite. You can also use a capful of baby shampoo or hair conditioner.
  2. Submerge the sweater and let it soak for 10 to 20 minutes. Normally, soaking wool for this long is a no-no because it relaxes the fibers and makes them stretch. Of course, that’s exactly what you’re going for when you want to unshrink a sweater!
  3. Drain the soapy water from the sink. Unlike regular washings, refrain from rinsing the sweater with clean water.
  4. When the sink is empty, gently press the sweater against the sides of the basin to squeeze water out. To avoid uneven stretching, don’t wring out the garment. Instead, roll it up in a towel to remove as much excess water as possible.
  5. Gently stretch the sweater back to its original shape and size while it’s still damp. This process, called blocking, pulls the unlocked wool fibers away from each other so the clothing stretches out.
  6. Lay the sweater on a large cork board. Pin the garment in place to keep it stretched to the proper size.
  7. Give the sweater time to dry. Make sure it’s laying flat and positioned away from direct sources of heat or sunlight.

Keep Your Sweaters from Shrinking

Now that your sweater has regained its proper shape, keep it that way! Hand wash wool clothes or run them through the washing machine on the gentle, wool, or hand wash cycle. Then, use a mild detergent designed to clean wool. Only wash wool sweaters in cold or tepid water, and never put them in the dryer.

Take Back Your Free Time with Housekeeping from Molly Maid

Now that you know how to unshrink a sweater, you may feel empowered to take on other projects in the laundry room and throughout the house. However, this can easily take up all your free time and leave you feeling exhausted by the end of the day.

To reclaim some spare time, look into house cleaning services from Molly Maid. Our team of professionally trained housekeepers can tackle the most tedious tasks so you have more time to spend doing the things you love. Our services are flexible, allowing you to choose between a single deep-cleaning, occasional cleaning, or routine assistance with household chores.

To arrange professional house cleaning services near you, please contact your local Molly Maid or call us at (800) 654-9647 today for a free estimate.