Because it happens to the best of us.

Meghan Overdeep
January 11, 2019
Chip Simons/Getty Images

It’s that time of year again. Someway, somehow, at some point between now and April at least one cozy sweater will emerge from the dryer like it’s had a run-in with a shrink ray.

We get it, accidents happen. Whether you lost track of time, threw something in a load that didn’t belong, or let the kids have a go at the laundry, fear not. There is hope for that unlucky sweater.

This trick is perfect for restoring miniaturized sweaters, t-shirts and jeans to their original, adult-sized form.

Step One

Fill a sink, tub or washbasin with room-temperature water and about a capful of fabric softener, baby shampoo, or hair conditioner. This will relax the clothing fibers and prepare them for stretching. Make sure the solution is well mixed. Gently move the clothing through the mixture to ensure that it is sufficiently soaked.

Step Two

Add the sweater to the solution and let it soak for at least 20 minutes or up to two hours.

Step Three

Drain the liquid but DO NOT rinse the clothing. Squeeze it gently to remove liquid but avoid ringing.

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Step Four

Place a thick towel on a flat surface and lay the sweater over it. Roll the towel up with the sweater inside it to remove as much moisture as possible.

Step Five

Place the slightly damp sweater on a cork board and gently stretch it back to its original shape and size, securing it to the board at every two inches along its perimeter.  

Step Six

After an hour has passed, stretch it a bit more and relocate the pins as you do so. Keep repeating until the sweater has returns to its original glory.