Cotton is one of the softest, most comfortable, and most breathable clothing materials out there, but it has one major drawback:
What's the point of buying cotton clothing if they'll end up ruined after one trip through the wash?
Well, washing cotton clothing isn't as hard as you might think. We've put together this guide to teach you how to wash your 100% cotton sweatshirts without shrinking them.
So let's get started.
Will Your Cotton Sweatshirts Really Shrink If You Throw Them in the Dryer?
The short answer to this question is yes.
But that doesn't mean you should be afraid to machine wash or dry your 100% cotton sweaters. They will only shrink if you don't turn the washer and dryer to the right settings.
Even if your cotton sweatshirts do shrink, they won't get so small you can't wear them anymore. Shrinkage will never make your clothes two sizes or even one size smaller than they already are. You will still be able to wear your cotton sweatshirts if they shrink.
At least, this is true in most cases. However, you might not want to test your luck by running your cotton sweatshirts through the washer and dryer like you would your other clothing. To ensure your cotton sweatshirts stay in good condition, there are a few things you should do when washing them.
How to Wash 100% Cotton Sweatshirts
The first step of washing your 100% cotton sweatshirts is not to wash them.
Here's what we mean by that: you don't have to wash your cotton sweatshirts every time after you wear them. In fact, you should wear your sweatshirts as much as you can between washes. This will prevent them from wearing out quickly and keep them in good condition.
Unless your sweatshirt ends up really dirt after you wear it once, you should try to wear it several times before you wash it. When it does come time to wash your cotton sweaters, don't rush through the process. Otherwise, your sweatshirts might end up stained or damaged.
Here are five steps you should follow every time you wash your 100% cotton sweaters:
1. Sort Them by Color
Start by sorting your cotton sweatshirts by color.
If all your sweatshirts are the same color, you can skip this step. But you shouldn't overlook this step if you have several sweatshirts that are different colors, especially if some of them are white.
Cotton bleeds easier than other types of clothing. If you throw a red sweatshirt and a white sweatshirt in the washing machine together, you'll end up taking out a red sweatshirt and a pink sweatshirt. And this is true for any other colors as well.
Don't skip this step if you have multiple cotton sweatshirts.
2. Turn Them Inside Out
After sorting your sweatshirts, take a few minutes to turn them inside out.
Now, you don't have to do this when washing your sweatshirts, but it will help prevent the dye from bleeding. It will also keep the nice sides of your sweatshirts from rubbing against other clothing, which can make them wear out faster.
You may also want to put each sweatshirt in a mesh laundry bag. This will create a layer of protection between your sweatshirts and the other clothes in the load.
3. Add Regular Detergent
You don't have to use any special laundry detergent when you wash your 100% cotton sweatshirts. Whatever you have in your house should work fine.
If there are any particularly dirty patches on your sweatshirts, dabbing some laundry detergent on the area will help the dirt come off in the wash. You can also add a small amount of bleach to the load if you want to brighten your whites, but if you are washing other colors, make sure you use color-safe bleach.
Always wash super filthy cotton sweatshirts separate from your other clothes. Otherwise, the mess could end up rubbing off on your other clothes and make them dirtier than before you washed them.
4. Wash Them on a Gentle Cycle
You can wash your 100% cotton sweatshirts in the washing machine, but make sure it's on a gentle setting. Avoid using hot or warm water when washing your sweatshirts. Keep the temperature cool or cold.
5. Take Them out to Dry
There are a few different ways you can dry your cotton sweatshirts.
First of all, you can put them in the dryer if you want. You just have to make sure you switch it to a low heat setting, and it's a good idea to tumble dry them instead of running them through a normal load.
As soon as the dryer is finished, take your sweatshirts out right away. Leaving them in the heat for too long can make them shrink or wrinkle.
If you're still worried about shrinking, you can hang dry your cotton sweatshirts instead of putting them in the dryer. But remember, cotton takes longer to dry than normal clothes. They may need to hang for quite a while before they're fully dry.
You can also lay your cotton sweatshirts out flat on a towel to dry. This will prevent the hangers from wearing out the shoulders or leaving marks. However, if you choose to do this, remember to flip the sweatshirts from time to time so both sides dry.
Washing 100% Cotton Sweatshirts the Right Way
Washing 100% cotton sweatshirts can be tricky, but if you know what you're doing, you can keep them clean without shrinking them. No more worrying about ruining your sweatshirts.
Have you had trouble with shrinkage before?
Sounds like you need some new sweatshirts. Make sure you take a look at some of our comfortable (and stylish) options!
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