Will Dry Cleaning Shrink Clothes? [FAQs]

Will Dry Cleaning Shrink Clothes

If you’ve ever had a piece of clothing that needs special care, you may have wondered if dry cleaning is the best option. One of the most common concerns people have is whether or not dry cleaning will shrink their clothes. In this article, we’ll explore this topic and provide you with some helpful tips.

Understanding the Dry Cleaning Process

Dry cleaning is a process that uses a chemical solvent instead of water to clean clothes. The solvent is able to remove dirt and stains without damaging the fabric. The clothes are then dried and pressed before being returned to the owner.

Factors That Can Cause Shrinkage

While dry cleaning is generally safe for most types of fabric, there are a few factors that can cause shrinkage:

High Heat

Exposing clothes to high heat during the drying or pressing process can cause shrinkage. This is why it’s important to choose a dry cleaner that uses the appropriate temperature settings for each type of fabric.

Improper Handling

If clothes are handled improperly during the cleaning process, they can become stretched out or misshapen. This can sometimes be mistaken for shrinkage.

Fabric Type

Some types of fabric are more prone to shrinkage than others. For example, wool and cotton are known for shrinking when exposed to heat and moisture.


Will dry cleaning shrink a wool sweater?

It’s possible for a wool sweater to shrink during the dry cleaning process if it’s exposed to high heat. However, a reputable dry cleaner will take the necessary precautions to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

Can silk be dry cleaned without shrinking?

Yes, silk can be dry cleaned without shrinking as long as it’s handled properly. A professional dry cleaner will know how to clean silk without damaging it.

What should I do if my clothes shrink after dry cleaning?

If your clothes shrink after dry cleaning, you should contact the dry cleaner immediately. They may be able to fix the problem or provide you with a refund.

Can I prevent my clothes from shrinking during dry cleaning?

While there’s no guarantee that your clothes won’t shrink during dry cleaning, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk. First, choose a reputable dry cleaner who uses the appropriate temperature settings for your clothes. Second, let the dry cleaner know if your clothes have been pre-shrunk or if they’re made from a delicate fabric. Finally, avoid exposing your clothes to high heat during storage or wearing.

Pros of Dry Cleaning

Despite the risk of shrinkage, there are some pros to dry cleaning:

  • Dry cleaning can remove tough stains that regular washing can’t.
  • Dry cleaning can extend the life of your clothes by preventing wear and tear.
  • Dry cleaning can help maintain the shape and color of your clothes.

Tips for Dry Cleaning

Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a dry cleaner:

  • Choose a dry cleaner with a good reputation and proper certifications.
  • Let the dry cleaner know if you have any special requests or concerns.
  • Inspect your clothes carefully before and after dry cleaning.
  • Store your dry cleaned clothes properly to prevent damage.


While dry cleaning can be a safe and effective way to clean your clothes, there is a risk of shrinkage. To minimize this risk, choose a reputable dry cleaner and take proper care of your clothes. By following these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of dry cleaning without worrying about shrinkage.

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