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How to Shrink Spandex

Spandex is a type of synthetic elastic fibre made from a polymer of polyurethane that is used for making swimsuits, hosiery, socks, girdles, bicycle shorts and other athletic clothing. This soft, lightweight material can be stretched repeatedly without breaking or becoming stretched out. Spandex is resistant to abrasions, body oils, lotions and sunblock, and detergents, making it a useful fabric for athletes. Occasionally you might purchase a spandex item that is too large and requires shrinking. If you do not want to have to return the item shrinking spandex using heat is best option.

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  1. Turn your spandex items inside out and place in a washing machine. Washing spandex items inside out is necessary to help the garments keep their sheen and to avoid pilling. Set the machine for a hot water wash and run the washer for about 40 to 45 minutes.

  2. Take the spandex items out of the washer and place them in a dryer. Set the dryer on high heat and dry for them for approximately 50 minutes.

  3. Remove the items from the washer. If the spandex has not shrunk to your satisfaction, repeat Steps 1 and 2.

  4. Tip

    Keep shrunken spandex clothing clean by machine washing them in lukewarm water on the gentle cycle or by hand washing items in lukewarm water. If hand washing items, hang on a clothes line and allow to drip dry. Use the lowest setting on your dryer if using a machine. Iron spandex clothing quickly on the lowest setting and do not leave the iron in one place for too long.


    Wash and dry spandex clothes on high heat only if you are looking to drastically shrink them.

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Things You'll Need

  • Washer
  • Dryer

About the Author

Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.

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