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If hot water shrinks cotton, and if I live in Arizona, exactly how hot of water does it take to shrink cotton? Answered

Cold water is an actual commodity in some parts of town.  I have a deep water service so, the water stays "cool".  BUT, if you do not run water first, at times you can get hurt.  What does it take to shrink a cotton shirt? 


Shrinking - DEPENDS - Cotton fibres are by nature curly - When spun,made into thread, they are stretched out long and then washed in hot water to set that state Winding onto a reel keeps the thread stretched.

If you wash in hot enough water then the fibres will try to regain their curl result they are shorter and the garment shrinks. this is the same for Wool.

Man made fibres are generally made straight this is why they don't shrink.

However some modern cotton products are pre-shrunk - i.e. the fibres are allowed to curl and will shrink very little when you wash them.

If your shrinking the T shirt in the picture then remember the Logo won't shrink and will go wrinkly.


7 years ago

You should wash cotton between 40-50 degrees Celsius (105-120F).  So you can wash cotton in the warm setting of most machines.  Check the inside label for a symbol which can help you determine the best temperature to wash your clothing at.

How hot does your water get?


Slight disagreement: You should wash clothes at NOT MORE THAN that temperature. I've been washing in cold-only (typically 50 degrees in midsummer) for years, with no evidence that the clothes are complaining.