How To Shrink Scrubs To Make Them Fit Better

    Maybe you’ve just bought your first pair of scrubs or you've been going through pair after pair trying to find the perfect fit. 

    They’re always either too big, too baggy, or too long. 

    After much trial and error, you’ve decided you’re going to take matters into your own hands.

    You’re going to try to shrink your scrubs—but will it work? What options do you have when it comes to shrinking scrubs?

    We have the answers you’ve been looking for. 

    Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about:

    • How to shrink your scrubs to get the fit you’re looking for.

    • Whether shrinking your scrubs in the wash is a good idea.

    Table of Contents

    • Should My Scrubs Be Tight or Loose

    • What Do I Do If My Scrubs Are Too Big? 

    • Do Scrubs Shrink In The Wash?  

    • How To Shrink Scrubs In The Dryer

    • How To Shrink Scrubs Without A Washer or Dryer

    • Will Scrubs Shrink in Hot Water? The Boil Method Proves They Will  

    • Hire A Seamstress (or Do It Yourself)

    • Looking For Comfortable and Professional Scrubs? Silver Lining Scrubs Has the Solution

    Should My Scrubs Be Tight or Loose?

    Your scrubs should fit your body typenot overly tight, but not too loose. 

    Too tight and you risk tearing or ripping your scrubs while you work, too loose and it can be a hygiene issue. 

    If you’re wearing scrubs daily, you’re likely doing a lot of moving around. Actions like:

    • Bending

    • Squatting

    • Lifting

    • Etc.

    Scrubs that are too loose are going to get in your way, or in your patient’s way. 

    They’re also more likely to spread germs/infection. If they’retoo tight, you might be: 

    • Showing off lines you don’t want others to see; or 

    • Tearing your scrubs at the seams.

    Buying the “perfect fit” scrubs may seem like an impossible task. Maybe you’ve gone through dozens of brands and still don’t feel you’ve found your perfect match. 

    And the fact is: All scrubs sizes aren’t created equal. 

    Silver Lining Scrubs understands how frustrating it can be to find the right fit scrubs.

    Professionalism is important in every workplace, even when you’re wearing scrubs.  

    Our scrubs will leave you looking your best while remaining comfortable without spending hours trying to find the right scrubs for you.

    What Do I Do if My Scrubs Are Too Big?

    You’ve spent your hard-earned money on your scrubs, but they’re too big and you really want to make them fit. 

    Is it possible to shrink the scrubs you already own at home without spending too much additional money? 

    You bet.

    You could: 

    1. Return them for a different size or brand — but there are so many stipulations on what can be returned and what can’t be. 

    2. Wash and/or dry your uniform in high temperatures.

    3. Take on a new hobby sewing and hem them yourself.

    4. Send them to a seamstress.

    Let’s look at a few different options to help you decide which method is the right one for you.

    Do Scrubs Shrink In The Wash?

    In most cases, the answer is: Yes, scrubs shrink in the wash. 

    But it ultimately depends on the material that the scrubs are made from. 

    Which materials are more likely to shrink in the wash? Great question. 

    Scrubs made from 100 percent …

    • Cotton

    • Hemp

    • Linen 

    … are more likely to shrink in the wash than those that are 60/40 blends—like cotton and polyester—or synthetic materials. 

    Pro tip: Inspect the tags on your scrubs to get an idea of how much shrinkage you can expect before experimenting with trying to shrink your uniform at home.

    How To Shrink Scrubs In The Wash

    You’ve checked the fabric type and you’re ready to throw those babies in the washer to get them to fit better. 

    What should you do next? 

    1. Start by inspecting your scrubs for any stains, you’ll want to pretreat them before you wash your scrubs.  

    Washing your scrubs in hot water is great for killing germs and helping remove most stains, but may set certain stains , like blood. 

    1. Next, turn your scrubs (or any clothing) inside out. This helps keep your scrubs looking new by preventing the color from fading. 

    2. Now, gather all the like color scrubs that you’re going to attempt to shrink. 

    This step is important: 

    Even though you’ve turned your uniforms inside out, washing clothes in hot water increases the risk of color transfer or discoloration. 

    Be sure to only wash like colors together. 

    You don’t want to wash hot pink scrubs with your beige scrubs unless you’re looking for a way to dye those beige scrubs a different color. 

    But you’re not here for a lesson on how to properly wash your scrubs. You want to know how to shrink your scrubs.

    Wash In Hot Water

    After you…

    1. Have sorted your laundry

    2. Have the like colors together; and 

    3. Turned them all inside out’re ready to get washing. 

    Now, it sounds simple, just wash your scrubs in hot water.

    Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy—the water temperature matters. 

    Here’s what you need to remember: The hotter the water, the more your scrubs will shrink.

    Are you just trying to get them to shrink a minuscule amount? 

    Try washing them in warm water — not the hottest setting on the washing machine. 

    If after washing your scrubs in warm water, they still haven’t shrunk enough, try turning up the temperature of the water.

    Do Scrubs Shrink In The Dryer?

    You’ve washed your scrubs, now what? 

    Maybe washing them in hot water didn’t shrink your scrubs enough—or maybe you’re trying to find other ways to shrink them. 

    Do scrubs shrink in the dryer

    Yes, they can. 

    In fact, depending on the material, your scrubs may shrink a full size, but it may take one or two washes before they’ve hit maximum shrinkage. 

    So, how do you shrink scrubs in the dryer

    Do you need to wash them in hot water first? What temperature should you use? 

    Let’s get you those answers you’ve been dying to know.

    How To Shrink Scrubs In The Dryer

    The first step to shrinking scrubs in the dryer is to look at what materials your scrubs are made of—just like when you washed them. 

    Heat can affect every material differently.

    Materials like rayon or cotton will shrink even under scant amounts of heat. 

    Polyester and nylon likely will not shrink, even if you are drying them in the highest setting your dryer offers. 

    Some materials, like 100% rayon, should not be put in the dryer at all. 

    Tumble drying tops or pants made of 100% rayon are more likely to tear and snag because the fibers of the material are so delicate. 

    Now that you know how to care for some of the materials that scrubs are commonly made of, let’s look at how to shrink your scrubs in the dryer

    Dry On The Warmest Setting

    In most cases, to shrink your scrubs, you’ll want to dry them on the warmest setting that’s right for the material they are made of. 

    Scrubs made of 100% cotton, for example, may shrink a full size smaller when run through the dryer

    Now, if your scrubs are a mixture of polyester and cotton, like most t-shirts today, they are less likely to shrink. 

    For this reason, we recommend always setting your dryer to a medium heat when drying your scrubs

    You’ve likely seen the struggle Wayne Szalinski faced when trying to get his kids back to their normal heights in “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids!” 

    You don’t want that stress when caring for your scrubs

    You can always throw them through the wash again if they don’t shrink enough—it’s not as easy to stretch your scrubs after they’ve shrunk too much. 

    If repeatedly washing and drying your scrubs just to get them to fit properly sounds like a hassle, you’re not alone.

    Silver Lining Scrubs are made with you in mind. When cared for correctly, are less likely to shrink and maintain their tailored style. 

    Unsure of how your scrubs should fit? We’ve got you covered there, too. 

    Check out the complete style guide on how your scrubs should fit.

    How To Wash Scrubs Without Shrinking

    Maybe you’ve found the perfect pair of scrubs, now you want to know how to keep them fitting just right.

    Here are our top tips: 

    1. Treat any stains prior to putting them in the washer.

    2. Wash your scrubs in the coldest water your washer will allow—on a delicate setting if possible. 

    3. Air dry or put your scrubs in the dryer and the lowest temperature.

    How To Shrink Scrubs Without A Washer or Dryer

    Do you live somewhere that having to take multiple trips to a friend’s house or laundromat just to shrink your scrubs would be an inconvenience? 

    Or maybe you’ve tried the washer and dryer method to shrink your scrubs, and it just isn’t working.

    Don’t fret—There are other ways to shrink your scrubs that don’t involve using a washer or dryer.

    Will Scrubs Shrink In Hot Water? The Boil Method Proves They Will

    As long as the water is warm enough, certain scrubs will shrink in hot water, even if you aren’t using a wash machine. 

    The key factors that affect if your scrubs will shrink include:

    • The material.

    • The temperature of the water.

    Don’t have a wash machine? Or maybe you can’t get to the laundromat. 

    Lucky for you, you can still attempt to shrink your scrubs

    How? Place them in boiling water. 

    Cotton is the most likely to shrink using this method. 

    Here’s what you do: 

    1. Boil the water.

    2. Using a pair of tongs, carefully drop your scrubs in the boiling water and let them soak for about five minutes.

    Remove the scrubs from the boiling water and place them in the dryer or use an iron to dry them.

    Hire a Seamstress (Or Do It Yourself)

    Although shrinking scrubs by washing them sounds easy, it can lead to sizing issues like: 

    • Making your scrubs too short

    • Creating a tight fit in areas you didn’t want them to shrink at—think armpits, shoulders, thighs, etc. 

    There are other, more reliable, options to get those scrubs to fit properly—especially if you’re looking for how to shrink a scrub top to fit in places like your underarm or midriff areas. 

    Maybe you’re looking for how to shrink scrub buttons so they fit you better in the waist, but keep their lengthIf so, shrinking them in the wash probably isn’t your most reliable option.  

    If you have the ability, you could hem your scrub pants, or take in your scrub tops on your own. 

    If sewing isn’t your thing, contact your local seamstress. Many seamstresses offer fair rates, especially if you’re sending in multiple pairs of scrubs

    According to Thumbtack , the average cost of hiring a seamstress to take in your scrubs is about eight dollars per item, but the cost may vary depending on the type of:

    • Alteration

    • Fabri

    • Stitch needed

    • Etc.

    Looking For Comfortable and Professional Scrubs? Silver Lining Scrubs Has the Solution

    Instead of spending hours, or even days, trying to shrink your ill-fitting scrubs, let Silver Lining Scrubs provide you with figure flattering scrubs that will keep you comfortable all shift long. 

    Our scrubs are: 

    • Made of high quality materials,

    • Stain-resistant,

    • Wrinkle-resistant; and

    • Durable.

    Stop riding the scrub struggle bus today. 

    Get quality, comfort, and style at the touch of your fingers.

    Should I put my scrubs in the dryer?
    Dry the Scrubs The cotton pieces should be dried on the lowest tumble dry setting of your dryer or line dried. This will prevent excessive shrinking and fading. more
    Do you put dryer sheets in the dryer?
    To use Downy Dryer Sheets, simply drop a new dryer sheet on top of your clothes in the dryer. (For large loads or for extra softness and fragrance, use two sheets.) more
    Can I put my scrubs in the dryer?
    Cotton/polyester blend scrubs can be dried on the regular heat dryer cycle or line dried. more
    Can you put sheets in the dryer?
    While air-drying is preferred, sheets can be put in a dryer on a low or air-dry setting. more
    Should you put pillows in the dryer?
    Place the pillows in the dryer at the lowest heat possible. Add a softener sheet for freshness, and two or three tennis balls to help fluff them. Keep an eye on the pillows and remove them as soon as they are dry. more
    Can you put leggings in the dryer?
    Don't put your leggings in the dryer Just like your washing machine's hot cycle, the dryer can damage stretchy fabrics and even warp the fibers, so that your leggings no longer fit like a dream. Instead, hang them to dry by draping them over a laundry rack, a clothesline or even your shower curtain rod. more
    Can you put stockings in the dryer?
    -Remove all jewelry whilst washing your stockings by hand to ensure you don't snag or damage your stockings. -Do not dry your stockings in the dryer as the heat can damage the nylon and the elasticity. The dryer can also tear or snag your stockings, therefore, damaging them. more
    Can I put socks in the dryer?
    To summarise, yes, you can tumble dry almost all types of socks except those made from wool. Be sure to check the manufacturer's care instructions. When in doubt, hang socks to dry or lay them flat on a towel. The more expensive the sock, the more you will want to take this gentle approach. more
    Can you put comforter in dryer?
    You don't want to cook the down with high heat and permanently damage it, though. Sukalac recommends drying your comforter on low or medium heat and then removing it from the dryer throughout the cycle to help redistribute and fluff the down fill. more
    Can you put pillows in the dryer?
    Give your pillows a daily fluffing to restore their shape and remove dust. Then, every month or so, hang them outdoors on a clothesline for a few hours, ideally on a bright, breezy day. If that's not an option, as with some foam and latex pillows, run them through the dryer on the no-heat cycle. more
    Should you put shirts in the dryer?
    We recommend a cold water wash for darker fabrics, but warm or hot water is okay for white shirts or lighter colors. To minimize shrinkage, we recommend letting your shirt air dry on a sturdy hanger. If you do use a dryer, we recommend low heat and you should remove the shirt while it is still damp. more


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