4 Easy Ways to Shrink Bathing Suit Bottoms Without a Dryer

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A perfect fitting bathing suit can boost anyone’s confidence at the pool.  But an ill-fitting one can have the opposite effect.

Bathing suit bottoms that are a bit too loosey-goosey have a tendency to hide your curves, and might not fulfill the stellar look that you had in mind.  They can also cause other problems that could be even more embarrassing.

Rather than throwing the bulky bathing suit into the trash, it may be possible to salvage it by shrinkage.

While using a dryer is often a preferred method to shrink the bathing suit, it’s not always a practical or timely solution.  Fortunately, it’s possible to do this without a dryer!

In this post we’ll look at how to shrink bathing suit bottoms without a dryer.  Let’s dive in!

Do Bathing Suits Shrink?

Bathing suits that are made from natural materials such as cotton or wool are prone to shrinking.  These fibers have a tendency to unravel when exposed to heat, causing the fabric to shrink slightly. 

Nowadays, most swimming suits are made of synthetic materials such as nylon, spandex, or polyester.  These materials are designed to minimize shrinkage and maintain elasticity.

However, it’s important to check the care tag on the swimsuit to understand how to wash and dry it. Many swimsuits are not supposed to be placed into the dryer due to damage that may occur to the fabric, and also the risk of shrinkage.

Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to dry your swimsuit quickly without using a dryer.

How to Shrink Bathing Suit Bottoms Without a Dryer

A saggy bathing suit bottom can be more problematic than just visual appearance.  

It could result in accidental exposure of areas that are normally covered by tighter fabric.  Or, a poor fitting suit could result in discomfort and reduced mobility.

Here are several ways to shrink bathing suit bottoms without needing a dryer

Hot Water Soak

This method is as easy as it sounds: 

  • Fill up a tub or sink with hot water.  The water doesn’t need to be scalding hot.
  • Add some detergent or fabric softener
  • Let your bottoms soak for about 30 minutes  
  • Rinse the bottoms off with cold water
  • Allow them to air dry

If this method doesn’t give the desired amount of shrinkage, give one of these other ones a shot. 

Boiling Water Method

The boiling water method is a bit more intense, but it gets the job done. 

Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn off the heat and drop your bottoms in there. 

Let them sit for 10-15 minutes, then carefully take them out and rinse them with cold water. Place them on a hanger and let them dry flat. 

And there you have it – perfect fitting bottoms in no time.

Steam Method

Last but not least, we have the steam method. There are a couple of ways to go about this one, but both rely on steam to do the work.

The first option requires you to hang your bottoms in the bathroom, and allow a hot shower to run for 30 minutes with the door closed.  Afterwards, take the suit out and let it dry flat.  

The second option requires you to use a steam iron.  Just as you’d use an iron to remove wrinkles from clothing, you’ll use it to apply steam to the bathing suit in order to achieve shrinkage.

The steam iron will provide more intense steam onto the bathing suit bottoms, and may have a better chance at meeting your needs.

Air Dry in the Sun

This one is the easiest of all. Air drying a suit in the sun is so simple that many may not even realize could result in shrinkage.  

It’s not uncommon to have a towel rack located outside near the pool.  Throwing bathing suit bottoms onto the rack while the sun is beating down has potential to result in shrinkage.

Just know, this method has the potential to cause sun bleaching of the swimsuit. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to fix a discolored swimsuit if you find yourself in this situation.

How to Shrink Bathing Suit with a Dryer

While we’ve reviewed several easy methods to shrink bathing suit bottoms without a dryer, let’s see how they compare to actually using a dryer for this.

A word of caution, using a dryer can damage the fabric and cause the suit to lose its shape.  However, here are some simple steps you can follow if you wish to give this a go:  

1 – Check the care label: Before attempting to shrink your bathing suit in the dryer, check the care label to ensure that it is safe to put in the dryer. If the label says “Do not tumble dry” or “Line dry only,” do not attempt to shrink the suit in the dryer.

2 – Set the dryer to a low heat: If the care label allows for it, set the dryer to a low heat setting. High heat can damage the fabric and cause it to lose its shape.

3 – Place the suit in a mesh laundry bag: To protect the suit from getting snagged or stretched during the drying process, place it in a mesh laundry bag.

4 – Add a damp towel: Adding a damp towel to the dryer can help create a moist environment, which can aid in the shrinking process.

5 – Check the suit frequently: Check the suit every 5 minutes to ensure that it is not shrinking too much or losing its shape. If it appears to be shrinking unevenly, remove it from the dryer and lay it flat to dry.

6 – Remove the suit from the dryer: Once the suit has reached the desired size, remove it from the dryer and allow it to cool before trying it on.

Final Takeaway

Fortunately, there are more than a couple ways to shrink your bathing suit bottoms even without using a dryer. But, all of the methods ultimately use heat as the key to shrinkage.

Just keep in mind that shrinking your bottoms may cause their shape to become altered.  It’ll be important to check the fit carefully before heading out to the beach or pool party so that you don’t have any untimely surprises. 

As a bonus, these methods can be used for other clothing items too – so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Happy Swimming!

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