Prevent Fleece from Shrinking in the Dryer: Essential Care Tips

Ever tossed your favorite fleece jacket in the dryer, only to find it a size smaller? Curious if fleece really does shrink in the dryer? You’re not alone. Many of us have experienced that moment of disappointment when our cozy fleece doesn’t fit quite the same way after laundry day. But fear not, as we’re here to unravel the mystery for you.

Imagine snuggling up in your soft fleece blanket on a chilly evening, only to realize it’s not as snug as before. The struggle is real, but fret not! Understanding how fleece behaves in the dryer can save you from future wardrobe mishaps. Let’s dive into the world of fleece and dryer settings to ensure your favorite garments stay just the way you love them.

What is Fleece Fabric?

Fleece fabric is a popular material known for its softness and warmth. It is typically made from synthetic fibers like polyester. Fleece is commonly used in jackets, hoodies, blankets, and other cozy items.

Here are some key characteristics of fleece fabric:

  • Moisture-wicking: Fleece material has the ability to draw moisture away from the body, making it a great choice for activewear or cozy layers.
  • Insulating: Fleece is excellent at trapping heat close to the body, providing warmth in cold weather.
  • Quick-drying: This fabric dries relatively quickly, which is convenient for washing and wearing.
  • Easy care: Fleece is often machine washable and low-maintenance, perfect for busy lifestyles.

Understanding the properties of fleece fabric is essential in maintaining its quality, especially when it comes to avoiding shrinkage in the dryer.

How Does Fleece Shrink in the Dryer?

  • Fleece is prone to shrinking in the dryer.
  • High heat can cause the fibers to contract.
  • Agitation during the drying process can also contribute to shrinkage.
  • Excessive time in the dryer can be a factor.
  • Over-drying is not your fleece’s friend.
  • Follow care labels and use low heat settings to prevent shrinkage.
  • Consider air-drying as an alternative method to maintain your fleece’s size.

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Fleece shrinkage in the dryer Yes
Main factors contributing to shrinkage High heat, agitation, over-drying
Prevention tips Follow care labels, use low heat settings, consider air-drying

Tips to Prevent Fleece from Shrinking

When it comes to keeping your fleece garments in top shape, there are several handy tricks you can follow:

  • Check the Care Label: Always refer to the care label on your fleece items for specific instructions. Following these guidelines is crucial in maintaining the fabric’s integrity.
  • Opt for Low Heat Settings: When drying your fleece, choose low heat settings to prevent excessive shrinkage. High heat can be detrimental to the fabric.
  • Avoid Over-Drying: Remove your fleece promptly from the dryer once the cycle ends. Over-drying can lead to unnecessary shrinkage.
  • Consider Air-Drying: To be extra safe, air-dry your fleece garments. Avoiding the dryer altogether can significantly reduce the risk of shrinkage.
  • Use Fabric Softener Sparingly: While fabric softener can make your fleece feel softer, excessive use may damage the fabric’s fibers. Use it sparingly.

Tip Description
Check the Care Label Follow the recommended care instructions to maintain your fleece items’ quality.
Opt for Low Heat Settings Choose lower heat settings when drying fleece to prevent excessive shrinkage.
Avoid Over-Drying Remove fleece promptly from the dryer to prevent over-drying and shrinkage.
Consider Air-Drying Air-drying fleece garments can be an effective way to prevent shrinkage.
Use Fabric Softener Sparingly Limit the use of fabric softener to protect the integrity of the fleece fibers.

Proper Care Instructions for Fleece Garments

Taking proper care of your fleece garments is essential to maintain their quality and prevent shrinking. Here are some practical tips to help you keep your fleece in top condition:

  • Washing Instructions:

  • Turn fleece garments inside out before washing to protect the outer surface.
  • Use cold water and a gentle cycle to prevent excessive agitation.
  • Mild detergent is recommended to avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric.
  • Avoid using bleach, as it can weaken the fibers of the fleece.
  • Drying Tips:

  • Always check the care label before drying your fleece.
  • Low heat settings are ideal to prevent shrinkage.
  • Remove fleece promptly from the dryer to prevent over-drying.
  • Consider air-drying as an effective method to avoid shrinkage.
  • Storage Recommendations:

  • Fold fleece items instead of hanging them to maintain their shape.
  • Store your fleece garments in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture.
  • Avoid compressing fleece in storage to prevent distortion of the fabric.
  • Use fabric softener sparingly to protect the fibers and maintain softness.
  • Avoid ironing fleece as high heat can damage the fabric.
  • Check for any specific care instructions for your fleece garments to ensure proper maintenance.

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By following these simple care instructions, you can extend the lifespan of your fleece garments and preserve their quality and fit for longer enjoyment.


Now that you’re aware of the best practices for caring for your fleece garments, you can ensure they stay cozy and comfortable for longer. By following simple steps like washing in cold water, using mild detergent, and air-drying or using low heat in the dryer, you can prevent shrinkage and maintain the quality of your fleece items. Remember to store them properly in a cool, dry place and avoid high heat when ironing. These small adjustments in your care routine can make a big difference in how long your fleece garments last and how well they retain their fit. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your cozy fleece pieces for many seasons to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I wash my fleece garments to prevent shrinking?

Turn fleece items inside out before washing, use cold water and mild detergent, avoid bleach, and opt for gentle washing cycles.

What is the recommended drying method for fleece garments?

Use low heat settings when drying, promptly remove items from the dryer to avoid overheating, and consider air-drying to prevent shrinkage.

What are the best practices for storing fleece items?

Fold fleece garments instead of hanging them, store in a cool and dry place, and avoid compressing them to maintain their original shape.

Should I use fabric softener when taking care of fleece clothing?

It’s recommended to use fabric softener sparingly with fleece items to prevent buildup and potential damage to the fabric.

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Can I iron fleece garments to remove wrinkles?

Avoid ironing fleece with high heat to prevent damage. It’s best to check for specific care instructions before ironing any fleece items.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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