Do Bikini Bottoms Shrink? (Let’s Find Out)

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Bikini bottoms are very popular amongst the ladies, but they’re gradually making their way into the men’s market with outstanding fabric and colours to pick from. However, there have been some concerns raised over the quality of these very popular attires – Do bikini bottoms shrink?

Yes, bikini bottoms shrink but it depends on the type of bikini bottom you purchase. If you purchase a bikini bottom that was made from cotton or wool, then there is every assurance that it would shrink while washing but recently, bikini bottoms are made with synthetic fibres like polyester, and while some are made from nylon.

These fibers make the bikini bottom shrink resistant and they would not also fade in colour while washing.


Why do bikini bottoms shrink?

Bikini bottoms shrink because of the fabric or what it is being made from. The first bikini bottoms that were made, were made from cotton or wool and these bikinis are the ones that shrink. The newly made bikini bottoms are made with natural fabrics and synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon and they do not shrink.

How to shrink bikini bottoms

Like I said earlier, modern bikini bottoms are made from natural fabrics and synthetic fibers and they are also in different sizes.

For instance, if you purchase a bikini bottom that is way too big and you want to make them your size or you purchased the bikini bottoms when you had weight but all of a sudden you lose weight because of stress or anything, there are ways to go about it.

So in this article, I will write the three different methods on how to shrink your bikini bottoms and then you would decide which one is easier for you to follow.

  • You can shrink your bikini bottoms with the use of a dryer.
  • Smoothing the bikini bottoms with an iron.
  • Preventing the bikini bottoms from stretching.

Method 1- The use of a dryer:

In this method, you would have to follow a few steps that I would list below.

Step 1: Prevent fading of the colour

To prevent your bikini bottoms from fading off in the process of boiling, washing, and drying, make sure you turn your bikini bottom inside out plus if there are any bra pads in it, bring them out and keep them aside.

Read Also: Can I Wear A Bikini If I Don’t Have A Flat Stomach?

Step 2: With your hands, wash your bikini bottoms in cool water

Get a bucket filled with water, put your bikini bottoms in the cool water and add a mild detergent – make sure the detergent doesn’t have any bleaching agent in it.

Wash your bikini and rinse it off in clean cool water and make sure that no oil, sweat, or anything that can get baked, and make your bikini inflexible when you start drying it. NB – do not wash your bikini bottoms in a washing machine as it could stretch your bikini the more.

Step 3: Boil water till room temperature

Fill your pot or kettle with water and place it on the gas cooker to boil. While it is boiling, put your bikini bottoms into the water.

After the water has boiled, put the pot off the cooker and let the bikini sit in it till it cools to room temperature. The heat from the boiling water or already boiled water would allow your synthetic bikini bottom to shrink and also prepare it for more shrinkage.

Read Also: Why Do Track Runners Wear Bikini Bottoms?

Step 4: Dry your bikini bottom on the highest volume

To get the right shrinkage, dry your bikini on the highest volume and time provided on your dryer.  Try as much as possible to not dry your bikini alongside other clothes to get the perfect shrinkage.

Step 5: Let it cool down after drying

After the time set has been completed, set your bikini bottom aside and let it cool off before putting it on. The fibers can hold up a lot of heat which can burn you if you place it on your body.

Step 6: Repeat the steps

Once your bikini has cooled down, put it on to check if it is in the perfect size for you but if it is still big for you, repeat the steps from step 3 till the last step until you get the right size and if after three tries you don’t get the size you want, I’d advise you to get a new bikini bottom.

NB– do not do this method every time because the heat from boiling and drying would later let the colour of the bikini fade and you wouldn’t want that.

Read Also: Is It Okay To Wear Bikini Bottoms As Underwear?

Method 2 – The use of iron

In this method, you would also have to follow a few steps and I would list them below:

Step 1: With cool water, wash and rinse your bikini

Get a bucket filled with water or fill your sink with water and dip your bikini into it and add a mild, bleach-free detergent. After washing, rinse with fresh clean water and drain the water off the bikini bottoms.  Make sure there is no oil, sweat, or oil to prevent them from being baked while the bikini is being ironed.

Step 2: Make use of a towel to cover the bikini when it is placed on the iron table

You can make use of a handkerchief if you do not have a cotton towel to put on your bikini. NB – do not ever try to place an iron on a wet synthetic bikini or cloth because it would destroy the material and trust me you would not like the look of it – no one would.

Read Also: Why Are Water Polo Swimsuits So Small?

Step 3: Iron on a low temperature

To prevent your bikini bottoms from getting damaged, it is advisable to set your iron on low temperature before you start ironing and you have to keep ironing on that low temperature until when required to stop.

Step 4: Iron on a firm movement

You have to get prepared to at least spend close to ten minutes ironing your bikini because it is on low heat.  Start ironing from the top of the bikini to the bottom applying force on it and ensure that you are careful with the iron so you won’t burn yourself. This digital iron will help prevent such from happening (click here for more details).

Step 5: Turn the bikini bottoms to the other side

Try to complete your work by ironing the opposite side of your bikini bottom following the same process I laid out in step 4, plus you might have to get a towel to clean the surface of the iron because of the water from the wet bikini bottoms.

Read Also: Can A Man Wear Women’s Bikini Bottoms?

Step 6: Iron till there is no water in the bikini

Keep on applying the same amount of force on the low heat of the iron. Immediately you notice that the bikini bottom is dried you are free to stop the process.

Step 7: Spread out and let it completely dry

If there’s still water in it, spread it out and let it dry on its own. Ensure it is completely dried, plus you can put the bikini in the dryer to let it dry which would even help the shrinkage process.

Method 3 – Prevent the bikini bottom from stretching-

This is the final method on how to shrink your bikini bottom into the right size for you. This method also requires you to follow a few steps as I would list below.

Step 1: After making use of your bikini bottom, wash them

Ensure you wash your bikini bottom regularly to wash away the oils, sweat and other things that might have touched the bikini bottoms while it is being worn plus washing your synthetic bikini bottom keeps the fibres in a good condition for a long time.

Step 2: Wash your bikini bottoms with your hands and with the right detergent

Try as much as possible not to make use of a washing machine to wash your bikini bottoms as the tumbling motion of the washing machine can allow your bikini bottom to stretch, and it could also destroy the fibres.

Also, make use of a mild detergent to wash your bikini bottoms. Detergent with bleaching agents would bleach away the colour of the bikini bottom, so try as much as possible not to make use of a detergent with a bleaching agent. After washing, rinse off the soap from the bikini bottom with fresh cool water.

Step 3: Spread your bikini bottom out to try instead of making use of a dryer

When you are done washing your bikini bottom, spread it out on a rope to dry. Try not to spread it on a metal pole, the metal could interact with the bikini bottoms material and stain it.

For dryers, trust me it’s a very great method to shrink your bikini bottoms but it weakens the fibres because of the motion and heat from the dryer, so this is something you shouldn’t use always on your bikini.

Step 4: Keep your bikini bottoms away from the sun

As I said, most bikini bottoms are made from fibers so try as much as possible not to spread your bikini out in the sun as it could destroy the fibers and fade the colour off.

How to prevent your bikini bottom from shrinking

At the beginning of this article, I stated that modern bikini bottoms are made from natural fabrics and synthetic fibers and this makes them shrink resistant.

So naturally, fibers don’t shrink except you make use of the methods I listed above to make them shrink. Here, I’d tell you what to do to prevent your bikini bottoms from shrinking.

Step 1: Do not put your bikini bottoms in boiling water

Putting your bikini bottom in boiling is like encouraging or preparing it for shrinkage. So try as much as possible not to put your bikini bottom in boiling water.

Step 2: Do not make use of a dryer

The dryer is one of the easiest ways to shrink your bikini bottom, so do not make use of a dryer to dry your bikini as it shrinks and damages the bikini fiber and it could make it fade.

Step 3: Do not make use of iron

Try as much as possible not to iron your bikini bottom because ironing is a method to prepare your bikini for shrinkage.

How to wash your bikini bottoms properly

Washing your bikini bottom is a way of keeping it in good condition because every fiber contains spandex that can stretch or break out when it is being exposed to sweats, oils and other things and the best way to wash your bikini bottoms is by making use of your hands. You’d need just a few materials and equipment to wash your bikini bottom.


  • Mild detergent
  • Water


  • Drying rack
  • Bucket or sink

Step 1: Rinse your bikini with cool water

Rinsing your bikini bottom after making use of it would help you remove away the sweat, oils, chemicals, and so on. Soaking your bikini bottom for at least 20-minutes in water is ideal enough.

Step 2: Pour the water away from the bucket or drain the sink and refill

Making use of just cool water would not wash out all the things that can damage the bikini. After refilling your bucket or sink, add your mild detergent and start washing. Wash with your hands.

Step 3: Treat the stains on your bikini

Make use of a stain treatment to treat the stains of ketchup, juice, or anything that might have dripped on your bikini.

Step 4: Dip the bikini in the water

Turn the bikini inside out and dip it into the soapy water. After washing, rinse off the soap with fresh water.

Step 5: Squeeze out the excess water and spread it out

After rinsing your bikini bottom, squeeze out the excess water gently from it and spread out your bikini on a drying rack. Do not spread it directly to the sun as it can fade the colour.


Do swimsuits shrink in the dryer?

Yes, swimsuits shrink in the dryer. Depending on what you want, it is advisable to avoid the dryers for your swimsuits if shrinkage is not your goal.

Can I put bathing suits in the dryer?

You are advised not to. The heat from the dryer can reduce the life expectancy of your fabric which would definitely incur more cost on you. Drying your bathing suit outdoors will always be the way to go.

How long do bathing suits take to dry?

While the drying period will always be based on the fabric, an average bathing suit should take about 2-hours to completely dry.

Do Bikini Bottoms Shrink – Conclusion

Only bikini bottoms made from cotton or wool can shrink while washing. The bikini bottoms made from natural fabrics and synthetic fibers are shrink resistant but there are ways to make them shrink if they are too big for you and I have listed the ways above.

There are also ways of preventing your bikini bottoms from shrinking. I hope you take note of everything that was listed in this article. Kindly put down your questions or suggestions in the comment section, I would be glad to answer your questions and take note of your observation. Cheers!!!

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