How to Unshrink Flip Flops

Are you devastated that your favorite flip flops have shrunk in the wash? Don’t worry. There is still hope!

There’s nothing worse than putting on a pair of flip flops after they’ve been in the wash, only to find that they’re now too small. Luckily, there is an easy way to unshrink them. In just a few simple steps, your flip flops will be as good as new!

How to Unshrink Flip Flops

Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! If you’re like me and you can’t stand the thought of putting away your flip flops until next year, read on.

I will teach you how to unshrink flip flops so you can enjoy them all fall and winter long. Flip flops are the ultimate summer accessory, but they can also be worn in cooler weather. All you need is a little bit of time and patience.

What Can Shrink Flip Flops?

Before we dive into the steps, let’s discuss what can shrink your flip flops. Most commonly, water and heat cause them to shrink in the wash or dryer.

For example, flip flops made with rubber or synthetic materials, such as PVC and EVA, are prone to shrinking in high temperatures.

Leather and canvas flip flops may also shrink if they are not properly cared for and dried.

Additionally, using too much detergent or fabric softener in the wash can also cause your flip flops to shrink.

Overall, it is important to always read the care label on your flip flops before throwing them in the wash or dryer.

10 Easy Steps on How To Unshrink Flip Flops

Now that we know what can cause shrinkage let’s start unshrinking those tiny flip flops!

1. Use Lukewarm Water:

Fill a sink or basin with lukewarm water and soak the flip flops for about 10 minutes. You can use a mild detergent if needed. Be careful not to use hot water, as this can further shrink the flip flops.

Be Careful Not to Use Hot Water

2. Gently Stretch:

Gently stretch out the flip flops while they are still wet. You can use your hands to stretch them or a stretching tool such as a wooden rolling pin. If necessary, repeat the soaking and stretching steps until you have reached your desired size.

3. Leave to Air Dry:

Do not put the flip flops in the dryer! Instead, leave them to air dry on a flat surface, away from direct heat or sunlight. As they dry, continue gently stretching them out until they are completely dry and back to their original size.

4. Maintain Fit by Wearing and Stretching:

To maintain the fit of your unshrunk flip flops, wear them periodically and continue stretching them as needed. Be careful not to put them in the wash or dryer, as this can cause them to shrink again. If needed, repeat the soaking and stretching steps once more.

5. Use Hair Conditioner:

If all else fails, you can use a hair conditioner to unshrink your flip flops. Follow the same steps as above, but use a small amount of hair conditioner instead of detergent in the water. The conditioning agents in the hair product will help soften and stretch out the flip flops.

6. Use Baby Powder:

Another trick is to sprinkle some baby powder onto the wet, stretched flip flops before air drying. The powder will help them keep their shape as they dry. Moreover, the powder can also help prevent them from sticking to your feet as you wear them.

7. Alternate Method:

If you don’t have access to a sink or basin, try filling a plastic bag with lukewarm water and submerging the flip flops inside. Seal the bag and gently stretch and manipulate the flip flops to their desired size. Then leave them to air dry as mentioned above.

8. Use Baby Shampoo:

Another alternative is to use baby shampoo instead of detergent in the water, as it is gentler on the material of the flip flops. It will also help soften and stretch them out. And, of course, the same steps apply – soak, stretch, and air dry.

Shampoo Instead of Detergent in the Water

9. Use Fabric Softener:

You can also add a small amount of fabric softener to the water, which will help soften and stretch out the flip flops. Make sure to use a mild fabric softener and follow the same steps as above. Because fabric softener can also cause shrinkage, be sure not to use too much.

10. Opt for Flip Flops with Stretchy Material:

To avoid shrinkage in the future, opt for flip flops made with stretchy materials such as rubber or nylon. These materials are less likely to shrink and will have some give, making them more comfortable to wear. Don’t always forget to read and follow the care label to maintain the fit of your flip flops.

Following these steps, you can successfully unshrink your flip flops and continue wearing them all year round! Always check the care label and avoid excessive heat or detergent to prevent future shrinking.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Before attempting to unshrink your flip flops, check the label for care instructions. Some materials may not react well to heat or stretching.
  2. If the label allows it, use warm water to stretch the material gently while wearing them.
  3. Another option is to place your flip flops in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer overnight. The cold temperature can help shrink the material back to its original shape.
  4. For leather flip flops, try using a shoe stretching spray or cream to help loosen the material.
  5. Consider investing in a shoe stretching tool to help with future shrinkage issues. This is especially helpful for shoes made from harder materials such as leather.
Try Using a Shoe Stretching Spray

Overall, the best way to prevent shrinkage in your flip flops is to care for them according to the label’s instructions properly. This includes avoiding getting them wet and storing them in a cool, dry place.

However, if shrinkage does occur, these tips can help restore your favorite flip flops back to their original size and shape. Happy stretching!

5 Precautions You Can Take While Washing Flip Flops

  1. Avoid hot water or high heat in the washing machine, as this can lead to shrinking.
  2. Use a gentle cycle or hand wash the flip flops.
  3. Use a mild detergent or soap intended for delicate clothing items.
  4. Allow the flip flops to air dry rather than place them in the dryer.
  5. Consider purchasing a larger size or buying stretchy material flip flops to prevent future shrinking.

With these tips in mind, let’s dive into how to unshrink your beloved flip flops and continue wearing them all summer long. Happy washing!

Do Flip Flops Stretch Over Time?

It depends on the material used to make the flip flops. In general, rubber and nylon materials will tend to stretch over time, while leather or plastic may not. However, proper care can also affect how much a flip flop will stretch, such as avoiding hot water or excessive stretching. It’s always important to read and follow the care label for your specific pair of flip flops.

Having said that, if you want your flip flops to stretch sooner rather than later, try wearing them with socks or using a shoe stretching spray or tool. This can help loosen up the material and mold it more comfortably to your feet over time.

Flip Flops to Stretch Sooner Rather Than Later

Ultimately, whether or not your flip flops will stretch really comes down to their material and how well you care for them. Keep that in mind when selecting your next pair of go-to summer shoes. Happy stretching!

How Can You Store Flip Flops to Avoid Shrinking?

  1. Store flip flops in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  2. Do not leave them wet or damp for extended periods of time, as this may lead to shrinkage.
  3. Consider investing in a shoe rack or specific storage container specifically for flip flops to keep them organized and protected from damage.
  4. Allow the flip flops to air dry before storing them away, rather than placing them in the dryer, which can cause shrinkage.
  5. If possible, avoid folding or bending the flip flops to prevent permanent creasing or damage to the material.

Following these tips can help ensure that your flip flops keep their shape and avoid shrinking over time. Happy storage!


Luckily, there is a way to unshrink your flip flops so you can keep wearing them all summer long. Just follow the simple steps above, and you’ll have your shoes back in no time. With a little effort, you won’t have to go out and buy a new pair of flip flops – which will save you money.

Now that you know how to unshrink flip flops, you can enjoy them for many summers to come! Just remember, the next time they get too small, don’t throw them out – give this simple method a try and bring them back to life. 

Hopefully, by taking some preventative measures and proper care of your flip flops, you can avoid shrinkage in the future. Happy summer!

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Jennifer Branett

I am Jennifer, a passionate blogger since 2016. I like to write informative articles to help peoples in my free time. I am a family person. I have two kids who keep me busy all the time. I always try to give importance to my family. Sometimes it becomes challenging for me to maintain the time along with my family. But I never lose hope. I hope my articles are helping you in some way. If so, You can give me a thumbs up to my inbox, which means a lot to me. Thank you. You can email me at

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