Do Fire Retardant Clothes Shrink?

Fire retardant clothing needs to be cleaned and washed frequently, and any oil or grease stains on it must be removed for the garment to be effective against fire. A fire retardant garment that is clean will be effective for longer. Flame-retardant clothing covered with stains, holes, or worn thin can be very dangerous for the wearer, especially if you do utility work involving fire and heat. 

This guide will ensure you know how to wash and clean your flame-retardant clothing accurately and correctly to eliminate stains. Flame retardant clothing is often known to shrink quite a lot, but this guide will provide helpful tips that ensure your FR clothes have a long life and won’t shrink quickly. 

How To Wash Fire Retardant Clothes?

Fire retardant clothes can be washed in a home washer or an industrial washer, but home laundering is a much safer and cost-effective option and can help keep the protectiveness of fire retardant clothes for longer. 

7 Tips For Washing Fire Retardant Clothes

Washing FR clothes is similar to washing normal clothes, but as FR clothes aren’t ordinary garments, there are certain things you should remember to do and things that you should avoid for your FR clothes to be washed correctly. 

  • Separately washing your fire retardant clothes from your ordinary clothes will ensure your FR clothes don’t get contaminated
  • Remember to turn your fire-retardant clothes inside and out to avoid streaking and abrasion
  • Avoid washing your fire-retardant clothes at the highest temperature. If the temperature is set too high, your garments will be at risk of increased shrinking 
  • Choose cool and warm temperatures. Varying materials will have varying recommended temperatures. Check the garment’s label for its details
  • Avoid letting the garment be soaked in the washer for too long. This can badly affect the garment’s protective finish
  • Do not use bleach or bleach-based detergents. The integrity of the clothing can be badly damaged by bleach. Check your detergent’s label to ensure it doesn’t have chlorine or non-chlorine bleach
  • Avoid fabric softeners and starch, as both can affect your garment’s protective finish

How To Minimize Shrinkage Of Flame Retardant Garments?

Fire retardant fabrics always shrink, and no matter what type of fire retardant fabric you have, the clothing will shrink. Some fire retardant garments will shrink faster, and some will shrink slower. Shrinking for fire-retardant clothing is inevitable, but there are many things you can do to slow down the rate at which your fire-retardant clothing shrinks. These tactics will allow your fire retardant clothes to have a longer life than most fire retardant clothing. 

Many fire retardant clothes are cotton which shrinks after a wash. Fire retardant clothes, like non-fire retardant clothes, are capable of shrinkage no matter what the fabric is and no matter how the company manufactured it, but it’s helpful to keep in mind that setting the washer at warm or cold temperatures greatly reduces shrinkage of your garment. 

Another helpful tip to remember is when drying flame retardant clothing, line dry it instead of using a dryer but if using a dryer is your only option, ensure you remove the clothing from the dryer while it is still wet. Using high heat to dry your fire-retardant clothing can cause increased shrinkage. Shrinking mostly occurs because of over-drying as well, so ensure you avoid letting your clothes dry for too long. 


All clothes shrink, including fire-retardant clothing, but you can follow the tips above to ensure your clothes shrink at a much slower rate so they can have a long life of use. Stains are bad for any garment, but they’re specifically bad for FR garments as they can damage the protective finish of the clothing. Washing will not only keep your clothes clean but also effective.

Scroll to Top