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Harvard startup uses science to "unshrink" your clothes

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Have you ever been annoyed when you take your clothes out of the washer or dryer only to find they have shrunk? A startup company called Unshrinkit aims to fix that problem. Like its name suggests, the company says it can bring your sweaters back from their shrunken state and restore their original size.

The idea came from an introduction to the harsh New England winters.

Unshrinkit co-founder and California native Desiree Stolar learned the hard way when she moved to Boston to attend Harvard Business School.

"I had a week of sweaters that I put into the washer, and then proceeded to shrink," Stolar told CBS Boston.

Stolar said that she thought it would be an easy fix, but was surprised to find there was no readily available solution to "unshrink" shrunken sweaters.

Stolar aired her frustrations while sitting near Harvard classmate Nate Barbera, who had done product development for Johnson & Johnson in the past, and the two joined forces. They started mixing and matching different chemicals until they found something that worked to relax wool fibers.

"That's when we knew we had something in our hands that was worthwhile, and we've been pursuing it ever since," she added. They've bottled the formula and sell it online on Amazon and at a couple of retailers.

How does the product work? First, fill the sink with a gallon of warm water before pouring the entire bottle of Unshrinkit into the sink. The clothing is then soaked in the mixture for 30 minutes. The clothing should be rinsed under cold water before being gently stretched back to the preferred size. Then, just squeeze out excess liquid before drying the clothes on a towel, according to the startup's website.

Unshrinkit only works on wool at the moment, but they're trying to develop more options.

"We're already looking at things like denim and cotton because we know people shrink those things, too," she said.

Now, Stolar and Barbera are getting ready to introduce their business to the public in a big way: Unshrinkit will be featured in an episode of "Shark Tank" on Friday.