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Life Hacks

How to Get Wrinkles Out of Clothes Without Ironing — and the Surprising Way Your Dryer Can Make Things Worse

Plus, how a common hair accessory can help!

As if piles of laundry aren’t arduous enough, then there’s what comes after: ironing. The painstaking process of pressing those wrinkles out can take up precious time and energy that we don’t have. Then, there’s figuring out the settings and trying not to drip on or burn your garment (or your hands!) or pinch your fingers on that darn ironing board. If you loathe ironing as much as we do, have no fear. We’re pinpointing how to get wrinkles out of clothes —without ever plugging in an iron. 

Why erasing wrinkles matters

Theoretically, you can live with wrinkled clothing, and it won’t impact your daily life. But there are more than a few reasons to keep our clothes wrinkle-free. “When clothes are properly pressed, the whole outfit just shines much more brightly!” says fashion designer Dara Senders. 

And in many cases, you are what you wear. “When you’re in the workplace or social settings, wearing smooth, neat attire communicates to others that you pay attention to detail and care about your appearance and professionalism in the world,” adds professional organizer and founder of Get It Straight! Leslie Kilgour.

Another reason to de-wrinkle daily? It helps your clothes last longer! “Constant wrinkling can lead to fabric damage over time. When clothing is left wrinkled for extended periods (especially in storage bins), the fabric fibers can weaken and permanently crease,” explains Kilgour. “Over time, these may lead to permanent wrinkles or, in more delicate fabrics, even fabric breakage or distortion of the garment’s shape. Natural fibers like cotton and linen are particularly susceptible to damage from prolonged wrinkling.” 

How to get wrinkles out of clothes without ironing 

While most of our experts agree that ironing or using a garment steamer are the tried-and-true ways, you may not have one of those gadgets handy or the space for an ironing board. In that case, we’ve asked for some hacks that’ll get the job done just as well as an iron would. 

1. Blow out wrinkles with your hair dryer 

Our experts agreed on this trick, which is great if you’re traveling or in a pinch. “Put your hair dryer on its highest heat setting, and with the garment hanging, slightly dampen it in sections and make passes over it like you would a steamer, aiming the dryer’s nozzle at the wrinkles,” suggests Senders. You can hold the fabric taut with your free hand as you do each section. Tread carefully, though, she warns: “This can be tricky, though, because if you don’t know your fabrics, you could end up burning a hole in your favorite blouse.” 

2. Use a flat iron to get wrinkles out

button down shirt ironed with a flat iron

Another hot tool can also come in handy when pressing your clothes. The iron you use to straighten your hair can also make a collar crisper. “Take your hair flat iron and use it to press wrinkles out of the collar, cuffs and hems of a button-down shirt,” says Senders. Just let the iron get hot, then clamp down for a few seconds at a time, being sure to release frequently so you don’t cause a burn. Ensure your flat iron is clean and free of any product residue that might transfer onto the shirt. 

3. Splash some water on it and pop it back in the dryer 

“One of my favorite go-to’s is simply spraying my sweater or pants with some water and then tossing it in the dryer for a few minutes,” says Logan Taylor, founder and director of training and development for The Dazzle Cleaning Company. 

“Typically, just a couple of squirts of water from a spray bottle and 5 minutes in the dryer on low will do the trick. Or, instead of spraying the item, you can just throw an ice cube into the dryer with the item or even a wet white sock or towel. For deep wrinkles in heavier fabrics like denim or corduroy, you’ll want to increase how much water you spray on and how long you leave it in the dryer,” he adds. 

4. How to get wrinkles out of clothes: give it a steam shower 

A steamy bathroom can become a haven for wrinkly clothes. “Blazers, suit coats and blouses can benefit from hanging in the bathroom while you take a long hot shower,” says Taylor. Close the windows and door to ensure you create as much steam as possible, and hang your garment outside the shower door.

In about ten minutes, the steam from the shower will release the wrinkles like magic! 

5. DIY your own wrinkle-release spray 

There are tons of over-the-counter sprays that you can buy that will release wrinkles from your clothes.  “Sprays, though, are for light wrinkles, not deeply creased items in heavy fabrics,” warns Taylor. But he says making your own wrinkle-release spray is just as easy. 

“Just fill a spray bottle with 8 oz of tap water, add in 1 teaspoon of liquid fabric softener, shake, spritz the item, and in a few minutes, it’ll be wrinkle-free,” he explains. 

Are there any ways to prevent wrinkling?

The quickest way to save yourself the hassle of trying to get the wrinkles out of your clothes is to take a few steps to prevent them from happening in the first place. For starters, denim and polyester blends wrinkle less than cotton or linen. There are also clothes you can purchase labeled “no iron” that are chemically treated to be crease-free. 

Also, how you dry your clothes makes a huge difference. “A lot of wrinkles are actually created in the dryer because the clothes are in it too long or it’s set too hot,” says Marieke van der Graaf, founder of Laundrylicious. “Additionally, if you take your clothes out immediately after the drying cycle ends and either hang them up or fold them promptly, that will prevent wrinkles from setting into the fabric,” advises van der Graaf.

Van der Graaf says some fabrics wrinkle faster than others, and some dry faster than others, so pay attention to the garment’s care label. Avoid overloading the washing machine (as that will cause clothes to twist up), try turning clothes inside out before you wash, and then shake each piece out when you take it out of the machine before placing it into the dryer. When traveling, neatly and tightly roll your clothes instead of folding them in your suitcase, which will help ward off wrinkles, too. 

Now, if only tackling wrinkles on our face were as easy! 

For more laundry hacks, click through the links below!

How to Remove Lint and Pet Hair From Clothes — No Lint Roller Needed!

How to Remove Static From Clothes: Laundry Pros Reveal Their Absolute Favorite On-the-Go Trick

Experts Share Why Using Too Much Laundry Detergent May Be Making Your Clothes ‘Dirty’

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