If you’re facing a stint of no electricity, whether it’s a power outage or an unstable electricity supply, we’ve got you covered.
Can you iron clothes without electricity? Absolutely!
We’ve done the research and compiled a list of electricity-free ironing hacks so you can get that ironing done fast and effectively.
If you’re in need of an instant wrinkle fix, preparing for a power outage, or going off-the-grid, we have 10 workable solutions to keep your clothing wrinkle-free.
Ps: If you have power but you don’t have an iron, also check out our ironing alternatives article.
1. Use a Wrinkle Release Spray
This is a great quick fix. Anti-wrinkle sprays can be bought at your local supermarket or you can buy it online. Simply spray it on your clothes to release wrinkles and creases. You can help the process along by stretching and smoothing out the fabric. When the fabric is dry, it’s ready to wear.
You can even make your own wrinkle releasing spray at home, using a few basic ingredients…
Homemade Wrinkle Relaxer Recipe
- A spray bottle
- 1 – 2 cups of water
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp fabric softener or even hair conditioner
Note: If you don’t have fabric softener or hair conditioner, you could just use a spray of vinegar and water. You could also replace the vinegar with Vodka because of its odorless alcohol content.
- Lay your garment out on a flat surface and smooth it out as much as possible.
- Spray your wrinkle-free formula directly on the fabric, and smooth it with your hands or a cold iron.
- Allow it to dry.
The vinegar and its smell will evaporate, but just in case you still pick up a hint of the vinegar, you can give the dried garment a light spray of air freshener like Febreze or even deodorant (Note: Don’t use antiperspirant, this can leave a fine white powder on your clothes!)
2. Use a Butane Gas Clothes Iron
If you’re looking for a permanent and reliable solution then a portable butane gas clothing iron is a great option when you have no power.
Butane irons may take a little getting used to, but they work very much like an electric iron.
They are well suited for regular use at home as well as for camping or anywhere electricity is unavailable. You simply light it with a match or lighter and turn the knob to adjust the temperature.
You iron as you would with an electric iron. They are available online or through some specialty camping stores and can operate for up to 5 hours on as little as 150 grams of clean-burning butane gas. That’s pretty impressive for a non-electric clothes iron.
3. Press Clothes Under a Mattress
If your bed has a flat base under the mattress, it’s perfect for flattening your clothes while you sleep.
- Lay your clothing down on the base exactly as you want them to be pressed. You can even layer a few items on top of each other.
- Give the clothing a spray of water or wrinkle release spray.
- Smooth the garments out as much as possible then carefully lay your mattress back down on top of your clothes.
- Leave them there overnight while you sleep. Your clothes should be ready to wear in the morning.
If you’re still not happy with the result, you can spray them again just before putting them on.
The heat of your body combined with the gentle releasing action of the fabric softener will encourage stubborn creases to shake loose while you’re on the go.
4. Heat a Pot or Baking Tray
For this option, you will need a gas cooker or camping stove to heat the pot or baking tray that will act as a makeshift iron. A pot with a heavier base will be more effective as it retains heat for longer.
- Prepare a surface like a table or ironing board. Place the garment flat and smooth it out with your hands.
- Have a dishcloth or pillowcase handy to protect the garment if the bottom of your pot or baking tray is blackened by the cooker or stove.
- Lightly moisten the fabric with a spray bottle to encourage steam production.
- Light your gas cooker and heat the pot or baking tray.
- When the base is hot, take it off the heat and firmly press it down on your garment.
- As the surface of the pot cools, reheat it on the gas stove or cooker and repeat until your garment is crease-free.
If you boil water in the pot, this will help retain the heat and the weight of the water will also speed up the process by adding pressure.
5. Use Heavy Household Items
If you don’t have the means to heat a pot or baking tray, you can use pressure to flatten clothing much like the mattress technique. Household items like heavy books or a storage box can be used as weights to flatten out wrinkles.
- Lay the garment you need ironed on a flat surface and ensure it is smoothed out so you don’t press in any additional creases.
- Give it a light spray with water from a mist bottle.
- Place a towel onto the garment to prevent it from shifting or getting dirty. Then, find heavy items in your home and rest them on top of the garment.
- Leave the garment overnight and by morning, the pressure would have significantly improved the wrinkles.
6. Heat Your Unplugged Iron with a Kerosene or Gas Camping Stove
This ironing alternative uses your normal steam iron, only you’ll need to heat the base with a kerosene or gas camping stove.
- Protect the iron’s soleplate by covering it with a piece of heavy-duty foil.
- Light your kerosene or gas camping stove and heat the iron’s soleplate by holding it above the flame.
- Have a spray bottle of water handy for misting your clothing before running the iron over the fabric. The steam will help speed up the process by softening the fabric fibers.
- Repeat the process until you’ve achieved the desired results.
Note: Because you cannot gauge the exact temperature of the iron, use a pillowcase or dishcloth as a protective layer between the garment and the iron. This way you’ll avoid accidentally scorching the fabric.
7. Buying Wrinkle Resistant Fabrics
When buying clothes, be on the lookout for easy-care fabrics.
Permanent-pressed fabrics are chemically treated and this ensures they don’t need ironing. They simply need to be washed, hung up to dry, and they’re ready to wear.
The higher the polyester content in fabrics, the less they need to be ironed.
Although they can be ironed if absolutely necessary, clothing made of denim, wool, polyester blends, cashmere, rayon, stretch fabrics like lycra or spandex are fantastic options when building an ironing-free wardrobe.
8. Buy a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) Backup Battery
If you live in an area where the electricity supply is intermittent, buying a UPS battery is probably your best bet to get your ironing done… while preserving your sanity.
The size, price, and functionality will vary so choose one that suits your pocket and your needs. They come with an electric plug outlet, so you can plug in an iron for those no-power emergencies.
Purchasing a low voltage iron will mean you draw less power and can iron for longer periods. In general, a UPS unit can store up enough power to last a good couple of hours depending on the amount of power you use.
9. Wash, Dry and Store Clothing Correctly
The way you do your laundry directly impacts the state of your clothes. You won’t have to de-wrinkle clothing if they aren’t wrinkled in the first place.
- When washing your clothes, using a good fabric softener makes a massive difference to the number of wrinkles in your clothing. Adding a dash of vinegar will also improve the cleaning and softening of your laundry.
- It’s better to leave a little more water in your wet clothing, so adjust the spin cycle to a less vigorous setting.
- If you’re hand washing your clothes, you don’t need to wring out the water as much.
- Make sure to give your garments a really good shake before positioning them as straight as possible on the wash-line.
- The more water your clothing has in it, the better gravity works, using the garment’s own weight to help pull out the wrinkles.
- For work clothes, shirts, blouses, or pants, place them neatly on a coat hanger and hang them just like that on your wash-line.
- For garments made from wool, cashmere or any other type of knitwear, lay it out to dry on a towel placed on a flat surface.
Packing & Folding
- Most items of clothing can be hung using a coat hanger, t-shirts included.
- If you fold your clothing, avoid the piles getting too high. The weight of the upper layers can create deep folds in the items packed at the bottom.
- If you’re traveling, lay your clothes down flat, one on top of the other and then roll them up to make a big old roll of clothes.
- Items like denim will be perfect as the innermost layer, while the items more likely to crease should go on the outer layers.
This is one of the best alternatives for students staying in a hostel without power. With just a little extra care, you’ll have no need for ironing, even if the power comes back on.
10. Use a Dry-Cleaning Service
Malls and even smaller shopping centers have back-up generators for when the power goes out, so you can turn to them for last-minute help.
We’ve added this as a last resort because while using this service can definitely save you when you need your clothes ironed, it can become a little costly.
Regardless if you’re experiencing a power blackout, or if all the power outlets are broken in your home, you’ll know exactly how to iron when there is no electricity.
Combining two or more of the above tips will have your clothing looking perfectly and professionally pressed. This article should leave you with no reason not to iron with no power.