There are days when ironing is the very last thing you want to do in your free time. Then there are the days when life gets ahead of the ironing, and you have to make a last-minute plan to leave the house looking half decent. We have a few solutions that should lighten your ironing load.
How can I make my clothes neat without ironing? A key factor for avoiding wrinkled clothing is the way you wash and dry them. Also, if you avoid buying clothes made of natural fibers and instead choose clothes made of blended fabrics, they’ll look neat without the need for ironing.
We are going to look at a couple of different ones, some are pretty obvious and others are going to seem really crazy but we’re going to try each one and then give the technique a score to see how well it works.
Ps: Need to iron with no electricity at all? Check out our ironing without electricity article.
1. Handheld Garment Steamers
Handheld garment steamers like the Hilife 240ml Steamer, are safe to use on all types of fabrics and are especially good at removing wrinkles from trickier materials like polyester and silk. See our review of the best handheld garment steamers.
They’re a quick way to de-wrinkle and freshen up clothing without having to pull out the ironing board and start ironing. You can run the steam over the garment where it hangs. Give the steam a minute to dry and you’re good to go.
2. Professional Grade Steamer
You can always upgrade to the PurSteam Professional Grade Steamer for larger loads or if you just want to get done much quicker.
3. Ironing Press
If steam alone is just not enough, consider a steam press like the Steamfast SF-680, which forces the fabric flat and wrinkle-free while injecting it with hot steam to release and creases.
Trouser presses work in a similar way. Simple hand your trousers and press a button for your pants to be pressed to perfection while you get on with life. For more of the facts, check out our favorite trouser press machines article.
4. Steaming Rack
This unique and novel All-in-one-steam ironing rack creates a fine mist that penetrates the fabric of your clothes and cleans it while loosening the fibers to eliminate the need for ironing altogether.
5. Choose Fabrics That Don’t Need Ironing
Clothes made from natural fabrics like cotton, hemp, and linen are the most prone to wrinkles.
There are some fabrics that wear well and do not wrinkle easily, these include denim, wool, polyester, cashmere, and Tencel. The following fabrics are the most popular and affordable options and will keep you looking neat without having to lift an iron.
Denim: Denim is a great “wash and wear” fabric. As long as you hang them up neatly to dry or fold them when they come out of the dryer, they won’t need any ironing. Any small wrinkles will wear-out and fade when you wear them.
Polyester & Synthetic Blends: Pure polyester garments rarely need ironing. If you are unable to find something that’s 100% polyester, look for a polyester blend that is at least 65% polyester to avoid wrinkles.
Synthetics like polyester, nylon, and acrylic have a natural resistance to wrinkles as they are less absorbent. Water causes fibers to be less rigid and results in them shift into new positions. This is why more absorbent, natural fabrics like cotton and linen are more prone to wrinkles.
Permanent Press Garments: Permanent press clothing is a fabric that has been chemically treated and designed to be wrinkle-resistant. These fabrics have been treated to hold their shape. To help maintain its natural shape, dry the item of clothing on a hanger or hang it right after it comes out the dryer. If it is folded carefully, it will be perfect to wear whenever you wish.
Wool: Wool may stretch out while being worn but returns to its natural shape after washing. Wool should be dried flat and folded neatly to avoid creasing. This is the perfect fabric to incorporate into your winter wardrobe as it will keep you warm and won’t easily crease. Wool can be ironed if needed, just ensure you have your iron set to the correct temperature.
6. Use a Hair Straightener
Make sure it is clean before running it over the garment. Straightners do a great job of collar and cuffs as they allow you to be more precise around edges.
Just be careful because the temperature can get as hot as 445 °F which is perfect for linen but will scorch more delicate materials and could leave a shiny mark, especially on more delicate materials.
7. Use a Hair Dryer
Yet another haircare appliance to the rescue. Place the item of clothing onto a flat surface and run a hairdryer over the surface. If it has a few deep creases, moisten these areas with a damp towel, the moist hot air will help ease the wrinkles faster.
8. Steam Clothes in the Shower or Bath
Place the item of clothing on a hanger and position it as close as possible to the steam without getting it wet. Allow the garment to be moistened by the steam while you bathe or take a shower. After a few minutes, the creases should have reduced or disappeared completely. You can help the process by pulling gently on the fabric and straightening out the wrinkles, this way, you’ll see results much faster.
This is especially helpful when you travel to freshen up a garment that has been creased while in your luggage.
9. Use Steam from a Kettle
As with shower or bath steam, place the garment near the steam being emitted by the kettle to moisten and relax the lines in your clothing.
10. Anti-wrinkle Clothes Spray
Anti-wrinkle spray is a liquid solution that contains fabric softener and helps to relax the fibers of your fabric so that the wrinkles fall away. It will dampen your clothing a little. While the item is damp, stretch out the fabric to help straighten out the wrinkles and then allow it to dry.
You can make your own solution at home. Put one cup of water into a spray bottle and add 1 tablespoon of fabric softener.
11. Use a Pot as an Iron
First, make sure the base of the pot is clean. Next, bring water to a boil. Once the water has boiled, empty out the water and use the base of the pot to press out any creases. If you are working with a delicate fabric, place a pillowcase or pressing cloth between the garment and the pot to avoid and scorches.
12. Flatten the Garment Under Your Mattress
If you have planned out your outfit for the next day and it needs a bit of straightening out, lay it flat under your mattress and sleep on it (This will work if you have a flat bed base). The next day it should be sufficiently pressed to wear with pride.
This is also a good ironing alternative if you have to neaten-up your clothes without electricity.
13. Roll Pack Clothing
If you travel a lot and want to avoid wrinkled clothes when you get to your destination, roll pack all your clothes together. Lay all your clothing flat onto of each other in layers. Then, roll all the layers into one large sausage of clothing. When you get to your destination, unroll and you hang the clothing and they will have little to no creases. Pro tip: Invest in a mini travel iron. They’re compact and affordable and work incredibly well.
14. Unwrinkle a Shirt at Work Without an Iron
If you’re at the office and need to unwrinkle a shirt, there are two shortcuts you could use. One is to use the hand dryer in the toilets and the second is to use the steam from the kettle at the coffee station. Just make sure you have a spare shirt so you don’t have to do it topless.
15. Wash and Hang Dry Clothing to Reduce Wrinkles
Here are a few tips that will keep your clothes neat without ironing. If you have clothing that is prone to wrinkling, you’ll be happy to know that there are still ways to avoid hours at the ironing board.
- Use a machine wash setting with a gentler spin cycle
- Use a softener, this will soften both the fabric and the creases
- Hand wash items
- Shake out the garment while damp to undo any folds or bunching
- Hang wet clothing items as straight and as flat as possible
- Remove clothes from the dryer as soon as they are ready and fold them neatly
- Hang clothing so gravity can help remove any small lines
16. Press with Heavy Household Items
Books, storage boxes or an upside-down coffee table can be used to press smaller items overnight. Cover the item of clothing with a clean towel to prevent it from getting dirty and then place the heavy object on top of it. Leave it overnight and you should have a super-flat, wrinkle-free result by morning.
17. Iron Clothes With a Dryer
If you have a creased shirt that needs some emergency TLC, throw it into the dryer with a damp sock. The moisture will soften the fabric and release the wrinkles. When it’s done, hang the shirt for a few minutes before putting it on. Once the fabric has cooled, it will not re-wrinkle as easily when you wear it.
18. Fold and Store Clothing Neatly
If you’ve taken the time to wash and dry clothing correctly, the folding and packing process is just as important to ensure all your effort is not wasted. Folding t-shirts and other packing items neatly mean they will be ready to grab and wear at any stage.
If you want to avoid even folding lines, you can hang garments to make sure they look store-bought.
Avoid over stacking a pile as the weight of the top items could mean that the lower layers will need to be ironed. If you don’t have much hanging space and most of your clothing is folded into drawers or shelves, roll t-shirts, pants, and other items to avoid folds.
19. Use a Damp Towel
Dampen a towel with water, preferably warm and press on the crease marks until then fade. Pull the fabric on the edges to create tension and help stretch out the wrinkles. Let the item air dry if it is a bit damp.
20. Use a Laundry Service
As a last resort, a laundry service is probably the easiest way to get around the ironing dilemma. Drop off your laundry with a laundry service and they can take care of all your washing and ironing needs. CLothing will the perfectly hung and folded so all you’ll need to do is pack it away neatly into your closet and pull it out when it’s time to get dressed.
However, the above pointers will work like a charm… and save you time and money.
The way you wash and dry your clothing as well as the type of fabrics you wear, have a huge impact on how much ironing is required. The good news is that caring for your clothing in the washing and drying cycle shouldn’t even take you longer, but it will save you having to iron.
There are some fabrics that will always require a stroke of the iron but using the above care tips, you will cut down on the amount of time needed to get your clothing perfect.