De-Wrinkle Your Clothes Without Ever Touching An Iron

De-Wrinkle Your Clothes Without Ever Touching An Iron
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Ironing is barbaric. There, I said it. Heating up a giant metal plate to slowly smooth out wrinkles is at best a tedious exercise, and it requires way too much setting up and stuffing around. Fortunately, there are alternatives.

Lead image mixed from LizMarie_AK, photos by Diego Torres Silvestre, Casey Fleser, Steven Orr, and Michelle Yee

Spray Clothes With Water, Then Hang Them To Dry

Estimated time: 30 minutes to an hour.

Before you get ready for work in the morning, spray your wrinkled clothes lightly with a water bottle and let them hang to dry. You don’t want to soak them, but just get them lightly damp. You can also add a bit of vinegar to the mix, but this can be harmful to some fabrics and may result in a smell if you include too much. This method can take as little as 15 minutes if you don’t mind your clothes being a tiny bit wet, but for best results, let them completely dry.

Lightly Wet Clothes And Toss Them In The Dryer

Estimated time: 5-10 minutes.

If you’re in a hurry, this can help. Lightly spray your clothes with a water bottle, then toss them in the dryer. You won’t want to use this method unless you’re about to wear the clothes imminently. If you leave them in the dryer or a laundry basket for hours, those wrinkles will just come right back. However, for a quick, out-the-door method, this will do in a pinch.

Hang Your Clothes In The Shower With You

Estimated time: The length of your shower.

When you shower, you fill a tiny room with a lot of heat very fast. Make use of that by hanging your clothes near your shower. Obviously, you’ll have to take care not to get them wet, but the closer you can get them to the heat and moisture in the air, the better (though perhaps not quite as close as the picture above). In an emergency, you can accomplish the same thing by running hot water and leaving the room, but this will waste water.

Use A Flat Iron

Estimated time: 5-20 minutes.

Okay, so this is cheating on the whole “never touch an iron” thing, but a hair-straightening flat iron could save messing around. Before you use it, you’ll want to make sure that your flat iron is completely clean of all hair products, as these can damage your clothes. You’ll still need to be careful about burning yourself or anything else, but it’s still simpler than using a much larger iron and giant flat surface to work on.

No matter what method you use, you’ll always want to make sure to be sure that it won’t harm your clothing; check first. And remember: in the final analysis, your worth as a human being is not tied to the flatness of the fabric you wear.


  • Thanks for the article. I am completely tired of ironing my clothes. I wear a lot of cotton, however, so the methods listed above can have limited usefulness. (Yes, I’ve tried them all except for the flat iron, which seems like it would be a huge pain.) Damn.

  • All of these seem like they’d require more time and/or effort than simply ironing your clothes, with a less effective result.

  • Aldi sell garment steamer’s for about $50. Nice investment but I think my shirts are an odd shape because there are some areas of dress shirts that, without losing the skin on one of my hands, I’m never going to be able to steam

  • Hang clothes out properly while they dry after being washed. Hang in wardrobe carefully once they are dry. Never need an iron again,

    • I agree. I shake my clothes vigorously and then hang them up to dry immediately out of the washing machine. I then hang them up or over my clothes rack (no wardrobe) when I’m not wearing them. I haven’t used an iron for at least 10 years, and I only use a dryer at the laundromat when I’m washing all the bedding (I have a few sets and save them up). My clothes are rarely wrinkled.

      I do like the tip about using the flat iron – that would be particularly good for collars and button fronts of shirts.

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