7 ways to dewrinkle clothes without an iron

Wrinkled blue polo shirt on white table

Have you ever reached for your favorite shirt or outfit to wear only to realize that it was wrinkled? That’s a ridiculous question because we’ve definitely all been there.

In a perfect world, you’d have time to heat up an iron to smooth out the fabric, but for those times when you’re rushing out the door or sleeping away from home where there isn’t an iron handy, there are several other solutions to dewrinkle without an iron.

Here are some of our favorite ways to dewrinkle without an iron using appliances or other household items you likely have access to.

1. Toss Wrinkled Clothes in the Dryer

By far, the easiest way to dewrinkle without an iron is to go to the laundry room and stick the wrinkly clothes inside the dryer for 5 to 15 minutes on low to medium heat. For best results, lightly mist the clothes with water so they’re slightly damp, or place a few ice cubes in the dryer along with the dry clothes. It sounds crazy but it works!

Combined with the heat from the dryer, the ice cubes create a steam effect that will help dewrinkle the fabric. Note: Make sure any clothing you try to dewrinkle this way is safe to tumble dry. You don’t want to accidentally shrink something that’s labeled dry-clean only!

Woman loads clothes into a dryer

MORE: 5 secret ingredients to add to your laundry

2. Run A Steamy Shower

Planning to take a shower before you get dressed? Before you hop in, hang your wrinkled clothing on the shower rod at the farthest point away from the shower head and then run a hot shower. Give it at least 20 minutes for the steam from the shower to help release the wrinkles in your outfit. It’s a tried-and-true method for steaming fabrics in a pinch.

3. Use a Clothes Steamer

Even if you do have an iron on hand, a clothes steamer might win the iron-versus-steamer debate, anyway. While irons are great for fabrics that will easily stand up to pressing, such as denim or linen, a steamer is often the better choice for any fabric that could melt or smoosh, like synthetics, velvet or corduroy. It should also be your go-to for delicate clothing, like a silk blouse or cashmere sweater.

If you’re looking for non-ironing options because you’re often on the go, consider investing in a travel steamer, which will help keep you look neat and tidy whether you’re on vacation or a work trip. We like Conair’s Turbo ExtremeSteam, which heats up quickly, has a suitcase-ready compact design and affordable price (it’s on sale for $60 right now).

Woman uses clothing steamer on shirt

4. Use A Hot Pot as a DIY Iron

Here’s a trick that might come in handy when you can’t find the iron at your next Airbnb: Since an iron is basically just a hot piece of metal, you can create a DIY version by boiling some water in a metal kitchen pot or pan. Once it’s heated up, dump out the water and carefully use the heated bottom of the pot to glide over the surface of the wrinkled piece of clothing. Just don’t forget to place a towel underneath your clothing to protect your countertop from the hot metal pot.

Brass pot of boiling water on stove

5. Use a Hair Dryer or Straightener

The solution to dewrinkling your without an iron might just be in your bathroom cabinet. If you have a hair dryer at your disposal — especially a powerful hair dryer — try hanging up your wrinkled clothing and lightly misting it with water. Afterward, use your hair dryer to dry the clothes sans wrinkles.

Or, if you happen to have a straightener, you can skip the misting altogether and simply run the heated flat iron over your wrinkles. It may take longer than a conventional iron since flat irons typically have smaller plates, but it will get the job done!

7. Use a Teapot as a Steamer

If you’re a tea-lover, chances are you have a teapot that can double as a clothing steamer in a pinch. Fill up your teapot with water and wait for it to boil, per usual. While the teapot is heating up, hang up your wrinkled clothing somewhere nearby. Once the teapot whistles, remove it from the stovetop and carefully point the steam from the kettle’s spout at the clothing to release the wrinkles, the way you would a conventional clothing steamer.

Bonus tip: Enjoy a cup of tea afterward.

Stainless steel tea kettle steams

For more handy tips, try these 10 ways to make doing laundry easier and more enjoyable.

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About the Author
Margeaux Baulch Klein
Margeaux Baulch Klein is a freelance writer and digital strategist based in Los Angeles. She has written for publications like the Huffington Post, New York Daily News, Bustle, and HelloGiggles, among others. Visit Scripps News to see more of Margeaux's work.

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