Newsflash: Ironing sucks. We all do it, but man, is it a snoozefest. Which is exactly why we went on a quest to figure out how to remove wrinkles—fast—without an iron.
Walking outside in clothes that look as if they’ve been balled up, stuffed in a small envelope, and shipped overseas probably isn’t the message we want to send to the world—so we’re all about these tips and tricks that help us get on with our day looking crisp as can be.
1. Use a flat iron
Yes ladies, the same device that straightens your hair can also smooth out your clothes—women in the ’60s used to straighten their hair with an actual iron, so this is flipping the script. While a flat iron won’t fully smooth a large garment, it’s perfect for getting wrinkles out of a small section, like the collar, the cuffs, or a hem. Just make sure you clean it first: You probably don’t want your thermal heat-protectant spray to rub off on your favorite blouse.
2. Use the dryer
Another great way to remove wrinkles without an iron? The dryer! Here’s how: Dampen a very small thing—like the toe of a sock, or a small handkerchief—and set your dryer to medium. Toss in the dry creased garments and let ’em spin for about 15 mintes. Voila, NMW (no more wrinkles).
3. Use a pot
One of the oldest tricks in the book to remove wrinkles sans iron is to use a regular metal pot that you’d make pasta in. Boil water in the pot, then spill it out. From there, use the bottom of the pot as your iron. Brilliant!
4. Use your mattress
Another effective trick: Take a wrinkled garment and roll it as if you were rolling a burrito. Once it’s all wrapped up (wrapped, not folded), put it under your mattress for an hour. Once you take it out, most of the wrinkles should be gone.
5. Use dryer sheets
Some people swear by tossing one wrinkled item into the dryer by itself, and throwing in a few damp dryer sheets. Set to medium and let it spin for about 15 minutes.
6. Use a professional spray
There’s been an influx of wrinkle-removing sprays hitting the market recently, designed to smooth out pesky creases without using anything else. Most feature fiber-relaxing technology and are safe for almost any type of fabric. We like Downy Wrinkle Releaser.
7. Use vinegar
Did you know that standard white vinegar can eradicate wrinkles from your clothes? It’s true! Mist garments with 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, and let it air-dry. A bonus: It’s super-gentle on your threads!
8. Use a damp towel
Place your wrinkled clothing underneath some damp towels and gently press down and smooth out the creases.
9. Use your shower
This one is fairly obvious, but it works: While you’re showering, hang up wrinkled garments inside your bathroom (and close the door). In about 10 minutes, the steam will smooth out the wrinkles. It’s not the most effective method out there, but it’s great in a pinch, which is why it’s so common among travelers in hotels.
10. Use a kettle
If you can boil water for tea, you can steam the wrinkles right out of your clothes. Just hold a steaming tea kettle about a foot away from the wrinkles in your clothes, and you can steam the creases right out. (This is essentially using the same methodology as the shower technique, but you don’t have to steam up a whole room).
Originally published October 2014. Updated March 2017.