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 at worst it requires way too much set up to be practical. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
It should go without saying that anything you do that involves heat should not be left unattended and should be handled with care. Some of these tricks are less risky than others, but in general, always use caution around the house.
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 short 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, you can use a similar method to the one above. 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. Alternatively, you can also toss your clothes in with a wet towel, instead of spraying your clothes directly.
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 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. It would be best to do this when you’re already using the shower.
Use a Flat Iron
Estimated time: 5-20 minutes.
Okay, so maybe this is cheating on the whole “never touch an iron” thing, but a hair-straightening flat iron is arguably a bit more safe than a full-fledged clothing iron. With a much smaller and dual-sided surface area, you can focus on certain problem areas. 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 more simple 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. For most everyday clothing, these methods should be okay, but delicate clothing with specialty instructions should always be treated with extra care. Be sure you know that what you’re doing won’t harm your garments before proceeding. If you do decide to go the old-fashioned route, you can still cut down on your ironing time with a simple sheet of aluminum foil.
If you’re too busy to iron, but you need a shirt or pair of pants smooth and wrinkle-free for an interview, a night out, or just so you look good, this time-saving tip can help. Toss a couple of ice cubes (not too many) in the dryer with your wrinkled clothes. Run it on its hottest setting. It’s strange, but it works.
Full disclosure: I have no qualms ironing. We’ve talked about ways to de-wrinkle your clothes without ironing before, and they work well, but ironing isn’t hard, and usually it’s just way more effective than trying to hack your way to wrinkle-free clothes. Still, when the folks at PopSugar posted this, I decided to give it a try, and it works well—as long as you don’t have a lot of clothes in with your ice cubes.
This trick works best if you have a couple of shirts, or maybe a shirt and a pair of slacks or pants. Jeans, heavy fabrics, or too many clothes and it won’t work. As you run the dryer, the ice cubes melt to water (and seriously, we mean like two or three ice cubes, not a handful, no matter how big your dryer is. In fact, this works best with a big dryer, few clothes, and a few cubes,) which eventually gets hot enough to become steam. That steam—along with the hot temperatures—smooth out the wrinkles. It’s like the shower trick and the dryer trick all rolled into one.
Hit the link below to see a few photos of the tip. It’s simple, and in the right circumstances, it can free you up to do other things while your wrinkly clothes take care of themselves.