Wrinkles in clothes seem to appear by magic. You iron your clothes put them away, and the next time you see them, BHAM! They have wrinkles. Why is that? What causes them? How do you get wrinkles out of clothes?
To remove wrinkles from clothes, apply heat and moisture. This can be done in several ways. Press the garment with a steam iron set to the recommended heat for the clothing. Or, use steam from a shower or a clothes steamer. Wrinkles can also be removed with a de-wrinkling spray or a quick spin in a dryer with some ice cubes.
In this article, you’ll find out what causes wrinkles and how you can prevent them. You’ll also learn how to remove wrinkles from your clothes simply and easily.
- What Causes Wrinkles in Clothes?
- How to Get Wrinkles Out of Clothes
- How to Iron Clothes
- Should I Use a Steam Iron to Press My Clothes?
- Removing Wrinkles From Clothes Without an Iron
- How to Remove Wrinkles From Clothes When Traveling
- How to Get Wrinkles Out of a Shirt Fast
- How to Prevent Wrinkles in Clothes
- Best Way to Get Wrinkles Out of Clothes
What Causes Wrinkles in Clothes?
Clothes can wrinkle easily. Your pants can get creased when you sit down and your shirt can become crumpled as you move about. But wearing your clothing isn’t the only way they can end up with wrinkles. Not wearing your clothes can be just as bad.
When you finally get to turn in after a hard day, hanging your clothing up is probably the last thing on your mind. More often than not, your clothes will end up in a heap on the floor. Whether you throw them, drop them, or let them slide off the back of a chair, spending the night on the ground will cause wrinkles in your clothes.
But then, putting them in a drawer or hanging them in your closet won’t do much to prevent wrinkles. You see, simply storing your clothes properly can also cause the dreaded creasing. The main reason is not having enough room.
Drawers and closets can get overstuffed. The more clothes you hang on the closet rail, the more the clothes hangers get jammed into each other. Your clothing will not hang down and instead will entwine with its neighbors. When clothing is tightly compacted together like that, it will get crumpled.
It’s the same with drawers. With limited clearance between the bottom of the drawer and the top, cramming your clothes in becomes a challenge. How many can you get in there and still close the drawer? Instead of folding them neatly, you squish them to make them fit. They don’t so much get wrinkles as deeply entrenched fold lines.
Traveling is another culprit for wrinkles. How many of us unpack when we reach the hotel? I bet most of us leave the clothes folded in the suitcase. It’s less time-consuming, especially if it’s only an overnight stay. Why bother hanging the clothes in the hotel room closet? Well, it would help prevent the travel-inspired crumpled look if we did.
Doing the laundry will also cause a few wrinkles, from leaving the clothes in the dryer too long to having an iron that is too hot or too cold. Bizarre, I know, but your iron can cause creases in your clothes, particularly if it is on the wrong setting for the material.
How to Get Wrinkles Out of Clothes
There are several ways to get wrinkles out of clothes. The best-known method is using an iron. Irons have been around for centuries. Originally they were made of iron and filled with hot coals. Back then, they only had one setting, whatever temperature the coals were. If they were too hot, you would have to wait for the iron to cool down.
They’ve moved on a lot since those early days. These days irons are made up of plastic uppers and a steel ironing plate. More lightweight and user-friendly, modern irons have different heat settings for various fabrics. With an in-built steam function on many of them, ironing has never been so easy.
Well, that’s the theory anyway. There is a little more to ironing than turning one on and running it over your clothes. You need to double-check your garment can be ironed before you get your iron anywhere near it.
Not all fabrics can be ironed. This could be due to the material being heat intolerant or simply because the fabric doesn’t need it. Fleece, a polyester-based material, shouldn’t be ironed as it will melt. Your denim jeans don’t need ironing because the wrinkles will disappear. Wool is also a great material for resisting crinkles.
Your garment’s care label will tell you if you should iron your garment or not. There will be a little picture of iron with dots inside. The dots refer to the heat setting you need. One dot indicates low heat, while three dots mean you should dial the iron to the hottest setting.
An iron with a cross-through means the fabric can’t tolerate ironing. You’ll need to use another method for removing wrinkles. We’ll cover ironing alternatives later in the article. For now, let’s take a look at ironing clothes in detail.
How to Iron Clothes
Before you switch on your iron, there are a couple of things you need to do first. It’s important to double-check you can iron your clothes. So read the care label. Next, make sure you have more than one item to iron.
Ironing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and is considered a chore. Setting up the ironing board, waiting for the iron to heat, and then the ironing process can take time. For your own sanity, make it worth the effort by saving the ironing until you have a small pile. That way, you don’t have to go through the tedious rigmarole every day.
Besides, there is another benefit to ironing more than one item. You can iron all the garments with the same number of dots at the same time. Remember, the dots indicate how hot the iron needs to be. If you can iron all the one-dot clothes together, then the three-dot garments, you don’t have to wait so long for the iron to heat up. It’ll already be halfway there.
You will need:
- A steam iron
- An ironing board
- A sleeve board
- Your clothes
- Spray bottle
- Tea towel or pressing cloth
- Clothes hangers
Unfold your ironing board and set it to a comfortable height. It should be high enough for you to stand at and keep your arms bent but low enough for you to press down gently on it. Preferably without it collapsing! So make sure it is secured properly before testing the height.
Check your garment care label to make sure it can be ironed. Look at the iron diagram and count the number of dots. Put all the clothing with one dot in one pile, two dots in another, and so on. You should have at least two piles. There may be three.
Fill your iron with water so it can make steam. If you don’t want to put water in your iron, you can use a spray bottle filled with water. Switch on your iron and set it to the lowest setting. This could be indicated on the dial by one dot. It may even say low heat or silk and delicates. Refer to the manual for your iron to make sure you know how low, medium, and high heat settings are identified on your iron.
Start with the pile of clothes in your one-dot or low-heat setting pile. Undue any zippers and buttons. You want your garment to lay flat on your ironing board. Place the garment so that the right side faces down. That way, the inside of the garment is next to the iron. This is particularly important for dark colors, as ironing on the right side will make them go shiny. Use a pressing cloth or an old tea towel to protect the garment if it is delicate.
Work in straight lines. Start with larger areas, then move onto collars, sleeves, and cuffs. A sleeve board will help with the smaller areas. Move the iron up and down the length of the garment body. Don’t go in circles, as this will cause wrinkles. Keep going up and down, gently pressing down on the iron. You’ll need to keep moving. Staying in one place for too long can create scorch marks.
Use the same up and down motion for the smaller sections of the garment. Unfolding the collar and laying it flat will also help get an even press.
Avoid ironing over buttons! Iron in between them using the pointed end of your iron. Going over the top of your buttons may sound quicker, but you’ll be left with button indentations on your garment.
For stubborn wrinkles, hit the steam button on your iron. Check your care label to make sure your garment can be steamed first, though. If it can’t, dampen it with a mist of water from your spray bottle. You should also mist cotton and linen fabrics, so they are damp when you iron them. It makes life a lot easier.
When you’ve finished ironing the garment, hang it on a clothes hanger. This will give it time to set. If you are ironing a button-down shirt, do up the top button, so it doesn’t slip off the hanger.
When you’ve finished all the garments in the low heat pile, turn your iron to the next setting. Wait a couple of minutes for the iron to reheat, then start working through the two-dot or medium heat setting pile. Work in the same way, using up and down movements and mist with water or steam as necessary.
Should I Use a Steam Iron to Press My Clothes?
This depends on your garment. Although a steam iron can be a useful tool for removing stubborn wrinkles, it can cause more problems than it solves. Direct steam from an iron can be too hot for some garments.
You should always check your garment’s care label before you turn your iron to the steam setting. Depending on your iron, you may find you can’t use steam on low heat because of the risk of garment damage.
For garments that withstand steam, you’ll find that it is your secret weapon when battling wrinkles in clothes. Steam relaxes the fibers in your clothing and allows the crinkled section to soften. Then, when you move your iron across the surface, it’s easier to flatten the fabric.
Removing Wrinkles From Clothes Without an Iron
When you think of wrinkled clothing, you probably think of cotton fabric. Your shirt, for instance, or your pants. Unfortunately, any clothing can suffer from wrinkles, even with synthetic content. The thing is, ironing isn’t always the answer.
While it’s OK to grab your iron and press your cotton or linen clothes, not all your garments can be ironed. You don’t want to iron your fleece sweatshirt or your polyester blouse. They’ll melt.
Nor do you want to drag your iron out when you’re in a hurry. Or, let’s be honest, when you can think of better things to do. The good news is there are other ways to remove wrinkles from clothes without getting anywhere near an iron. Let’s take a look at them.
Make a De-wrinkling SprayGrab a spray bottle and fill it to within an inch from the top. Add a tablespoon of fabric softener and give it a shake. You’ve just made your own de-wrinkling spray.
Simply mist it onto your garment as and when needed. Not only will the fabric softener soften your garment, but it will also make it smell fresh too.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to make your own spray, you can purchase it ready-made. Try Downy WrinkleGuard or Bounce Rapid Touch. Both are available from Amazon or your local big box store.
There is a slight word of caution. Some fabrics don’t react well to fabric softeners, so if you use this method, check your garment’s care label first. Make sure it doesn’t have any water resistance or special finish before you spray it.
Ice in Your Dryer
This one is for clothes that are OK to be put in a dryer. They also need to be able to tolerate water. Don’t use this method on dry clean only garments. Double-check the care label before you try this remedy on your clothes.
Go to your freezer and grab two ice cubes. Put your clothes in the dryer with the ice. Set the dryer on low heat for 15 minutes and go and drink a cup of coffee. As the dryer heats up, the ice will melt and turn into steam. The steam will relax the fibers in the fabric and the wrinkles will drop out.
When the dryer has finished, remove the clothing and give it a shake. It will be free from wrinkles and the heat from the dryer will also revitalize your garment. This is a great way to spritz up your clothing between washes.
Dampen Your Clothing With a Mist Spray
You’ll need a spray bottle with a mist setting for this method. As with the ice cubes, your garment will need to be dryer friendly. Check your care label to make sure it is before opting for this method.
Fill your spray bottle with water. No need to add anything and it doesn’t have to be warm. Just normal temperature water straight from the faucet will do. Set the bottle to the mist setting and spray your garment.
Then, while it is damp, put it in the dryer for 15 minutes on low heat. The mist of water on the clothing will turn into steam. As the steam relaxes the fibers in the fabric, the wrinkles will start to fall out. As soon as the dryer has finished, remove the garment and give it a quick shake.
Dry Clothing With Wet Items
As you’ve seen from the previous options in this list, getting wrinkles out of clothing involves getting the garment wet. This option is no different and gets two jobs done at the same time.
Ideally, you’ll want to have done a fresh load of laundry for this option to work. You’ll need either a wet towel or a wet sock. If your garment is made from a heavy fabric like denim, you’ll need to use a towel. For lightweight garments like a blouse, use a wet sock.
Put the wet item in the dryer with the wrinkled one and start the drying process. Make sure the dryer setting is suitable for both the towel and the clothing. Another thing to consider is the color of the garment. Dark clothing shouldn’t be dried with towels. The wrinkles will still come out. But your clothing will be covered in lint.
Check the progress after about 15 minutes. If all the creases have gone, remove the garment. You don’t want it in there too long. There is a risk you could overdry the garment and end up with more wrinkles.
Instead of a wet towel or sock, you can also use a wet dryer sheet. This will behave in the same way as a spray with a fabric conditioner.
Remove From Dryer While Damp
Sometimes leaving clothing in a dryer can cause wrinkling. Overdrying or leaving them to sit in there can set wrinkles into the fabric.
To avoid that, don’t use your dryer to completely dry your garment. Take it out of the dryer while it is still damp. Give it a shake and put it on a hanger. Then either hang it from a door frame, over the back of a door or from a door knob to air dry. You can also use your shower rail. The key to this method is hanging your clothing where the air can get all around.
Don’t be tempted to hang them in your closet to dry. There isn’t enough air in the closet. Nor is there enough room for air to get in between all the garments. You’ll end up with mildew and smelly garments. Besides, being crammed in with everything else will increase the wrinkling, not get rid of it.
Turn Your Shower On
Turning your shower on and allowing the water to warm creates steam. If you keep the door to the bathroom and the window closed, the steam will build up to fill the room. You’ll also need to keep your ventilation fan switched off.
Simply hang your crinkled garment on the shower rail while the steam is building. The steam will help relax the fabric and the wrinkles will drop out. Depending on the amount of space in your bathroom, you can take a shower at the same time.
Again, this method involves steam, so you need to make sure your garment is OK in close contact with moisture. Particularly if you intend to shower as well as steam your clothes. Water droplets from your shower may splash onto the garment. While this doesn’t matter on a cotton or linen article, it will matter if the fabric is water intolerant.
Use a Steamer
Steam can come from several sources. You have steam irons, steam from a kettle, and even a specific clothing steamer. Steam iron is usually in close proximity to the garment when it steams it. Then you press it with the flat surface of the iron.
Steamers are less direct. So is steam from a kettle. You hold the steamer in front of the garment and allow the steam to fall onto it. There’s usually a gap of 4 – 6 inches between the source of the steam and the garment.
This means the steam isn’t as hot when it reaches the clothing, making it safer for more delicate items. It also means the spread of steam isn’t centered in one place, it can disperse across the garment, reducing the need for pressing.
Although you can use the steam from your kettle to steam your clothes, you might find it a bit awkward for large or heavy garments. There’s also a risk you might accidentally steam your fingers. If you need to use your kettle, take extra precautions to protect your hands.
Use Your Hairdryer
A hairdryer can take the place of your dryer or your iron. You’ll still need a spray bottle to mist your clothing with water. But, rather than press the wrinkles flat with your iron, you can gently blow them away.
Put your hairdryer on its lowest setting and waft it back and forth across your garment. Not as quick as a dryer nor as hot as an iron, your hairdryer is the slow and steady way to remove wrinkles.
As you dry, smooth some of the wrinkles out with your hand. Try not to pull at the fabric while you do this, though. You don’t want to stretch the material.
How to Remove Wrinkles From Clothes When Traveling
Traveling with wrinkle-free clothes can seem to be a bit of a pipe dream. Being folded into a restrictive suitcase and squashed for days at a time is a recipe for the wrinkliest of crinkles. As we don’t all take our iron with us when we travel, removing wrinkles can be a challenge.
There are a couple of devices most of us have with us when we travel. One is a hairdryer, the other is a hair straightener.
To use your hairdryer, you’ll need a spray bottle to mist your garment with water. As it’s unlikely you’ll have one to hand, you might find a hair straightener more useful.
You can use a hair straightener to iron small areas like collars and cuffs on a shirt. Watch the heat setting, though. Keep it at its lowest level and don’t use it too long. Scorched collars are not a good look.
Probably the easiest method to remove wrinkles when traveling is the shower method. Steam from a shower is incredibly efficient at getting rid of those pesky travel creases.
Of course, getting rid of wrinkles while traveling is much easier if you keep them at bay. Or at least to a minimum.
Don’t overfill your suitcase by packing too many garments. Travel light and stick to wrinkle-resistant clothing. A thin layer of tissue paper between your clothes is a good way of keeping them separate.
When you’ve checked into your hotel room, make good use of the closet. The less time your garments spend in the suitcase, the fewer wrinkles you’ll need to remove.
How to Get Wrinkles Out of a Shirt Fast
If you’re in a hurry and need to get rid of wrinkles from your shirt fast, you’ll need to use your dryer. Throw your shirt in there with either a wet towel or a wet dryer sheet. Whichever is closer to hand.
Let your shirt tumble with the wet item for at least 10 minutes. You’ll get more steam if you leave it for 15 minutes, but if you’re pushed for time, 10 minutes will do. That’s probably how long it will take you to get ready anyway, so it will be time well spent.
Make sure your dryer is on a low setting and take your shirt out as soon as the time is up. A quick shake should see all the wrinkles drop out.
How to Prevent Wrinkles in Clothes
Preventing wrinkles is easier than you think. It’s easier than removing them! All you need to do is take extra care when handling your garments.
Give your clothing a quick shake as you remove it from the washing machine. Make sure they are not all tangled together before you put them in the dryer. If you dry them when they are all crumpled into each other, you’ll get creases.
Avoid overfilling the dryer. Too many garments will hinder the tumbling process. More room means the garments can move freely and the warm air in the drum will prevent wrinkling.
If your dryer has a permanent press setting, use it! This setting has a cool-down period. Instead of being hot to the touch when you remove the garments, they have the chance to cool down slowly. Try not to leave clothes out for too long. As soon as they are dry, you should hang them up or fold them.
If you can, air dry your laundry. Air drying causes fewer wrinkles as the garments are not in contact with each other. The clothing is hanging up already and a gentle breeze keeps air circulating around the garment.
Best Way to Get Wrinkles Out of Clothes
The best way to get wrinkles out of clothes is to use an iron. Using the steam setting on your iron will remove stubborn creases. You can also use the steam from a shower or ice cubes in a dryer.
Have you had to remove stubborn wrinkles from your clothes? What method did you use? Let me know in the comments.