How To Get Wrinkles Out Of Clothes Without Using An Iron
Fewer and fewer people are taking the time to iron their clothes these days. But strangely, there aren't parades of people walking around in wrinkled outfits. Is it the introduction of wrinkle-free fabrics or the institution of casual dress codes in the workplace? Maybe people have just found a fresh new way to get rid of wrinkles without heating up old-fashioned irons. If you don't have time to iron every shirt in your wardrobe, don't own an ironing board or just want to learn a few wrinkle-free tricks, walk through these tips on how to get wrinkles out of clothes without an iron.
Why Do Wrinkles Form?
Heat helps get wrinkles out, but it's also one of the reasons why wrinkles form in the first place. When heat and water get into most fabrics, such as in the washer or dryer, the hydrogen bonds that keep the fabric smooth start to loosen up. This is why clothes are wrinkly right after you take them out of the washer. It's also why clothes can get wrinkles if you don't fold them up right after you take them out of the dryer. When the heat cools off, those hydrogen bonds stay right where they are, so if your clothes are bundled after you take them out of the dryer, those wrinkles are already settling in.
Steam From The Shower
When you iron your clothes, the heat and steam loosen up those hydrogen bonds and allow you to smooth out the wrinkles with a flat surface. You can emulate this process with the steam used in your shower by hanging clothes in the bathroom, like on a laundry drying rack or an over-the-door hanger. The hot water from the shower will flood your bathroom with steam, so by the time your mirror is starting to fog up, the wrinkles in your clothes will be loosening up. Just make sure to hang your wrinkled garment up so that it's not forming any new wrinkles, and try to keep your bathroom sealed to prevent the steam from leaking out.
Ice Cubes In The Dryer
Another popular alternative to ironing clothes involves throwing a few ice cubes in the dryer. Sometimes you can't help it if clothes come out of the dryer with a few wrinkles. Even if you're attentive to folding clothes immediately after removing them from the dryer, you still might be disappointed by a few inconvenient creases. The simple solution is to take a few ice cubes and toss them in the dryer about ten minutes before the drying cycle is finished. You can also do this after the drying cycle has ended. The heat from the dryer will melt those ice cubes into steam, loosening stubborn wrinkles while drying your clothes.
Heat From The Hair Dryer
You're probably already starting to see a trend. If you can apply the quick combination of water and heat to a garment, you can loosen those hydrogen bonds and smooth out stubborn wrinkles. So you might have already guessed that the iron isn't the only household helper around your home that's capable of smoothing out wrinkles. If you don't have an iron handy, an alternative is using your hair dryer, or if you're a little more careful, your hair straightener. Remember that the trick is to apply the heat to a garment that's at least a little damp. With the hair dryer, just stand a few safe inches away from the garment and heat it up until the wrinkles fade away.
Hang Up And Spray
Sometimes it seems like it's easier to remove stains than wrinkles. It depends on the strength of the crease, as well as the type of fabric. However, with most types of fabric, it's possible to make simple wrinkles disappear with nothing more than some misty water and a little gravity. Like using your hair dryer, it's key to hang up your garment to keep it smooth and prevent wrinkles from forming while you work. Filling up a spray bottle with water works best, because it will apply the water softly and evenly to the garment. Just spray to dampen the fabric and let it hang until it dries. You can also combine this method with the hair dryer to try tackling tougher wrinkles.
Not So "Wrinkle-Free"
If you're wondering why those wrinkle-free fabrics aren't so wrinkle-free after a few cycles in the washer, it's because some fabrics stay wrinkle-free for longer periods of time. Wrinkle-free shirts and other wrinkle-free apparel are treated with chemicals that prevent the fabric from loosening up, keeping those hydrogen bonds in place for longer periods of time. But the effectiveness can fade away, making it necessary to work the wrinkles out on your own. If you really want to find a few new outfits that are wrinkle-resistant, stick to fabrics that are naturally less likely to wrinkle, such as rayon, nylon, polyester and certain knits.