How I Keep My Clothes Wrinkle-Free Without an Iron

posted by Andrea | 03/27/2015
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wrinkle-free

Although Dave irons all his own school clothes every weekend (for the following week, yes, I know I’m lucky!) I can easily count on one hand the number of times I’ve ironed clothing since we’ve been married.

I think the final count is 3 times — and all 3 times were for a wedding πŸ™‚

I realize many of you might be thinking “duh, she works from home” but what you might not know is that I used to work full-time outside the home (in the business world) for a few years before my organizing business picked up enough.

I got dressed up every day, plus I get dressed up for church, I occasionally attend special events that require a dressier wardrobe, and even when I am home, I don’t necessarily want to look frumpy every day!

That said, I never EVER iron… and I can guarantee my clothes are NOT full of wrinkles either.

One of the key factors in not needing to iron is that I purposely stay away from buying any clothing that requires special care (like hand washing, dry cleaning, or ironing). I choose fabrics that are relatively wrinkle-free… and I’m so thankful for how many choices there are!

However, I also have two REALLY SIMPLE tips that I thought were pretty much common knowledge… until a couple weeks ago when I was talking about it with a group of friends (who also dislike ironing!). They had never thought to do this… so I figured it might be worth sharing here on the blog too.

My “secret tips”???

1. I shake out my wrinkle-prone clothing before putting them in the dryer.

Now, when I say “wrinkle-prone clothing” I mean things like khaki pants and shorts, button-up shirts, dressier t-shirts, Nora’s dresses, pillowcases, etc. Basically items that can get wrinkly if they are all clumped up in the dryer.

I certainly do not take the time to do this with jeans, comfy clothes, PJ’s, sweaters, etc. because those items rarely show wrinkles (at least by my standards!)

So since I’m usually the only one switching the laundry, I try to quickly scan through the items as I toss them in the dryer and when I come across something that might wrinkle (my clothes, Dave’s clothes, or the kid’s clothes) I’ll quickly shake it out, pull the sleeves and legs straight, fix the collar (if applicable) and make sure the pockets are shoved in properly.

Then, I’ll toss it in the dryer with everything else and go on my merry way.

2. I remove items from the dryer immediately.

I’ll be honest, this doesn’t always happen because I’ll often run the dryer while I’m out running errands or even while we’re sleeping. But as much as possible, I try to remove the items from the dryer immediately (while they are still warm) and shake out the wrinkle-prone items again.

If something is really wrinkle-prone (like Dave’s dress shirts) I might remove them from the dryer when they are still slightly damp, shake them out, and immediately hang them to finish drying.

Like I said earlier, these are super simple tips that you all might already do… but since I have run across a fair number of people who thought these tips were fabulous, I figured it couldn’t hurt to share πŸ™‚

What are your best non-ironing, wrinkle-removing tips?

Click HERE forΒ more simple laundry tips!

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24 comments

  1. Cassandra

    04/15/2015

    My dryer has an anti-static setting and sounds a chime when the first items are dry in the load. That is when I also take out my damp dress shirts to finish drying on a hanger.

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    Andrea Reply:

    WHAT!! That sounds like an awesome feature. Definitely on my list whenever we’re in the market for a new dryer πŸ™‚

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  2. Lisa Rohrssen

    03/29/2015

    I especially love the picture of Nora “helping” you fold laundry

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  3. Rebecca

    03/28/2015

    My husband would ask me to iron things when we were first married, and quit asking when he realized I wasn’t very good at it. Not my favorite chore. When we got our new washer and dryer a few years back, he was perfectly willing to let me get the dryer with the “quick refresh” steam cycle on it! My older kids will throw their church shirts in there on Sunday mornings and have perfectly wrinkle free shirts in 10 minutes. Warm too! I Love that feature!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Wow — sounds like the perfect dryer!!

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  4. ashleygscott

    03/28/2015

    I do the same thing! who has time to iron? not me! thx for the post πŸ™‚

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  5. Nancy

    03/28/2015

    Hi Andrea-
    I think I remember reading that you use Woolzies Dryer Balls, 100% Wool Natural Laundry Softeners. i’m thinking of buying some, but only if you tell me it fights wrinkling so I don’t have to iron. Thanks for the additional tips!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well I definitely won’t claim that the dryer balls eliminate the need for ironing, but they do help with static cling πŸ™‚

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  6. Bec

    03/28/2015

    I live in a climate where I am able to NOT own a dryer.

    I dry by using the outside line, or use a clothes horse/stand in the garage if it’s raining. I only do minimal ironing too!

    I put shirts on plastic hangers to dry and gravity takes out the wrinkles. This works best when your machine isn’t a fancy one that does extra spin cycles at the end. The extra water weight helps weigh clothes down so the wrinkles disappear.

    I also buy wrinkle free clothes when I can and that helps a lot. This also means putting shirts away is really simple – straight from the line to the wardrobe without fussing with them at all.

    I only need to fold the pegged items like jeans, PJ’s, bulky jumpers and underwear – none of those items are ironed and it’s only a small pile of folding. I still iron work shirts to make them crisp but there’s no getting out of that one for most of us lol.

    Not using a dryer saves me: time ironing, time folding, expense of running a dryer. I don’t have to learn about shrinking jeans either so that’s a bonus.

    From what I’ve read you avoid the same things as I do with your tricks for the dryer, as my tricks for line drying. You live in a VERY different climate to me – I couldn’t imagine doing without one where you live. It’s interesting to read the differences climate makes on everyday living and how avoiding ironing is a universal language πŸ˜€

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    Andrea Reply:

    Believe it or not, many people in our climate do without a dryer (it’s crazy to me, but they manage just fine). They usually have clothes lines in their basement — and a lot of other areas do not have basements, so that is another difference πŸ™‚

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  7. Ann

    03/28/2015

    Likely the best thing is not CRAMMING them into the drawers and closet once they are clean. Ah, the life of someone who cannot get rid of things.

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    Andrea Reply:

    hahahaha — yes, you’re probably right πŸ™‚

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  8. Vickie

    03/27/2015

    I have a wrinkle release feature on my Maytag dryer. I sort my clothes as I’m pulling items out of the washer. I throw anything that is prone to shrink in the dryer and wrinkle release for about 5 min. Then I take them out and hang them up. No ironing required. Love this feature.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    that does sound like a nice feature. We have a relatively new washer and dryer (came with our house) but I do look forward to shopping for new ones that I would pick out… someday πŸ™‚

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  9. Janice

    03/27/2015

    I noticed you said you may be out running errands while a load of clothes is in the dryer. I’d like to give a cautionary story on the danger of leaving washing machines and dryers on working while away from the house. Once when my mom was doing laundry, the machine caught on fire, but thankfully, she came in and was able to stop things from really getting out of hand. The house could have burned down if Mom had not come in at that very dangerous moment in time. Thus, when I married I have never left my house with washer and/or dryer running. Sometimes a real drag but I just make certain to schedule the laundry part of the day when I know I can finish it. I also remember a dryer fire in the dorm when I was in college. Some girl’s super-padded bras went up in flames that night.

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  10. Pam

    03/27/2015

    I have a spray bottle filled with water that I keep near my dryer. I hang things up, then lightly spritz wrinkles w/water, and hang items on shower bar to finish drying. Voila…wrinkles gone. Andrea, love your blog. My daughter steered me to your site. Thanks for your insights!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Pam!
    I know other people who do what you do. We, unfortunately, do not have the type of showers with “bars” on them so that doesn’t work for us right now πŸ™‚

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  11. Donna G

    03/27/2015

    Andrea, I don’t usually butt in and give unsolicited advice, but I feel compelled to tell you what the fellow who cleaned my dryer vents said. He went into that business because of a dryer fire that his wife witnessed in their home (thankfully no one was hurt).

    In addition to NEVER storing the laundry detergent near the dryer (it’s flammable -did you know that?), he told me that I should not run the dryer when I was either gone or sleeping. He also told me to keep a fire extinguisher in the laundry room.

    And a funny story about ironing: When I got my degree at the age of 49,I had to ask my mom to bring her iron to press my gown because I had no idea where I had put mine and could not find it! We were using the ironing board as a dictionary stand in the back bedroom.

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    Liane Reply:

    I never do that either. And I mounted a fire extinguisher on the wall in my garage. I also turn off the water taps when we go out of town. We do not have a laundry room. My “twins” live in an uninsulated garage where things potentially freeze. As for detergent my Sears guy who does my dryer service said to use liquid detergent. Not boxed stuff since it is full of fillers whereas liquid just uses water.

    My youngest attended a private Christian school which required uniforms. I had to iron 5 crisp white Peter Pan collared shirts and two pleated skirts weekly. I got good at it after a while and came to enjoy it.

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  12. Sita

    03/27/2015

    I quickly fold my clothes as I take them out of the dryer before I put them in my laundry basket. There isn’t always time for this, but I find that doing this helps reduce wrinkles, too. I also never iron.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I always TRY to do this too (she says as she has 2 clothes baskets of unfolded items sitting here since this morning!)

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  13. Avia

    03/27/2015

    I do the dryer trick but I never thought of shaking them out before putting them in the dryer. I will be trying that as I avoid ironing at all costs!!

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  14. Amy O

    03/27/2015

    Andrea – I also avoid the iron. I tend to tumble dry items for a few minutes and hang up wrinkle-prone clothes damp to allow them to finish drying. My husband wears those wrinkle-free material dress shirts, which also helps. Once I got out my iron for a craft project and my young son said, “What are you really supposed to use this thing for anyway?” because he had never seen me iron anything.

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  15. Brooke

    03/27/2015

    I also take things out of the dryer as soon as possible, but if I can’t get to it on time I throw the wrinkly clothes back on the dryer with a damp rag for 15 minutes (or into the dryer with the next load if it’s just a few items).

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