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How to Iron Without an Iron

If you find yourself without an iron but need to remove the wrinkles out of your clothes in a hurry, worry not: there are several hacks you can employ to iron without an iron. 

Whether you are stuck in a hotel room that can’t lend you an iron in the next hour, or wake up to find your own has broken down overnight, one of these tips should help you out, and allow you to walk out the door wrinkle-free. 

Steam Your Clothes in the Shower 

One of the most straightforward ways to iron an item of clothing without an iron is to turn your shower into a steamer. 

All you have to do is hang your creased clothes on a hanger, hang them up in the shower itself (out of reach of the actual showerhead), and run some hot water. 

Leave your clothes in the shower for a couple of minutes, and the steam that has been released will have done its magic. The result won’t be as good as it could have been with an iron, but it will do in a pinch.

If your clothing is a bit damp, just hang it out to dry for 10 minutes or so, making sure you don’t create any fresh creases. 

This trick will work best in showers with closable doors. If you’re applying it in a bathroom with a tub or a shower that has no doors, make sure you close any windows and the bathroom door. Depending on the size of the room, you may need more time to generate the adequate amount of steam. 

Iron with a Cooking Pot 

An old iron without an iron hack, using a cooking pot to get the creases out of your clothes is most resemblant of actual ironing. 

All you will have to do is ensure that the bottom of the pot you are about to use is completely clean. Any stray crumbs or remnants of food or oil will only leave a stain you may have a hard time getting out. 

Then pour some water into your pot, bring it to the boil, and pour it away. You can use it to de-clog your kitchen sink and pipes a bit, as the steaming water will do a great job of loosening any tough stains and marks. 

Once you’ve gotten rid of the water, just run the bottom of your pot over your clothing item as you would a regular iron. You can hold it by the handles, if that makes it easiest. Be careful not to burn yourself though, as the sides of the pot will likely also be very hot. 

De-Wrinkle Your Clothes with a Hairdryer 

If your iron suddenly stops working, or you just want to quickly get a couple of wrinkles out of a dress or shirt quickly, a hairdryer can do the trick for you. It works especially well for getting shoulder dents caused by hangers out of knitwear items.

Dampen the wrinkled area a bit with plain water, and lay your clothing item out on a straight surface. You can also drape it across a chair or hang it up on a door, if that makes the wrinkle easier to reach (great for getting creases out of skirt and dress hems). 

Turn your hairdryer on to its lowest setting, and keep it a couple of inches away from the wrinkle itself. Wiggle it around, as opposed to pointing it directly at the same spot for an extended period of time, until the creases disappear. 

You may need to repeat the dampening/drying process for your more stubborn creases, but you should be able to run out the door crease-free within minutes. 

Iron with Your Hair Straighteners 

If you have your hair straighteners with you, you will be able to iron a clothing item even without an iron. In fact, 70 years ago, women used to use clothing irons to straighten their hair, so why not reverse this process in an emergency? 

Hair straighteners can come in especially handy when you need to get a crease out of shirt collars or cuffs, but with a little bit of manoeuvring, you should be able to get rid of all manner of creases. 

Make sure you wipe your hair straighteners clean before using them on your clothes, as you don’t want to transfer any stray hair product. Turn them on to their lowest setting, and start working on those cuffs and collars. You can also dampen your clothes a bit, to make the process go even smoother. 

If you are tackling a crease mid-clothing, make sure to get a hold of a perfectly flat garment, as you don’t want to embed a straight line into it. If you’re not sure you’ll be able to manage with a straight and narrow implement, take a look at our other tips – you might find them a bit more to your taste. 

Steam with a Teapot 

Steam can help you get creases out of your clothing, as you already know, and another simple way to generate it is to use a teapot. 

All you need to do is boil some water (perhaps for a mug of tea), and as it’s steaming, hold the pot’s spout about 12 inches from the wrinkled area of your clothes. This concentrated bout of steam should loosen up the fabric, and result in an ironed effect.

Don’t place the spout too close to your garment though, as it will only get wet. 

You can also help the process along with your hands, and straighten your creases out. Then just lay your clothes out to dry, as they will probably get a little bit damp from the steam. 

Tumble Iron in a Dryer 

If you don’t have an iron on hand, but do have access to a tumble dryer, you can use it to get the creases out of your clothing.

First, make sure the items you want to iron are tumble dryer-safe, as you don’t want to accidentally shrink them.

Next, you can either spray a bit of water on your items, or throw a damp item of clothing into the dryer with them. A pair of damp socks will do. 

Alternatively, you can also throw a couple of ice cubes in there. It does admittedly sound like a strange solution, however, the steam that’s released as the water evaporates or the ice cubes melt will effectively de-crease your clothes. 

All you have to do is let the dryer spin on a medium setting for around 15 minutes. Make sure to get your clothing out of the dryer as soon as possible, as leaving it in there for a long time can cause additional creases. 

Use a Bit of Vinegar 

You may already know that vinegar is a great natural cleaning agent, and it just so happens it can also be used for de-wrinkling clothing. 

To make your own wrinkle-release spray, mix one part white vinegar with three parts water. Spray your mixture onto any creases, and then let them air-dry. You will not get the same effect as with an actual iron, but most of the creases should be banished. 

The only downside to this method is the smell, so if you have an important meeting or want to dress to impress, perhaps choose one of the other de-wrinkling methods from this list.

Use a Damp Towel 

Another simple yet effective way to iron your clothing without an iron is to use a damp towel. 

Place your wrinkled item on a clean and flat surface, and make sure you’ve smoothed out the creases as much as possible. Then, dampen a clean towel and place it flat on top of your garment. Use your hands to press the towel into the wrinkled area and smooth it out.

Once you are satisfied with the result, hang your item out to dry, as it will have inevitably soaked up a bit of moisture from the towel. It should be ready to wear in a matter of minutes. 

Tuck Your Clothes Under the Mattress 

If you are not in any particular rush, you can use the old mattress ironing technique to get any creases out of your clothing. 

Just lay your creased item on a flat surface and smooth out all the wrinkles. The more time you devote to this step, the better the end result will be. Once you are satisfied, roll your garment up like a burrito, then slide it under your mattress and leave it there for 30-ish minutes. 

When you remove your wearable burrito, it should be wrinkle-free, if you have done a good job of rolling and straightening beforehand. If you haven’t, you might end up with a straight line crease in your clothing, so do take that extra minute to get it done right. 

Wrapping It Up 

Whenever you find yourself without a working iron on hand but need to rush out the door looking your best, remember our ironing without an iron hacks. At least one of them should serve you well wherever you may find yourself, at home or in a hotel, renting a bungalow or staying in a beach house. 


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