If you’re smart about how you wash, you can totally skip the ironing.
1. Try the wet washcloth trick
We couldn’t live without our trusty irons, but when you’re staring at a pile of wrinkled shirts on a super-busy morning, you wish the whole ironing thing could be a little more automated. That’s where this trick comes in.
Throw your rumpled outfit into the dryer with a damp washcloth, and run it for about 10 or 15 minutes. The steam emitted from the washcloth with smooth the garments’ wrinkles — and offer you a few extra minutes to eat breakfast.
Want to try this tip on a larger load? “Use a hand towel or bath towel instead of a washcloth,” says Forte.
2. Do the shake
It’s tempting to toss an armfuls of wet clothes straight into the dryer in as few moves as possible. But twists in your T-shirts and bulky clumps of damp dresses might exit the dryer the exact same way — mussed and wrinkly. So give each item a quick shake before it hits the dryer.
“Separating and shaking eases fabrics back to shape after washing, and helps them tumble better in the dryer, which helps de-wrinkle them, too,” says Forte.
3. Reconsider your dryer settings
“Slower spin speeds and lower temperatures also help minimizes wrinkles — especially in cotton clothes,” says Forte. “A too-fast spin can actually ‘whip in’ the wrinkles already there. On most dryers, the ‘casual,’ ‘normal,’ or ‘permanent press’ settings are designed to reduce rumpling.” Check your manual for the best advice for your machine.
4. Don’t let dry clothes sit idly
To avoid time spent slaving over a hot ironing board, don’t dawdle when you hear the ping of a completed dryer cycle. If clothes are left to settle, creases will quickly form. But if you’d rather not be at the beck-and-call of your machine, it might have a setting that can help you out.
“Most dryers have extended tumbling cycles to keep wrinkles from forming,” says Forte. “Use this setting to keep clothes tumbling intermittently for an hour or more.”
5. Spritz instead of press
Our experts in the GHI have long loved Downy Wrinkle Releaser, which helps ease creases out of clothes, even when you’re in a rush. “It relaxes fabrics,” says Forte. “You spray it on, smooth and tug the fabric gently, and then let the garment hang to dry. It works best on lightweight cotton and knits — but skip it on fabrics that can get water spots, like silk and rayon.”
6. Fold your shirts and sweaters into thirds
Make like a clothing store associate when you store your favorite items. By folding them into thirds, instead of in half, you’ll avoid an unsightly crease down the middle, says Forte.