Person folding clothes as another way to keep clothes wrinkle-free
Learning to Clean,  Learning to Simplify

How to Iron a Shirt Without Using an Iron

Oh, the dreaded ironing! It seems that the older you get the more clothing items that require special care, from the washing and drying to the ironing. While I have gotten pretty good at ironing, thanks to my grandma teaching me from a young age and letting me help her. Plus, I’ve got plenty of practice ironing dress shirts as an adult thanks to the tons of dress shirts my husband wears. While exciting at first, it can get boring and overwhelming pretty quickly. So how do you overcome that? How do you minimize the amount of ironing and get back to things that are more important?

Here are a few ways how you can iron a shirt without the need for an iron:

How to Iron a shirt without an iron (title page)
5 alternatives to keep your clothes wrinkle-free

1. Take Your Clothes Out of the Dryer Right Away.

The sooner you pull them out and straighten them out, even if it’s just laying them flat on top of the dryer, the better. I get that those of you living in apartment buildings don’t always have the luxury of hearing when the dryer is done. I’ve been there myself. A suggestion for you would be to set a timer and head down just a few minutes before the dryer is supposed to finish.

Taking Clothes out of the dryer as soon as the cycle is done helps the clothes stay wrinkle-free

You see, the process of heating up your clothes while drying them alters the fabric, making it softer and more willing to conform to its new state, whether it is to straighten out or stay wrinkled afterward. The key is getting to your clothes while they are still warm. Once they’ve cooled it is much harder to smooth out any wrinkles.

positive signPositives: It’s free! You just pull it out of the dryer and put them away as soon as the cycle is done.

negative signNegatives: You need to be around the home and watching for when the drying is done its cycle. It requires pretty immediate action.

2. Smooth Out Your Clothes While Folding Them.

Folded Clothes that have been smoothed out are much less likely to remain wrinkled

When folding your clothes, lay the item down on a bed, table, ironing board, or any flat working area. With a flat hand smooth out the wrinkles before folding. Your hand acts as an iron for your shirts, while the folding keeps the clothes wrinkle-free. This technique is perfect for clothes that have blends, which includes most T-shirts, stretchy pants, sweaters. It even works for clothes that weren’t taken out right away. This is my favourite technique.

positive signPositives: It’s free! You were (hopefully) going to fold the clothes anyway, so this little extra step will not give you too much extra work, considering all the work you’re avoiding by not ironing!

negative signNegatives: You do have to fold your clothes and know how to do that properly. Have you heard of the Kon Mari technique?

Pssst… take a look at my tutorial on how to fold linens using the Kon Mari method. [Simply click here]

3. Steam Your Shirts to Get Those Wrinkles Out Easily.

While you can get some relatively cheap (like $20), I wouldn’t recommend it. I had a friend who tried another model and ended up having to return it because while steam was coming out it wasn’t nearly strong enough to have any effect on the garment. What I recommend is the Conair Garment Upright Steamer.

Conair Upright Steamer as an alternative to iron your shirts

It is a little more pricey – I got mine from Wal Mart for about $100 including tax. However, it has served me well. I’ve used it for my wedding gown, bridesmaids dresses, as well as now more casual dresses and shirts.

positive signPositives: It heats up almost instantly and gets wrinkles out easily and quickly. There is very little set up required.

negative signNegatives: It has a higher upfront cost, plus you can’t take it with you if traveling. Beware of the steam! I’ve burned my hands a few times because I was not being careful and put my hand in the way of the steam.

4. Try No-Heat “Ironing” Using Tom & Sheri’s Iron in a Bottle.

My friend over on Kind North posted a review about the effectiveness and I am amazed! This would be perfect if you are going away on a business trip and aren’t sure whether you will have access to an iron or to a service. Simply spray this on your garment, wait a little, et voila!

A few bottles of Tom and Sherry's Iron in a Bottle - a product that helps you iron your shirts without the need of an iron

Go take a look at the full review and how it works on Kind North Blog [click here].

positive signPositives: You can take this with you wherever you are! Whether you’re traveling or just have a long day at work, this could be the perfect quick fix for your clothes.

negative signNegatives: You would have to check in advance how your clothes react to the spray.

5. Dry Clean Those Dress Shirts to Avoid Washing and Ironing Altogether

Dry cleaning means that someone else does both the washing and ironing for you. Why not take advantage of this?

If you are super busy and have a husband who wears dress shirts every day, consider having them dry cleaned. While I don’t do this in my home, my parents came to the conclusion that since my dad wears dress shirts basically every day to work and even on the weekends, there are just too many for my mom to keep up with the washing and ironing. My dad is responsible now for dropping off the shirts and then when they are done picking them up. When they come from the dry cleaner they are both clean and ironed. My mom doesn’t have to iron his shirts anymore and has more time to focus on other priorities. Win-win 🙂

positive signPositives: You have to do no work besides dropping off and picking up the clothes. It would be beneficial to have a car if you don’t live close to the dry cleaner and have lots of clothes that you’re dropping off.

negative signNegatives: It does cost a little extra every time that you have to wash your clothes. Some people are sensitive to the chemicals used by the dry cleaners.

Voila, 5 Ways to “Iron” Your Clothes

Well, there you have 5 alternatives to iron those dress shirts, avoiding the traditional iron and ironing board. Were there any I missed? Which method do you use to keep your clothes wrinkle-free?


  • Meghan

    Some great tips here. I didn’t know about the spray. My dryer is in the garage so I never remember to check to take things out straightaway!

  • Alisa

    I know right?! It’s like a miracle potion 😉
    A tip to remember when the load is done is to set a timer, I like to set the oven timer because it’s so loud I could hear it from any part of the house.
    If taking that route though, I would put a sticky note beside the timer to say that it’s time to take the clothes out of the dryer. Otherwise, someone else may
    stop the timer and not know why it was set in the first place (raising hand here – been there haha)

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