De-wrinkling a stack of clean clothes

I just switched my summer work shirts over to my winter work shirts. These are casual shirts that were stored folded in a drawer that I have now hung on hangers.

But yeah, there are wrinkles in many of them.

I’d like to do a batch de-wrinkling. Should I:

  • Wash and dry them? (remember, they are already clean)
  • Toss them in the dryer only? (what setting?)
  • Toss them in the dryer after spritzing them with water?
  • Steam them with a hand steamer?
  • Other?

Again, they are casual shirts - think long-sleeved Henleys. I’m not walking down a runway, but I don’t want to look like I slept in the shirt either.



Similar to your ideas-- sometimes I soak a washcloth, wring it out really well (no drippage), then toss in the dryer with wrinkled stuff on med high for 20-ish minutes. Works pretty well.

I was talking to an airline flight attendant years ago and he told me that they all hung their clothes in the bathroom at the hotel and ran a really hot shower to keep the wrinkles out.

Although, the point of his story was that he had fallen asleep while the shower ran and one item had fallen and blocked the drain. The subsequent flooding destroyed much of the hotel room carpet.

I was going to start a thread on this.

I’ve noticed now a days, I can take a wrinkly shirt that’s been sit’n in the dryer for a day or two, put it on, and with in an hour or so, the wrinkles are gone. (I’m guessing my body heat makes them go away?)

This used to not be the case. So now I’m left wondering have clothes manufactures done something different to make clothes less prone to wrinkles?

I make my own wrinkle-release spray. It’s equal parts water, rubbing alcohol, and liquid fabric softener. Commercials for such products show the wrinkles disappearing after just a few seconds with a “not a dramatization” disclaimer (claimer?) at the bottom. It really does work that fast unless the wrinkles are really bad or it’s a particularly difficult fabric. Most instructions say you should wipe the clothing with your hand after spraying, which helps it penetrate a little more, but even that may not be needed. Of course YMMV, test it on an inconspicuous area for colorfastness, etc.

Nobody irons anymore, huh?..

Ironing is what I want to avoid.

And I’m not being ironic.


Ironing was what I was going to suggest as well. Especially since it sounds like this is just a one time problem, it can’t take that long to quickly get through the stack and re-hang them.
Other than that, if it was me, I’d toss them in the wash (just pick the shortest cycle that will get them wet and spin them), then into the dryer and proceed as you usually would. Either dry them all the way or dry them about half way and then hang them to finish drying.

I would try Thelma Lou’s remedy. Wet washcloth or towel in the dryer. Anything else seems like as much work as washing and drying them. You could also put the clothes in the washer and set it at rinse with a little fabric softener and then put them in the dryer.

Also, I vote for NO IRONING too. I hate ironing. I haven’t ironed in 20+ years.

Not if we can bloody well help it, no.

I haven’t used one, but the way it is done in retail clothing stores is with a steamer. You can buy a hand-held steamer for around $30, and it will steam out most creases and wrinkles in a few seconds. Probably won’t work for, say, linen, or cotton dress shirts, but for anything more casual I think this is the easiest way to go.

Running a handful of shirts through the washer and dryer isn’t really a whole lot of work and seems on par (if not less work) than many of the other methods.

In the two hours since the thread was started it would have been done.

If the OP really doesn’t want to feel like he’s just washing a bunch of clean clothes, maybe just add two or three of them to each load of laundry until they’re gone.

I don’t mind running a load through the laundry, just wondering if that would get the job done. Also how, specifically, to do it (wash? dryer only? settings?)

I do have a hand steamer but the laundry angle would be slightly less labor.

Ironing ain’t gonna happen.


When I first started doing business trips during an early job after college, one of the more experienced salesguys told me that trick.

If you’re gonna go with dryer, you might as well wash too. Get them smelling fresh again. And yes, a full wash is guaranteed to get the job done.

I spend a fair bit on my dress and business casual shirts. Having them professionally cleaned used to consistently destroy them in a pretty short period of time. So I just launder them on gentle cycle and iron them by hand. Been doing it for years and years. I find it therapeutic as I watch re-runs. Weird like that, I guess.

Nah, not necessary.

I have a steamer that someone gave me. The way I used to use it was to drape a heavy bath towel over a door and hang the garment-in-question against the towel, either on a hanger or over the door, too. Then steam/lightly press the garment against the towel. Works okay, but the damp washcloth in the dryer works fine, too.

You could always use the Jack Reacher method-- lay your clothes out flat between the mattress and boxspring and let them press out while you sleep on the bed in the cheap motel room you paid for using the money you got when mugging a low-level drug dealer for spending cash.

Just hang one in the bathroom while showering. Will knock out enough of the wrinkles for a casual knit shirt.