our everyday life

How to Unwrinkle Sweaters

by Kimberly Johnson, studioD

If your favorite sweater has been crammed into an overstuffed closet or kept in storage, odds are good it is in less than stellar condition. Wrinkles are a common problem that leaves many sweaters looking like you slept in them overnight. While ironing a sweater will remove the wrinkles, use caution so you don’t melt the fabric. Some sweater fabrics, such as cashmere, are especially susceptible to heat and require special care.

Set up an ironing board and lay the wrinkled sweater on top of the board with the front facing upward.

Grasp the sides of the sweater just under the arms and pull gently outward on both sides. Slide your hands down 3 to 4 inches and repeat the stretching process. This gentle stretching returns the sweater to its original shape.

Fill a steam iron with water using the amount specified by the manufacture. Most irons have a maximum fill line on the water tank to use as a reference. Plug the iron in and set it to the lowest heat setting. Read the fabric label of the sweater and choose a heat setting that matches it, if one is available. Let the iron heat up for one to two minutes.

Lay a thin, white dish towel on top of the sweater to protect it from excessive moisture and heat. Do not use a colored towel, since the color may rub off on the sweater.

Pick up the iron and lay it on top of the towel without applying any additional pressure. Move the iron quickly over the towel to smooth out the wrinkles in the sweater. Do not stop the iron at any point. When you are done, set the iron aside.

Remove the towel and turn the sweater over so that it is face down. Replace the towel and then repeat the process of ironing the back.

Leave the sweater on the ironing board for at least five minutes to allow it to cool completely before you put it on or put it in storage.

Items you will need
  •  Ironing board
  •  Steam iron
  •  Water
  •  Thin dish towel
  •  Spray bottle (optional)


  • If the sweater contains cashmere, do not place the iron on the sweater. Instead, hold the iron 1/2 to 1 inch above the sweater. Turn on the steam function and let the burst of steam remove the wrinkles as you hover the iron over the surface.
  • If you don’t have a steam iron, fill a spray bottle with water and lightly spray the sweater with two or three sprays before ironing.


  • Never use a hot iron on sweater fabrics. The heat will melt them.
  • Do not apply starch to sweaters.

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images