How to Keep a Dress Shirt From Wrinkling

by Tom Ross

By paying attention to fabric type, providing a little special care when laundering them and ensuring they are hung properly in your closet, you can help your dress shirts resist wrinkles. Wrinkle-resistant materials include natural fabrics such as cotton and synthetics like rayon and polyester. Cotton/synthetic blends are easy to find, and products formulated to keep shirts from wrinkling during use are very effective.

Items you will need

  • Fabric softener
  • Washing machine
  • Wood or plastic hangers
  • Clothes dryer
  • Clothesline
  • Fan (optional)
  • Steam iron
Step 1

Buy dress shirts that are made of cotton blended with other fabrics such as rayon and polyester or those made of the synthetic material of choice.

Step 2

Use a favorite fabric softener when washing dress shirts and a fabric softener sheet during the drying process.

Step 3

Remove dress shirts from the washing machine as soon as the cycle stops. Don’t allow the articles to remain in a twisted pile at the bottom of the washer. Shake the wrinkles out of the shirts prior to placing them into the dryer.

Step 4

Place only as many clothes in the dryer as will comfortably fit. Too many articles will dry in a clump, keeping the wrinkles in place. Dry articles of the same size and density so that heavy, wet items don’t press down on lighter-weight shirts, and that all the articles require the same amount of drying time. Keep the drying cycle as short as possible since heat holds in wrinkles. If the shirts are wrinkled after being left in the dryer too long, place a damp towel along with another fabric softener sheet into the dryer and dry for 10 more minutes.

Step 5

Remove shirts from the dryer as soon as the cycle ends. Shake them out and place them on wood or plastic hangers, even if you plan to iron them immediately. Shirts that are piled in a laundry basket for a period of time will set the wrinkles deeper into the fabric.

Step 6

Shake shirts out and stretch them before hanging on an outside clothes line. A breeze eliminates wrinkles by softening the fabric. Use a fan set on medium to simulate this effect if you are using an indoor clothesline.

Step 7

Press the wrinkles from shirts with an electric steam iron set on the appropriate fabric setting.

Step 8

Hang dress shirts in the closet on wood or plastic hangers. Wire hangers crease fabric and create wrinkles. Leave enough space between shirts so they are not pressed together, creating wrinkles.

Step 9

Hang the shirt, when traveling, in the bathroom while taking a hot shower and then gently stretch it out when finished. Use a hotel clothes dryer to tumble the shirt along with a damp washcloth, for 10 minutes. The washcloth provides moisture to act with dryer heat to release wrinkles. There are a number of travel steamers that work well and can be purchased at department stores or online.

Tips

  • Place five or six tennis balls in the dryer during the drying cycle; as they bounce around, they will keep the shirts opened up with warm air traveling over them evenly to release wrinkles. Take your shirts to the dry cleaners occasionally for starching and pressing. After doing this, the shirts stay more wrinkle resistant for several washings at home.

Warnings

  • Silk processing research has yielded some materials that are also wrinkle resistant; check dress shirt labels carefully to identify whether a particular shirt is wrinkle resistant.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Freelance writing since 2009, Tom Ross has over 30 years of corporate management and hands-on experience in the supermarket industry. Ross was featured on the cover of "Instore Buyer" magazine and his articles have appeared on various websites.