How to Get Wrinkles Out of Clothing

by Teresa Daly

Wrinkles make clothes look sloppy and can cause even your most elegant ensemble to look unkempt. A wrinkly outfit tells the world that you just don't care, while sleekly wrinkle-free garments show that you've dressed to impress. Even for casual occasions, there's no reason to leave the house with unwanted creases in your clothes. Ironing is the best way to remove wrinkles, but if you're stuck without an iron or just hate that particular chore, steaming gives you an effective alternative.

Iron It Out

Check the garment's label for the fabric content. Set your iron to the correct setting for the fabric. Put the iron down on the ironing board, away from the garment, to let it heat up.

Unfasten all buttons, zippers and other fasteners on the garment. Lay it flat on the ironing board and smooth it out as much as possible.

Test the iron, if it's new, on a hidden part of the garment. Iron temperature settings vary.

Turn on the iron's steam if you're using high settings such as those for cotton, linen and wool. Evenly spray a spray starch or a spritz of water over these materials. Wrinkles are more difficult to remove from cotton and linen; the steam and spray or water helps smooth them out.

Press the iron firmly and smoothly back and forth across the first area of the garment. Move to the next section of the garment and continue until you've ironed the main sections. Turn the garment to iron smaller sections such as collars and sleeves. Flatten these well before ironing.

Flip sleeves and pants legs over to iron the other side.

Shake the garment out and check it when you're done ironing to make sure all the wrinkles are gone.

Steam Heat

Hang a silk or polyester garment near your shower. It's easier to remove wrinkles from these fabrics than those of heavy cotton and linen.

Turn the shower on and make the water hot. Let the room fill with steam and shut the door. Leave the garment hanging until the steam dissipates.

Use a fabric steamer as an alternative. Follow the manufacturer instructions to fill the steamer with water. Turn the steamer on; when the steam starts coming out, hold it about 2 inches from the garment and move it up and down, concentrating on wrinkled areas.

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Items you will need

  • Iron
  • Spray starch or water-filled spray bottle
  • Ironing board
  • Steamer (optional)


  • In a pinch, toss your wrinkled garments into a clothes dryer along with a damp washcloth. Run the dryer on high heat for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove and hang the garments immediately.


  • Always unplug the iron when you're finished.

About the Author

Teresa Daly has worked in publishing for more than 20 years. She has been an editor at Denver's Westword along with several other publications and sites, and written articles for AOL, Society 6, and more.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images