Six ways to reduce wrinkles and avoid ironing

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I hate ironing. If I pull something out of the dryer and it’s wrinkled, I try everything humanly possible to avoid ironing it, including snapping the errant item quickly like an old dusty rug or smoothing out the wrinkles with my hand and quickly folding them to “hold” the straightness in. Those techniques work a little, but later when I try to wear that item, my limited success shows up in permanently creased wrinkles. Over the years I’ve learned a few tricks that help my clothes come out of the wash wrinkle-free. I hope they help you too.

1. Buy “wrinkle-resistant” clothes.

In general, all-cotton clothes will wrinkle more than clothes with some synthetic material. So, a shirt that is 50 percent cotton and 50 percent polyester will wrinkle less than a shirt that is 100 percent cotton. Many higher quality clothes can be 100 percent cotton and still be wrinkle resistant. If you’re shopping for some new clothes, check the labels for any claim that the clothes won’t wrinkle as much. Tweet this tip.

6 ways to reduce wrinkles and avoid ironing2. Use liquid fabric softener in your washing machine.

Dryer sheets can work to prevent static cling and give clothes a fresh scent, but they don’t work nearly as well at actually softening the clothes. A good, name brand liquid fabric softener will not only reduce static cling and make the clothes smell nicer, it will also help to significantly reduce washer-induced wrinkles – and do a much better job of keeping the clothes soft during the drying cycle. Tweet this tip.

3. Don’t overload your washer.

The more clothes you put into the washer, the less room the clothes have to move around and the more likely they are to twist around each other. When clothes twist together and then the washer enters the spin cycle, very tight wrinkles are impressed into the clothing.

4. Don’t overload your dryer.

When I’m washing dress shirts or slacks, I sometimes put only half the washer load into the dryer at a time. That way, the clothes have even more room to move around and fluff up.

5. Take clothes out of the dryer a bit early.

I know this takes a little extra time (though not as much as ironing) but if you take clothes out of the dryer as they get dry, the ones remaining will have even more room to move around while they finish drying.  Tweet this tip.

6. Hang the clothes on hangers.

The best way to keep clothes wrinkle free is to hang them as soon as you remove them from your dryer. It’s okay if they’re still a little damp. Of course, clothing that are wet will cause indentations where the clothes draped over the hanger.  (Editor’s note: We’ve all had pointy shoulders before! It’s not a cool look).

Finally, if you’re in the market for a new washer or dryer, look for models with larger tubs/drums. Consumer Reports magazine tests and provides a capacity rank for many dryers. The larger the tub or drum, the more room the clothes have to move around, which goes a long way in reducing wrinkles. Manufacturers provide the size of the tub or drum in cubic feet, which isn’t all that easy to visualize. However, you can compare different models and buy one with as many cubic feet as you can afford. Just be sure not to overload them.

Do you loathe or love ironing? What do you do to keep your clothing wrinkle free? Let us know in the comments section below!

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