I Hate Ironing Shirts! How You Can Make it Your Business to Never Iron Clothes Again -- Washing Without the Work!
Wrinkle-free clothes without ironing? Yes, it is possible!
I admit, I have ironed clothes. (Very rarely, but it has happened). There is something vaguely satisfying about taking a wrinkled item and making it crisp and perfect. (And also it smells good when you iron!) However, ironing to me is a kind of weird luxury--a lot of time for minimum return. Unless you really really love the act of ironing itself, I suggest to do away with it altogether. I haven't ironed in at least seven years, and my husband and I both work in places we need to wear at least business casual clothing.
Do you iron? If so, how much time per week do you spend on making clothes wrinkle-free? Maybe not just clothes! I know a woman who ironed her son's sweatpants--with a crease down the middle. Poor boy. (They were French, but still...). I know people who iron dish towels (so they fold nicely in the drawer), and sheets (for that first slide into bed), but is the time spent really worth it? I don't think so. Once again, if you love ironing then it is probably worth it, but for the rest of us, here is how to never iron clothes again.
First of all, and probably most importantly, get to the root of the problem. The clothes themselves. When you shop, look for clothes that look like they are easy to care for. Recently I was looking for a pair of black jeans, just one pair of really good, comfortable jeans. More difficult that it sounds! I think I went to about ten stores over the past month looking for one really good pair of jeans.
Okay okay, it is true, I have many pairs of jeans! But I recently had a baby and my size has changed. I am actually down below my pre-pregnancy weight but my shape has changed. Also, my free time... Well, no more time for frivolous activities like ironing (and sometimes brushing my teeth, help!). So when I was looking for jeans, I noticed a lot of them looked bad on the rack. Wrinkly, covered in fuzz, and so on. One pair even said dry clean only! I finally found a pair that shook out wrinkle-free, weren't covered in lint, and with a label that just said wash cold with like colors. Yes! (I am actually wearing them right now, love them).
Shake Smooth Hang
Second, after you have found easy to care for clothes, the rest is easy. I posted a photo of our high-traffic, very busy laundry room. Shirts, some underwear, and things that might shrink in the dryer I hang up directly onto hangers out of the washing machine.
My husband didn't like how the plastic hangers made weird shoulder marks, so we ordered some of those padded hangers. Now his business casual shirts look great with no hanger marks. I use the padded hangers for my silk shirts--all my other shirts do fine on the plastic hangers. Trousers that need a pleat I crease by hand and hang them on a drying rack. Once in a while I will even hand crease a pair of trousers and lay them on top of the dryer for a iron-free iron effect..
The last thing you need to remember for an iron-free life is to get your clothes out of the dryer as soon as it beeps. It is better to wait to wash and dry until you have time to fold than to leave dry clothes wrinkling in a pile in the dryer. This happens to everyone once in a while! If this happens, put a wet bath towel in with the wrinkly wet clothes, re-dry, and be ready to fold.
Think of the reduce-reuse-recycle motto. It is a great motto, and we can use it also for laundry:
- Reduce high-maintenance clothes. (and the time spent taking care of them)
- Reuse easy-care comfortable clothes that look great.
- Recycle the clothes you don't wear by donating.
We can also change this great motto into:
A woman who hates ironing and uses the "Snap" method
Ironing takes a lot of time... Even for a professional!
Shake. Smooth. Hang.
1) Most important: Choose your clothes wisely. Look for easy to care for fabrics and wrinkle-free clothing. You don't have to give up on most cottons and silks!
2). Pay attention to your damp clothes: Hang shirts damp from the washing machine. Give each shirt a good shake to get rid of the worst wrinkles, and then place on a good hanger. For button shirts, do up at least the top button, and make sure the collar is smoothed into the right position. All other shirts just need a good shake before being placed on the hangers. Use good quality hangers. To avoid the mid-shoulder hanger bump, a padded hanger is great, especially for anyone with broad shoulders,
Dry trousers on a plastic or wooden clothes horse. Smooth the trousers flat, or with a front crease if you prefer.
Remove clothes dried in the drier while still warm. Give a good shake, and fold as soon as possible. If they sit too long in the drier and get cold, the wrinkles may be set in. If this happens, put a small wet item (clean dishtowel, tee shirt) into the drier and dry a bit longer.
3). Enjoy your extra hours a week of iron-free time!