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I Hate Ironing Shirts! How You Can Make it Your Business to Never Iron Clothes Again -- Washing Without the Work!

Updated on October 6, 2012
Hang damp trousers on a laundry rack and smooth out the wrinkles.  If you like a front crease, pinch and smooth with your fingers.  Let dry and no iron needed!
Hang damp trousers on a laundry rack and smooth out the wrinkles. If you like a front crease, pinch and smooth with your fingers. Let dry and no iron needed!

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).

Our always busy laundry room.  But no ironing!
Our always busy laundry room. But no ironing!

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:

  • Choose
  • Shake
  • Smooth
  • Hang
  • Relax

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!


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    • Ciel Clark profile imageAUTHOR

      Ciel Clark 

      6 years ago from USA

      Cool, thank you Paul Kuehn.

    • Ciel Clark profile imageAUTHOR

      Ciel Clark 

      6 years ago from USA

      I agree! I do dry most of our clothes on hangers and folding racks in our laundry room -- I usually only dry big items outside though. (Ice). I use the dryer for little things and baby bedding which is in fast rotation :)

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ciel.....Every single tip here, to avoid the need for ironing, are valid and proven methods. You're certainly are not alone. Many women ( & men) hate to iron.

      This said, I have a confession. I LOVE to iron. If that's not enough, I also enjoy "doing windows!" The truth is, when not under a time constraint, I actually enjoy house-cleaning, in general. It's like a challenge and/or project to me. The end result always make me feel such pride in my I've accomplished a task well-done.

      Please don't think me's not like I'm obsessive about it.

      I find ironing relaxing and enjoyable. Mostly, I really appreciate the "look" of neatly pressed clothes. I know you don't want to hear this, but I iron EVERYTHING. Too bad I'm not your neighbor!! LOL You could probably talk me into doing your ironing..........UP+++

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      6 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


      This is a very useful hub. I have always hated ironing shirts and pants, so for the past few years I have been following your excellent tips. The tips work, especially for shirts which I have seldom put in the drier. Voted up, sharing, and pinning.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Not very environmentally friendly using a dryer all the time - whats wrong with a clothesline?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ironing clothes is very important but i have no time to ironing clothes because i hate the ironing the clothes

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      I bought one of the things you fill with water and throw in the dryer. When I have forgot clothes in the dryer and they have so many wrinkles. I throw them back in with the dryer thing, 15 minutes they come out great.

      Enjoyed your hub. I iron most everything.

    • ryker1 profile image


      6 years ago

      All my family use an Instant Iron. Even the kids. It's the best invention ever. My husband even brings it with him when he's on business trips.

    • Ciel Clark profile imageAUTHOR

      Ciel Clark 

      6 years ago from USA

      I am glad to be done with it as well! Happy trails.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      6 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi ciel clark. Your hub makes me realise how lucky Iam not to have to do any ironing.

      Best Wishes.

    • Ciel Clark profile imageAUTHOR

      Ciel Clark 

      6 years ago from USA

      Ha! Thank you Writers Dog.

      I was trying to think if I have a chore I do to get writing, but then I remembered: I am trying to time manage taking care of two kids, a husband, two cats and a dog, a big crazy house, a lot of plants, many loads of laundry, and many many meals and cleanups per day. Then I go to my teaching job and it is kind of like a work holiday because all I need to do is talk to people and there is no cleaning involved.

    • profile image

      The Writers Dog 

      6 years ago

      I love my ironing. No, seriously! I always make sure that I have left over garments in my ironing basket. Why? Because I find that ironing helps me get around writers' block.

      My boyfriend, however, refuses to do any ironing. I am going to email the URL to this wonderful Hub.

    • Ciel Clark profile imageAUTHOR

      Ciel Clark 

      6 years ago from USA

      Dress shirts are tricky. My husband usually wears polo type shirts to work, and those are easy. When either of us wears a button-up dress shirt, I run the collar and the narrow vertical section (with the buttonholes) through tight fingers, smoothing them out. The shirt might not have that perfectly crisp dry cleaner look, but I find shirts lose that pretty quickly anyway. White shirts, for some reason the most difficult.. Maybe someone out there has a good hint? (Any possibility your husband would like to change to prints?)

    • Ciel Clark profile imageAUTHOR

      Ciel Clark 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the comment!

      Now if I could just get all the clothes put away as soon as they are ready...

    • elayne001 profile image


      6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      I detest ironing, but have to keep my husband in white shirts every day for his teaching. So, I put on a movie while I iron, otherwise, I can't do it. It may stem from my mother taking in clothes to iron while I was young, and watching her work so hard to make them perfect for a couple bucks. I would be ecstatic if white shirts never had to be ironed! I do take them out of the dryer as soon as I can so they wrinkle less, but still find I have to touch them up.

    • Irob profile image


      6 years ago from St. Charles

      Since I usually do the laundry, great tips. A few I already know, but will hang up more of those shirts wet!


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