I don’t know about you, but I hate to iron clothes. Unfortunately, I also have an affinity for natural fibers, especially cotton. Over time, I’ve found some simple strategies that minimize the need to iron often.
If you use a clothes dryer, the most obvious tip is to remove the clothes from the machine the minute they are dry. Keep a supply of hangers next to the dryer and hang clothes immediately. Sometimes it helps to set the kitchen timer to go off a few minutes before the dryer will stop so that you are there and ready to retrieve the dry clothes. Remove a few items at a time and keep the dryer tumbling on air fluff while you hang those clothes. This may sound like a pain in the neck, but it beats having to iron the whole load of clothing.
Anytime clothes sit in a dryer after they are dry, they wrinkle. Forgot about the clothes in the dryer and they are a wrinkled mess? Don’t fret. Wet a hand towel and put a little fabric softener on it. Wring it out and put it in the dryer with the dry clothes. Dry clothes for about ten more minutes or so and they’ll be surprisingly less wrinkled. Even if they are still a tad damp, remove them and let them dry on their hangers.
Hanging clothes to dry presents its own challenges. On a windy day, most clothes will dry perfectly wrinkle free. With no wind, not so much. It helps to use fabric softener in the washing machine, and give each item of clothing a good shake before you hang it up. Pull it taut on the clothesline before clipping it up. Make sure all sleeves and pantlegs are pulled all the way out and none of the clothing is bunched up anywhere. If the clothing is starting to dry but still has wrinkles, try using a homemade spray. Add about a tablespoon of fabric softener to a large spray bottle of water and mix well. Spray the item of clothing. This spray also works on tee shirts or items of clothing that have gotten wrinkled from being folded up in a drawer. Hang the item, spray it, and let it air dry. By the time it dries, it should be ready to wear. It also makes the clothing smell fresh. If you are out of fabric softener, you can also use an inexpensive(watery) hair conditioner to make the spray. Just shake it to mix it really well.
The last thing you must do to keep clothes neat is to fold them very carefully. Forget “air folding.” Use a clean, flat surface and lay the clothing out. Pull each piece of clothing taut as you fold. If you create a wrinkle in the folded item, start over. Again, it’s easier than having to iron the item later.
Follow these tips and you will find yourself being able to iron less and live more!