If you hate to iron but want wrinkle-free clothes, it may seem you are facing a dilemma. However, it is actually simple to wash and dry your clothes and have results that are sufficiently wrinkle free so that ironing is an option rather than a necessity. With a bit of diligence and care, it is possible to look presentable without ever putting an iron to your clothes.
Avoid overfilling machines. Clothes must move freely throughout the cycle. For washers, this allows the clothes to become thoroughly clean. For dryers, this allows the clothes to dry uniformly.
Use proper settings. If your machines have special settings for permanent press, use them. Use the special "Cool Down" cycle to minimize wrinkles for both the washer and the dryer.
Use warm or hot water to wash, cold water to rinse. Especially with permanent press, most items should be washed in warm water and rinsed in cold water. Linens and underwear can be washed in hot water to sanitize them.
Remove clothes immediately when the cycle is done. When removing clothes from the washer, smooth out each item before placing it in the dryer. Do not allow clothes to sit unfolded in the dryer; this will invariably result in wrinkles.
Fold or hang clothes right away after drying. While clothes are still warm from the dryer, you can shape them on the hanger or as you are folding them. Taking a few minutes to do this alone can save significant ironing.
Tips & Warnings
- A good rule of thumb for both washer and dryer is that if clothes seem to agitate as a mass rather than individually, the machine is too full.
- Slightly dampen clean, wrinkled items and place them in the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes. Use the "Press" setting if your machine has one.
- Fold or hang clothes along seams or creases.
- Do not over dry delicate fabrics in an attempt to avoid ironing. It can weaken the fabric and shorten the life of the clothing.
- Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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