One thing’s for sure: ironing isn’t the most enjoyable chore in the world. Not everyone has the patience or time to do it right, so they look for help elsewhere. But relying on a maid service or a dry cleaner to get your professional apparel steamed and ironed can be extremely expensive. Having the means to have other people take care of your clothing is great, but it’s not always realistic. That’s why you should realize that your basic home dryer might be your best asset in the fight to have wrinkle-free clothes—but only if you use it properly.
One uncommon method to have wrinkle-free clothing involves ice cubes and hot air. This may sound elaborate, but it’s actually really simple. The next time you have a wrinkled shirt or pair of pants, toss them into your dryer with a handful of standard ice cubes. Turn up the heat to the hottest setting possible and let your clothes tumble around with the cubes for about five minutes, tops. The heat from the dryer will melt the ice cubes, creating a sealed container of wrinkle-smoothing steam that will almost always solve your problem.
If you don’t have ice cubes handy, you can always spray down your clothes and throw them into the dryer for about five to ten minutes. Remember to take them out, hang them, or wear them immediately after they’re finished tumbling, or the wrinkles will return. A wet (not soaking) cloth or sock thrown in with a wrinkly item will do the same steamy job, but it might also create a layer of unsightly lint, so try the ice cube method when in doubt. Other people recommend tossing in a few damp dryer sheets, which will definitely remove the static electricity from your garments if they don’t get them completely ironed out.
You might be able to avoid the problem of wrinkles entirely by simply not over-drying your clothing. It’s certainly easier to throw your stuff into a dryer and forget about them, but if you need smooth, presentable clothing, you’ll want to intervene before the dryer gets things bone dry. Stop your appliance, remove your still slightly damp clothes, shake them out (smoothing any folds or obvious wrinkles), and let them hang. Invest in thick, quality hangers that won’t create unsightly lines or folds in your clothing. This should eliminate the majority of your problems and cut down your ironing time dramatically.
If all this drying has you down about your electricity bill, invest in a solid clotheshorse or drying rack for items that don’t need to be dried within the hour. If you save your electric dryer for dress shirts and pants that you need to de-wrinkle before heading out, you’ll also save a decent amount of energy with every use (taking out bulky items can reduce your usage by 2–3 kWh per load).
The last thing a busy professional needs during an extra-stressful workweek, in the middle of a round of interviews, or right before an important business trip is a malfunctioning dryer. We rely on our appliances to work reliably when we need them to, but they’re not interested in our schedules and will break down when it’s most inconvenient. Next time you have a dryer dilemma, don’t panic. Simply pick up the phone and call your local appliance repair experts, and we’ll be able wrinkle out all your electrical or mechanical problems and have you looking crisp, clean, and professional once again.