How To Steam Clothes Without A Steamer

Here you’ll learn the step-by-step approach to steam clothes without a steamer. There’s also lots of other helpful info showing you how to remove wrinkles from clothing.

How To Steam Clothes and Your Dress Without a Steamer

how to steam clothes and your dress without a steamer

Even if you don’t have access to a steamer or an iron, you can banish wrinkles with a little outside-the-box thinking. Forgetting your steamer (or not having one) doesn’t have to be a disaster.

1. Using a Shower for Steam

So this one kind of screams “bachelor,” but it works fairly well. Hang your wrinkled garment on a hanger, then hang that on the shower rod.

Point the shower head away from the clothes, then turn it on as hot as you can. Close the bathroom door so that the whole place fills with the shower steam. Check on your clothes after about 10 minutes. Heavier clothes with larger wrinkles may need more time.

Sure, it’s a lot of water (ten minutes can use up to 25 gallons), but sometimes desperate situations call for desperate actions.

2. Use a Boiling Kettle for Steam

This method takes a little creative positioning. Normally, you’d hang your wrinkled skirt up and run your handheld steamer up and down the length of it for de-wrinkle-ification. But when you need to know how to steam clothes without a steamer, a steaming kettle can do the same work.

Once your kettle comes to a boil, the spout of hot steam coming out of it will do the same work as a handheld steamer, but you’ll have to leave the kettle on the stove. If you take it off the stove, the steam will stop pretty quickly.

Hold the wrinkled clothing six to eight inches away from the gout of steam, then move it around, so the steam hits all the wrinkles. Be mindful of the kettle and the stove, though. Don’t burn yourself or your clothes.

3. Facial Steamer Use

If you don’t have a steamer for your clothes but have a facial steamer, you’ve essentially got a fabric steamer, too. Use the facial steamer in the same manner as we did the boiling kettle above, directing steam to the wrinkles.

4. Hair Dryer

If you don’t have a garment steamer, the chances are pretty good that you have a hairdryer. Lay your wrinkled garment out flat, then run the dryer over it, holding the dryer’s nose just a few inches away from the fabric.

Extra-wrinkled wrinkles may need the assistance of you spritzing a few drops of water around them since the hairdryer only provides heat and not steam.

Ironing Clothes or Removing Wrinkles Without an Iron

ironing clothes or removing wrinkles without an iron

Admittedly, more of us have irons than have steamers, but even the most fastidious sometimes find themselves without access to an iron. But we still have options when faced with this crisis—dispatch wrinkles with a bit of creativity.

1. Use a Hair Straightener

When you think about it, a hair straightener is an iron in its own right, so it follows that one would work well as a replacement.

Be sure no residue from hair products remains on the straightener before you start. Run the plates over more minor wrinkles, and you can make quick progress by ironing both sides of the wrinkled clothes simultaneously.

A bonus: if your straightener has adjustable heat settings, lower the temperature, and you can use it on delicate fabrics without worry.

2. Using a Damp Towel

Damp, not soaking wet, first of all. Put your wrinkled clothes in the dryer, add a damp towel, and run the dryer for a few minutes. The heat creates steam, the steam moves to the clothes, and when you pull it out, you’ll not only have warm dress shirts to slip on, but they’ll be wrinkle-free.

3. Spray Vinegar

Vinegar won’t create heat or steam (this isn’t a chemistry experiment), but it does play a role in creating a solution that will relax and remove wrinkles. There are many recipes for wrinkle relaxers out there, but here’s one with vinegar. Combine:

  • 1 cup distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • A few drops of the essential oil of your linking (to mask the vinegar smell)

Combine these, put them in a spray bottle, and you’re ready to go.

Spray your dress shirts with the mixture while pulling the fabric taut. Don’t go crazy with the spray since the wetter you get the shirt, the longer it will take to dry. This method works best when you can let the garment sit for a few hours (maybe overnight). That way, it’s completely dry, and if the essential oils don’t take care of the vinegar smell entirely, your shirt will have time to air out.

Test the mixture out before spraying your whole garment with it. You never know when discoloration might become an issue.

4. Using a Pot as an Iron

This method makes MacGuyver proud. Take a pot (the larger the diameter, the better), fill it with water, and put it on the stove. Once it’s heated up, dump the water, then run the pot over your stubborn wrinkles and watch them disappear because you’ve made a homemade iron.

5. Tuck Them Under Your Mattress

The weight of your mattress can take a stab at getting rid of wrinkles, and it’s pretty self-explanatory. Be sure you lay the clothes flat before setting the mattress down, lest you create different wrinkles.

Some people recommend rolling your garment up tightly before setting it under the mattress, but if you muss the shirt while you roll it, the mattress will cause more problems than it fixes.

6. Wrinkle Release Spray

We touched on this a bit earlier when we mentioned vinegar as it’s a great way to deal with tough stains. Another solution involves a cup of distilled water and a tablespoon of liquid fabric softener. This mixture will relax the fabric to help unwrinkle clothes and smell nice.

Wrinkle Release Products You Can Buy

wrinkle release products you can buy

If you’re not up for the mad scientist gig and mixing chemicals in your home, wrinkle release sprays are available. They all have pros and cons, but some of the best-sellers are wrinkle-release sprays from fabric softener gurus like Bounce and Downy. And since Faultless makes the best spray starch this side of heaven, it follows that their wrinkle releaser is a gem.

How Much Does It Cost To Get a Dress Steamed?

how much does it cost to get a dress steamed?

You may not want your expensive little black dress subjected to your home remedies, and you definitely want your wedding dress handled by professionals. Finding those professionals is step one in learning what professional steaming will cost you.

Your wedding dress, with its presumably delicate fabrics and (hopefully) sentimental value, will need extra care. Plus, a wedding dress will have more material to steam than your average LBD. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 for a wedding dress steaming. Most other dresses will be cheaper— less than $20 in most cases.

Quick Tips To Help Avoid or Minimize Wrinkles in Garments

quick tips to help avoid or minimize wrinkles in garments

The best approach for getting rid of wrinkles is to avoid letting them show up in the first place. To prevent the need for a clothing steamer or an ironing board, vigilance and organization are your friends here:

  • Take your clothes out of the dryer as soon as they’re dry. They’re hot, and if allowed to cool in the dryer, wrinkles will set in.
  • Don’t overfill your washer. Clothes crammed in the washing machine are more likely to get wrinkles that the dryer won’t steam out.
  • Pare your wardrobe. If your closet is too full, your smashed-together clothes are more apt to acquire new wrinkles.
James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »