How to Iron Without an Ironing Board

No ironing board? No problem! 

Need to iron your clothes but don’t have an ironing board? Not a problem! While an ironing board is best, it’s not entirely necessary. Perhaps your board is broken, a board isn’t in your budget right now, or you simply don’t have space.

We can teach you how to iron without an ironing board. It’s time to say hello to crisp, wrinkle-free clothes once again.

How to Iron Without an Ironing Board

We get it. You want crisp, neat clothes — but you don’t want (or can’t have) an ironing board. There are still ways to achieve your best-dressed self!

1. Choose a Surface

You will need a sturdy, flat surface that somewhat resembles an ironing board. Options for a surface include:

  • A floor: Hardwood floors and ceramic floors are good places to do your ironing. Protect the surface with a towel though. Also, make sure the floor is clean.
  • A table: Protect your table with a thick towel before ironing. Once that’s done, you have a really solid surface to do your ironing. Plus, they are a good height for most people.
  • A bed: You can use your bed for ironing. You won’t get the most crisp finish, since your bed is probably quite soft. But it’s convenient, and there’s no risk of damaging your wooden furniture. Just be careful you don’t leave your iron on the bedding for too long, as this might scorch the material.
  • Washing machine: Finally, you can use the top of your washing machine to iron. This keeps everything conveniently contained in the laundry room. You can lay a towel down, but the metal can help reflect heat. This will speed up your ironing time! Just be careful as the metal of the machine can retain heat which can be a hazard.

2. Choose a Covering

We mentioned putting down a towel to protect your chosen surface. Let’s look at that option, and a few others:

  • Ironing blanket: If the reason you don’t own an ironing board is because of storage, then you should invest in an ironing blanket. These are slim pads which allow you to iron on any surface without damaging it. They’re available in many sizes so you can find one that suits your home.
  • Magnetic ironing mat: These are ideal if you’re ironing on a metal surface, like your washing machine. They will stick to the surface and won’t move around. You can easily use them on the floor, bed or kitchen table, too, though. They just won’t stick unless the surface is magnetic.
  • A towel: And finally, the trusted towel trick! Lay down a thick white towel to protect your surfaces. We say white so that there’s no risk of color transfer when using a high ironing heat. If you don’t have a thick towel, layer two or three regular towels.

3. Choose an Iron Rest

We can’t forget about an iron rest. You need somewhere to place your hot iron while you are rearranging garments. There are two great options:

  • A kitchen potholder: Have a kitchen potholder nearby to put down your hot iron. These are designed to retain heat so it will protect your surface.
  • An oven mitt: You can also use an oven mitt. Lay it flat nearby and rest your hot iron on there between clothes!

Once you’ve chosen your surface, covering and iron rest — iron as normal.

How to Iron Without an Iron and Ironing Board

If you don’t have an ironing board or an iron — can you still get wrinkle-free clothes? Absolutely. We’ll share some amazing tips to help you get good results without these household tools.

1. Use a Clothes Steamer

Woman steaming coat with a steamer

A clothes steamer is a good alternative to an iron. It won’t get you the same crisp results but we recommend them for people who are low on storage or do a lot of traveling. There’s a huge range of steamers on the market. Big ones, small ones, handheld ones, standing ones. They’ll get rid of wrinkles in just a few minutes and they’re easy to use!

2. Use a Hair Flat Iron

Your straighteners can get out wrinkles from your clothes. This is a wonder tool for small wrinkles and hard to reach areas, like the collar of a shirt. If your flat iron has temperature settings, even better! You also don’t need a flat surface. Just make sure the surface of the flat iron is clean before using it on your clothes.

3. Toss Clothes in Dryer

Woman washing soiled laundry

You can get out wrinkles from your clothes with a dryer. This saves you time since you can multitask while the dryer is doing its thing! Just spritz the garment slightly or put it in with another damp item. Dry on a medium heat for five or ten minutes. Take it out immediately and hang until it’s completely dry.

4. Hang Clothes in the Bathroom

Young girl hanging clean laundry

Hang the garments on a clothes hanger in the bathroom and let the shower steam pull out any wrinkles or creases. It helps if the shower is super hot and the doors and windows are closed. This can take between 10 and 20 minutes.

5. Try a Wrinkle Release Spray

Man spraying a wrinkle remover on a business suit

If you’re on the go a lot, or wanting to try something a little bit different, check out a wrinkle release spray. These handy sprays relax the fibers of your clothes to help encourage wrinkle removal. Spray, pull the garment smooth and taut, and hang to dry completely before wearing.

Get Experimental

While an iron and ironing board is best, there are certainly ways to iron without both! In fact, you might find these easier and less time-consuming. Just keep experimenting until you find the method that works best for your clothes.

Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!