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How to Keep Clothes From Wrinkling: Ultimate Guide

Sorry, but wrinkled clothes aren’t trendy. 

It’s interesting to watch the evolution of fashion trends. By 2020, I think we’ve seen it all. Ripped jeans, fishnets under shorts, even elegant boiler suits. But what’s never been in fashion — and probably never will be — are wrinkly clothes.

We’ll teach you how to keep clothes from wrinkling, even after ironing, so that you don’t stand out from the crowd — for the wrong reasons.

Key Takeaways

  • Keep clothes cool, dry, and properly sized to avoid wrinkles while wearing them.
  • Iron slightly damp clothes, use starch, and hang them up immediately to prevent wrinkles after ironing.
  • Roll clothes and pack lightly when traveling to minimize wrinkles in luggage.
  • Hang clothes in a well-spaced closet with wooden or plastic hangers to avoid wrinkles in storage.

What Causes Clothes to Wrinkle?

Heat and water: that’s why clothes keep wrinkling. Heat and water break down the bonds that hold the fabric in place. When the garment cools down, new bonds form, which gives your clothes a new shape (1).

There are, however, some fabrics that are more likely to wrinkle than others. These include:

  • Cotton.
  • Linen.
  • Rayon.

The reason these are more prone to wrinkles is because these are highly absorbent materials. They’re held together by bonds that hold together water molecules (2). So when these materials get wet, the fabric shape is slightly modified. The water then evaporates and new hydrogen bonds lock in creases and wrinkles.

You might notice a few instances in which your clothes keep wrinkling.

1. Washing and Drying

Washing and drying is the main culprit for wrinkling up your clothes. Have you ever taken clothes out the dryer to find them all wrinkly? That’s because the dryer has set the wrinkles and creases into place using heat.

The wrinkles first occurred in the washer, when the water formulated new hydrogen bonds. The heat from the dryer can help zap out wrinkles, but if you leave the clothes in the dryer for too long after the cycle is finished, the wrinkles will set again.

2. After Ironing

You might find your clothes are wrinkled after ironing. The main reason this might be is because you didn’t smooth out the garment before ironing. Therefore, the heat will set in any wrinkles or creases that you created.

Also, ironing completely dry clothes is hard. You should try ironing the clothes while they’re slightly damp to get out the most stubborn wrinkles.

3. In the Closet

It’s not a good start to your day when you take a shirt from your closet to find it’s wrinkled while in there. How does that even happen?

Well, first, you need to make sure you hang up clothes immediately after ironing. If you fold them or put them in a pile on the floor, you can create new wrinkles!

Secondly, your closet might be too crowded. It might be time for a clear-out! The pressure from the other clothes might be creating and setting creases on your garments.

If you put the clothes in there while still warm or slightly damp, they can easily wrinkle again. Always make sure the clothes are completely dry and have space to circulate before leaving them in the closet.

4. While Travelling

Stuffing your clothes into luggage or backpacks is a definite way to create wrinkles in your clothing. Keep clothes from wrinkling while travelling by staying organised.

Clothes wrinkle in suitcases and backpacks because the garments are rubbing and pressing against each other. This creates a bit of heat which can set wrinkles, especially if your clothes are tightly folded and crammed in there.

5. While Wearing Them

Lastly, clothes sometimes wrinkle while you’re wearing them. It’s a very unfortunate event and you might be wondering why that happens. Well, your body creates moisture (through sweat) and heat throughout the day. When you sit down, and crease the clothes, the heat or moisture can cause the wrinkles to set.

Another reason clothes might wrinkle while you wear them is because they weren’t 100% dry when you put them on. Trust us, we’ve all been there when we’re in a rush. But this is something you’ll want to avoid when pioneering your wrinkle-free life.

How to Keep Clothes From Wrinkling

Now that you know why clothes wrinkle, how do you stop them from wrinkling? We’ll share tips for each scenario.

How to Keep Clothes From Wrinkling While Wearing

  • Make sure the clothes are cool and dry before wearing them.
  • Use a little starch on your clothes while ironing for a more crisp finish.
  • Pull your clothes taught when you sit down.
  • Don’t put pressure on your clothes (ie. setting down heavy books or bags against your outfit).
  • Wear the right size of clothing. If it’s too tight, your body will naturally create wrinkles in the fabric.

How to Keep Clothes From Wrinkling After Ironing

  • Use a spray bottle while ironing. Dampening the fabric makes it easier to iron and smooths out the most stubborn wrinkles.
  • Hang the clothes immediately. If you fold them while they’re still hot, you will set a crease where the garment is folded. Hang them on a wooden hanger as soon as possible.
  • Use the right heat setting while ironing. The fabric care label on your clothes will tell you which heat setting to use.
  • Pull the garment tight and taut before ironing so you don’t create new creases.

How to Keep Clothes From Wrinkling When Packing

  • Pack wrinkle resistant clothing. Synthetic materials like silk, polyester and viscose are less likely to wrinkle. They are more water-resistant so hot water doesn’t cause them to change shape as much as cotton and linen.
  • Roll your clothes. If you roll your clothes, you don’t have hard creases. Simply roll your garments from top to bottom and place them side by side in your case.
  • Pack lightly. Your clothes need some breathing space. Plus, too much friction can create and set wrinkles.
  • If you can’t pack lightly, separate your clothing with some tissue paper. This will minimise friction, and therefore, wrinkles.
  • Pack a travel steamer! If you’re on the go, you can’t go wrong with bringing along a travel steamer to quickly eliminate wrinkles and creases in your garments.

How to Keep Clothes From Wrinkling in the Closet

  • Hang the clothes up only when they’re dry and cool. Moisture and heat can cause wrinkles and creases to set.
  • Don’t overstuff your closet. Your clothes need room to breathe, especially if they’re freshly ironed. Too much friction can cause and set wrinkles, so clear out some old or unwanted clothes. Be sure to donate them rather than throw them away.
  • Don’t use wire hangers. We recommend wooden hangers, or plastic if you have them. Wire hangers are thin and lightweight. The weight of your clothes can pull on the wire hanger and create new creases, or cause the material to pucker.
  • Place hangers one or two inches apart. This allows good breathing space. The clothes won’t be touching so they won’t rub against each other and create new wrinkles.

How to Keep Clothes From Wrinkling in the Dryer

  • Take them out of the dryer as soon as the cycle is finished. If you’re lucky, they will be wrinkle-free! Fold or hang the clothes immediately to keep wrinkling away.
  • Don’t overstuff your dryer. Too many clothes in the dryer won’t leave enough room for the clothes to return to their natural shape.
  • Don’t dry one thing at a time. The clothes need to tumble around the dryer. If you only have one shirt in there, for example, it can cling to the drum. This will cause it to dry in a new, weird shape! Add in at least a few garments before turning on your dryer.
  • Use the correct drying cycle for the clothes. Make sure you use high or low heat depending on the fabric. Read the care labels to know which is best for your load of laundry.
  • When you unload the dryer, give each item a snap-shake. Hold it high and sharply shake it to get rid of any wrinkles. Fold it neatly or hang. This will save you lots of ironing time!

Other Tips for Reducing Wrinkles in Clothing

If you’re passionate about wrinkle-free clothing, you’ve come to the right place. We have a few more tips for you!

  • Use the permanent press setting on your dryer. It has a cool-down period at the end so your clothes aren’t finishing their cycle in a super hot state. This gives you a little extra time to retrieve them from the dryer, too, without the wrinkles setting.
  • Iron clothes straight from the washing machine. You can iron clothes while they’re slightly wet. It helps to smooth out all the wrinkles. Air dry outside once you’re done. The gravity will help pull out any extra wrinkles, and it definitely won’t create new ones.
  • Use a de-wrinkling spray. This is great for people who are travelling! These sprays help to relax the clothing fibers. They’re a pretty good ironing alternative.
  • Iron your clothes properly. Did you know there’s a right and wrong way to iron a shirt? Learn how to iron different garments. This will prevent the clothes from wrinkling again while you’re wearing them.
  • Use a starch or sizing for a more crisp, wrinkle-free finish. Starch helps to toughen up clothes so you can rest assured they won’t wrinkle throughout your day.
  • Use the right amount of detergent. Too much detergent can cling to your clothes, making them harder to dry. This can increase wrinkles and creases on your clothes.


Determined to keep clothes from wrinkling? Read on for more tips and answers to your frequently asked questions.

Why Is My Dryer Wrinkling My Clothes?

Sorry to break it to you. But it’s not the dryer — it’s you.

The reason your clothes are coming out of the dryer wrinkled could be down to a few reasons:

  • You left them in there too long.
  • The dryer is too full.
  • The dryer isn’t full enough.
  • You aren’t using the right heat and tumble settings.

Match dryer settings to the care label instructions. If you’re still experiencing problems, get in touch with your tumble dryer manufacturer.

How Do I Stop My Front Load Dryer From Wrinkling Clothes?

If your front loading dryer is giving you wrinkled clothes, try the tips above. There are also a few more things you could do.

First, try using a delicate dryer setting. This will give you a lower spin cycle which might help the issue of wrinkled clothing.

Second, you shouldn’t mix fabric types. Don’t dry your work clothes with your delicate clothes. These clothes require different drying cycles.

Lastly, when you’re washing your clothes, use cold or warm water. Hot water can cause wrinkles. When you put them into the dryer, the heat from the dryer can set these new wrinkles into place!

How to Get Wrinkles out of Clothes in the Dryer?

When used correctly, your tumble dryer can actually remove wrinkles.

  1. Dampen the garment. If it’s already dry, spritz it with some water. You can also toss it into the dryer with another damp garment instead.
  2. Spin it in the dryer for 10 minutes. This will create steam to zap out wrinkles from your clothes.
  3. Remove immediately.

What Kind of Material Does Not Wrinkle?

The kind of material that does not wrinkle includes fabrics with complex weaves, natural wool and synthetics that are more wrinkle-resistant than linens and cotton.

Do Dryer Sheets Prevent Wrinkles?

Dryer sheets do prevent wrinkles when drying your laundry. Look for dryer sheets with softening agents like this Bounce Dryer Sheets with Fabric Softener. It works by relaxing fabrics so that the wrinkles disappear.

What is the Best Homemade Wrinkle Remover?

One of the best homemade wrinkle removers is to add vinegar to water and apply it to the creases. If you want to improve odors, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Crisp Clothes

Everybody wants to look their best. No matter what your style is, wrinkles aren’t trendy at the moment. So follow these tips and tricks for keeping clothes wrinkle-free at all times!

Always remember to take clothes out of the dryer as soon as possible to prevent wrinkles setting. Use starch if you want a mega-crisp finish. And finally, if all else fails, purchase a dewrinkling spray that you can keep with you at all times.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 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!