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5 Ways to Iron Without an Iron

Find out how to iron a shirt without an iron or dryer with these clever methods using what you have at home.

By: Editors at AllFreeSewing.com
Updated April 29, 2022
5 Ways to Iron Without an Iron

Need Ways to Iron Without an Iron?

When are wrinkles OK? Be they signaling your ongoing crawl towards death in the form of crow's feet (guilty) or showcasing your lack of care for your appearance in an unpressed blouse (guilty again), they are generally regarded as a negative addition to both body and clothing.

When it comes to actually sewing, the same holds true. Wrinkles are a "no". Trying to maneuver that foot around a curved neckline or matching quilt blocks together becomes impossible when fabric isn't properly pressed. Case and point? Iron your fabric.

But what if, just bear with us for a moment, what if you don't have an iron?

It becomes pretty difficult to iron without the proper tools… like an iron. To help you save face (not your wrinkly face, sorry, use moisturizer for that) when it comes to that next sewing project we're providing alternatives to the iron today.


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How to Iron Without an Iron: Awesome Alternatives

Sewists worldwide need no longer beg the question, "How can I iron without an iron?" with this guide. Don't "wing it" on those quilt squares anymore or "guesstimate" when hemming that skirt when it isn't properly pressed.

When you iron your fabric you have a much greater chance of getting professional, polished pieces. So, check out these imPRESSive methods below.
 

1. Spritz with Water & Hang Up to Dry

This method of ironing without an iron doesn’t even involve heat. Hang up your fabric (mind where it folds over the hanger, a crease will likely be there), and spritz with clean water. You could also simply hang it up immediately after washing (remember to always pre-wash your fabric!).

2. The Damp Towel Method

Thank goodness for the towel. By dampening this beautiful piece of terrycloth and placing it over your fabric in question you can successfully get out those wrinkles. A towel also works as a beautiful alternative to an ironing board (for those of us who live in teeny tiny apartments).
 

How to Iron Without an Iron: Damp Towel Laid on Fabric

3. Steam 'Em!

Use the same method that grandma used to steam her special occasion silk scarves. The next time you shower, close all windows and doors of your bathroom; don't worry, you won't get mold all over your shower liner by doing this sparingly… unless you live in my terrifying apartment that breeds mold colonies.

Hang your fabric up via hanger (again, mind the crease). The steam from your shower will relax wrinkles in that fabric.

If you really hate the environment and want a more comprehensive steam, you can leave the shower on long after finishing your shower. We love the earth though, so maybe don't do this.
 

4. Use Your Straightener

It's not good for your hair anyway, so why not use that hair straightener on something that can take it, like your latest print? Ironing without an iron can be accomplished by using this very different kind of iron.

Just make sure that before you turn on your piping hot straightener you clean off any hair products that could stain your beautiful fabric. The drawback? This method won't effectively work on large pieces of fabric, unless you're a giant and own giant straighteners.
 

How to Iron Without an Iron: Straightener to Iron Fabric

5. Blow Dryer Approach

Dampen your fabric and blow dry it (while it's hung up). Similarly to the shower steaming method, the heat from your blow dryer can ease the harshness of those wrinkles.
 

How to Iron Without an Iron: Blow Drying Wet Fabrics

BONUS! 6. The Good Ole' "Heat Up a Pan and Place it Immediately on Your Fabric" Method

We do not recommend doing this often but it could work if you're in a jam.
 

How to Iron Without an Iron: Hot Pot Set on Wrinkled Fabric

PLUS! How to Iron Without a Board

Don't have an ironing board? No problem! There are a few alternatives. The easiest and quickest option is to lay down two to three towels flat over a flat and hard surface (better if it's heat resistant). Be sure not to linger or leave the iron down for more than a few seconds.

You can also use your sewing skills to make a DIY ironing mat or board. Most of the designs below are portable, which makes it even better if you want to be able to take it with you on vacations or move it around the house. There is even a no-sew option using thrifted materials. Also, if you have burned your hands while ironing before, be sure to make yourself this DIY Ironing Glove.

  1. Funky DIY Ironing Board
  2. No-Sew DIY Ironing Board
  3. One Hour Magnetic DIY Ironing Mat (shown below)
  4. Portable DIY Ironing Mat
  5. DIY Dryer Top Ironing Pad
  6. Ironing Pad Made With a Mylar Emergency Blanket
     

One Hour Magnetic DIY Ironing Mat

Want More?

Sew and Quilt Pressing Tips for Beginners >>

Do you have any ironing tips to share?
Let us know in the comments!

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