A crisp, lightly starched, freshly pressed shirt may not be the centerpiece of a particularly stunning ensemble. But a wrinkled, crumpled, ragged shirt can make an otherwise dapper outfit look like a paint-plastered pair of overalls. With most clothes, ironing makes a world of difference.
But ironing also comes with, well, a labor requirement. There are no auto-irons, and that’s probably for the best. But there is an easy way to enjoy the same crisp results with a fraction of the effort and no iron at all. All you need is some wrinkled clothes, a dryer, and some ice cubes. We bet you didn’t know these mind-blowing facts about doing laundry, either.
Take a few articles of clothing—preferably of the lighter variety (dress-shirt or t-shirts)—and four or five ice cubes. Toss them in your dryer. (This can be done with a pair of pants and a shirt, but don’t go overboard with the heavier clothing and do not load the dryer to capacity.) Close it shut and crank it to the highest heat setting. Now, let the dryer run its course for about ten to 15 minutes. “This works as a great alternative to ironing a shirt, as the ice cube creates a steam within the dryer that helps remove the wrinkles from the clothing,” explains Susan Harris, the owner of Rooted Mama Health.
How does this work? Well, the blasting heat will melt the ice cubes and then evaporate the water, turning your dryer into a steamer—and your wrinkled shirt into something that resembles one fresh from the cleaners. Just be sure to brush up on these ways not to ruin your clothes in the laundry first.
While this is a handy tip, there are a few little details that allow it to work as well as possible, Harris points out. “This works best if you are only attempting to remove wrinkles from one or two pieces of clothing,” she warns. “If the dryer is too full, then it won’t work very well.” So it’s not so much a method to de-wrinkle your entire wardrobe at once, but more of a special treatment for a favorite garment you absolutely want to be wrinkle-free.
If the article of clothing is extremely wrinkled, Harris offers another slight variation on this tip. “You can also use a damp hand towel instead of ice cubes to allow there to be even more steam,” she suggests. Either way, you avoid the ironing chore! Once you give this a try, dive into these other cleaning hacks that professional house cleaners use themselves.