HOW TO

How to iron without an iron

Don’t own an iron, or forgotten where you’ve put it? Sometimes, it’s good to have a few Girl Guide tips up your sleeve, says Alice Tate 

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Ironing is absolutely *not* my forte and so much of what I wear is influenced by this. If it's crease-happy, I'll leave it on the shop shelf. I'm very rarely seen in blouses, shirts or silks.


Sometimes, however, there's no way of getting round the fact that you need an iron to press a certain item. And there are also times you can find yourself somewhere without one, like in the office or changing room at the gym.

So, how do you find a way of making do? My mother always swore by hanging a dress in the bathroom during a shower and the steam would work its magic, which works sometimes, but not on everything. Just don’t, whatever you do, do as my brother, who learnt the hard way at a Airbnb, using a hot pan to iron and subsequently singed a giant hole in his wife's sari…

SPRAY AND BLOW-DRY

Spray the creasy area with a water bottle, then use a hair drier to dry it, blowing out the creases, too.

USE HAIR STRAIGHTENERS

For finer details like collars, cuffs and hems, use hair straighteners to iron out the kinks. Just don’t leave them on areas too long, as they’ll go yellowy where they start to burn. If you’re worried about the fabric being particularly fragile, pop a tea towel over the top.

THROW IN SOME ICE CUBES

Believe it or not, mere ice cubes can be a secret de-creasing weapon. Put a few ice cubes in with your clothes, set your tumble dryer to the highest temperature setting (assuming your clothes aren’t shrinkable) and the ice cubes will create steam in the drum, which will make clothes crease-free.  Oh, the joys of science.

TRY A WRINKLE-REMOVING SPRAY

They aren’t miracle cures, but wrinkle-removing sprays do go some way to bettering a bad situation. They’re not going to leave your item as crisp as an iron would, but they do seem to help the creases drop. To make your own, add a teaspoon of liquid fabric softener to a cup of water and transfer into a spray bottle. Again, only attempt on clothes you feel are robust enough to take it!

IF ALL ELSE FAILS, THERE’S VINEGAR…

Who doesn’t love a granny’s tip and yet another use for vinegar? Mist creased garments with a solution of one part vinegar, three parts water, let it air dry and you’ve got a crease-free garment. Add a drop of essential oil (lavender, peppermint) into the mixture. Test a hidden area you can’t see first.

@ALICETATE_

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