Brow Beat

How to Get Your Clothes Wrinkle-Free Without Ironing

Had enough? There’s a better way.


Another holiday cocktail party season draws nigh. It’s that dreaded time of year when I am expected to don presentable attire several evenings per week. I predict much last-minute scrambling for shirts not crazed with wrinkles.

I’ve previously made clear my distaste for ironing, which I assume you share. I maintain a constant lookout for alternatives. Sadly, purchasing brand new clothes for each soiree has proven far too pricey, and timely dry cleaning, in addition to considerable expense, requires more forethought than I’m capable of. 

But I think I may have finally smoothed over this problem. At the risk of sounding like a native ad, I feel bound, as Slate’s chief anti-ironing correspondent, to inform you that Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus is a small miracle in a spray-bottle. Spritz it on as you leave your house and by the time you reach the sidewalk you’re furrow-free. No puckers, no rumples, no joke.

After using the product and being astonished, I reached out to Jenifir Proveteare of Nehemiah Manufacturing Co., the Cincinnati-based firm that produces Wrinkle Releaser Plus in cooperation with Procter & Gamble. The secret, Proveteare said, is proprietary, silicon-based polymers. They soak into clothing fibers and make them slippery, like the surface of a non-stick pan, allowing them to relax and slide easily past each other. The result is a vast field of serene, untroubled cloth.

I don’t mean to be a shill for Downy, so I hasten to add that folks online suggest a cheap, homemade alternative: Mix regular fabric softener with water and pour it into some sort of generic mister. Does the same thing, the message-boarders say. Given that I’m too lazy to iron, you will not be surprised to learn that I’m also too lazy for even the most basic DIY alchemy. But if you’re looking to save some bucks off the brand-name product, you might try that approach.

Either way, I urge you to throw down your irons (but watch your toes) and pick up your atomizers. You have nothing to lose but your creases.