Do you need to iron your clothes but don’t have an actual ironing board? No worries! You can still get perfectly smooth clothes without one. This blog post will cover 15 alternative ways to do that, including tips on how to iron without an ironing board or an iron.
So, let‘s discover how to achieve a neat look at home with minimal equipment and effort.
Five Most Popular Ironing Board Alternatives
What can replace an ironing board? You should look for a flat, smooth, firm, and stable surface.
Here are some examples:
You‘re running late for a date, your clothes are wrinkled, and you have nothing to iron them on.
So, how to iron a shirt without an ironing board?
The answer literally lies in front of you! A quick and easy way to iron your clothes without an ironing board is to iron them on the floor. Most floors are ironing-suitable if you place a blanket or clothing as a buffer.
You can do your ironing on hardwood, tile, or concrete floors. The only type of floor you should avoid is vinyl flooring.
Just take the following steps:
- Choose a spot on the floor that‘s near a power outage.
- Clean the floor (remove any debris, and use a detergent suitable for your floor, say, a high-quality hardwood floor cleaner).
- Place a towel or piece of fabric (e.g., an ironing mat, a blanket, a towel, or a cloth) on the floor to protect it from the heat.
- Put the clothing item on top of the fabric.
- Stretch out the fabric.
How to iron a dress or a shirt without an ironing board? You can quickly do so if you have a big enough table.
And it‘s pretty easy!
- Cover the table with an ironing blanket, iron mat, towel, or a piece of fabric.
- Place the shirt or dress on top.
- Iron away!
3. Kitchen Counters
You can also use your kitchen counter as an ironing board, but make sure it‘s clean. Be especially careful not to scorch the countertop (use a suitable, heat-resistant covering).
4. Bathroom Counters
Just like kitchen counters, sturdy bathroom counters can be used as a makeshift ironing board. Plus, most of these have an ironing-comfortable height.
5. A Home Office Desk
You can also use a home office desk for ironing. Many of them are height-adjustable, so you won‘t have to bend uncomfortably to iron your shirts.
A word of caution—remove keyboards, mouses, etc., from your desk before you start.
Alternative Ironing Surface Coverings
Learning how to use an iron without an ironing board also entails learning how to protect alternative ironing surfaces using the right type of covering.
Let‘s take a look at some of the options.
Ironing mats (ironing blankets) offer an easy, space-saving alternative to bulky ironing boards. They can be placed on any flat surface, including a tabletop or even your bed!
Plus, they’re made for ironing, so they‘re perfect ironing board alternatives even for the most wrinkle-prone clothes. An ironing blanket is both heat– and scorch-resistant, meaning it can protect your surfaces from the heat of your iron.
Additionally, ironing mats usually have a reflective surface that helps distribute the heat evenly, meaning fewer wrinkles with less effort! Some even come with magnetic fixing so that they don’t shift around during use.
Heat-resistant parchment paper is an effective and inexpensive alternative to an ironing mat. Parchment paper protects the ironing surface and helps remove wrinkles. What‘s more, it can be used to protect your clothing from the iron‘s heat and prevent color transfer.
A pressing cloth is a thin heat-resistant piece of fabric generally used to protect clothing from heat damage. It‘s usually placed between the iron and the garments, but it can also be used to cover the ironing surface, just like parchment paper.
Damp Towel or Cloth
Damp towels or cloths are an excellent option if you‘re wondering how to iron shirts without an ironing board and without a steam iron. The steam created by the iron‘s heat affecting the towel‘s moisture will help remove all wrinkles and creases from the clothing.
And the procedure is pretty straightforward:
- Wet the towel with water and then wring it out.
- Place the towel under the clothing.
- Press the garments with the iron.
If you don‘t own specialized covers, you can always use a woolen blanket or another piece of clothing to protect your ironing surface. Just make sure it‘s made of is natural, heat-resistant fabric.
Iron Rest Alternatives
If your makeshift ironing board isn‘t large enough to serve as an iron rest too, there are several objects you can use as an alternative:
- A kitchen or bathroom countertop
- The top of your dryer or washing machine
- A non-heated stovetop
- A sturdy chair
- An oven mitt
- A pot holder
- A thick towel
Make sure to set the iron upright on its base at all times. Also, make sure that the object you‘re using as an iron rest is stable enough and won‘t move.
How to Iron Without an Iron
Believe it or not, you can successfully get wrinkles out of your clothes and make them look crisp even if you don‘t have an iron. Conveniently, a plethora of household items can serve as a replacement.
Here‘s what you can do:
1. Use a Steamer
Steamers are an excellent alternative if you‘re wondering how to iron clothes without an ironing board or an iron. They can quickly help you get rid of wrinkles without causing any damage to your clothes. Plus, they‘re easy to use.
This is how to do it:
- Fill the steamer with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Place the garment on a hanger and hang it on the bathroom door or a shower rod.
- Steam the clothing item for two to three minutes.
- Use your hands to smooth out any remaining wrinkles.
- Hang the garment up to dry completely.
2. Use Tea Kettle Steam
A good tea kettle is an excellent alternative for those who don‘t own a steamer.
All you need to do is:
- Boil some water.
- Bring the kettle about one foot away from your clothes.
- Make sure your clothing item is hung straight on a hanger.
- Start steaming.
So, if you wondered how to iron pants without an ironing board or an iron, here‘s your answer.
3. Steam Clothes in the Shower
If you don’t have access to a steamer or a steam cleaner, you can always turn your shower into a makeshift steamer and use it to smoothen up your clothes in two simple steps:
- Hang your garments on a hanger or a clothes rack, and spray them with water.
- Close the bathroom door and turn on the hot water in the shower.
The steam should be enough to help you remove wrinkles from the fabric.
4. Put Your Shirt in a Dryer
This method can save you tons of time. However, the results will depend on the fabric your clothes are made of and whether or not they can be tumble-dried.
Here‘s what you need to do:
- Sprinkle some water on your garments and some more on the wrinkled spots.
- Place them in the dryer and set the drier on the lowest heat setting possible.
5. Blow-Dry Wrinkled Clothes
Here‘s another solution for those wondering how to iron without an ironing board or an iron:
- Hang your clothes on a hanger.
- Use a spray bottle filled with water to dampen the fabric.
- Use a hairdryer on low heat to blow hot air onto the fabric.
- Move the hairdryer around until the wrinkles disappear.
6. Use a Kitchen Pot or a Pan as an Iron
Yes, you can make iron from your cookware!
All you need is a pot or a pan with smooth bottom:
- Boil water in your pot/pan.
- Empty the pot/pan.
- Use its bottom to smoothen out your wrinkled clothes.
7. Use a Hair Straightener
A flat iron is a perfect tool for frequent travelers. Because of its size, it works best for small surfaces like a collar or shirt sleeve.
The procedure is simple—just pass the wrinkled area between the heaters on the flat iron and press until all the wrinkles are gone.
8. Use the Heat From Your Stovetop
Here‘s another idea of how to iron a shirt without an ironing board or an iron. The choice of “tools“ might sound surprising, but don‘t worry—if you‘re careful, your clothes will stay perfectly safe.
This is how to do it:
- Place a folded towel over the stove burner.
- Set the heat to low.
- Place the wrinkled clothing on the towel.
- Wait a few minutes for the wrinkles to smooth out.
9. Use a Garment Rack
A garment rack is an excellent way to air-dry clothes and to remove wrinkles at the same time. Hang the wet clothes on the rack in your laundry room, and let them sit for a day or two. If hung correctly, the wrinkles from your clothes will gradually disappear as the fabric dries.
10. Invest in a Wrinkle-Release Spray
This is a chemical treatment you can try to remove wrinkles from clothes. With inventions like these, one could rightfully ask, “do you really need an ironing board?“
And using a wrinkle-release spray is a breeze:
- Spray the wrinkle-release spray on the wrinkled area.
- Smooth out the fabric with your hands.
Don‘t forget to read the instructions carefully before use.
Wherever you are, looks count! That‘s why you shouldn‘t go around with creases on your clothes. But not everyone can fit an ironing board into their tiny apartment.
So, what to do in these situations? How to iron something without an ironing board or an iron?
Easy! Alternative surfaces and the right tools can be found everywhere around your home. With a bit of creativity, you can have wrinkle-free clothes wherever you are, regardless of whether or not you own an ironing board or an iron.
Can you iron on granite?
Yes, you can, as granite is a solid, resistant material.
However, be careful not to damage the surface. To prevent this, use a low-heat setting on your iron, and don’t forget to move the iron around frequently to avoid excess heat in one place.
Additionally, always use a towel, blanket, etc., to protect the surface.
Can you iron on a bed?
Yes, you can iron on a bed, but it’s not the ideal surface.
You might be able to get away with it if you’re careful, but keep in mind it’s much easier to damage your clothes on a softer surface like this.
Another problem is keeping the area around the iron clean, so there’s a greater risk of ruining your bedding or hurting yourself. So, if you can, iron on a firm surface like a table, desk, or ironing board, not your bed.
Can you iron on a towel?
Absolutely. It‘s even recommended to use a damp towel when ironing on a hard surface like a countertop. The towel will act as a buffer between the heat of the iron and the counter. Plus, the moisture will help you remove any wrinkles more quickly, even with dry ironing.
Can you iron on a plastic table?
Yes, you can iron on a plastic table if you put heat-absorbing clothing, a towel, or an ironing mat on the surface. The plastic table also needs to be smooth without any ridges or bumps, clean, and free of dust and other debris before you start.
Do you really need an ironing board?
Using an ironing board is the most practical way to iron clothes. However, having one isn‘t absolutely indispensable. You can still have wrinkle-free clothes if you use a firm, smooth, and heat-resistant surface to iron your garments on.
Just follow our guide above, and you‘ll see how easy it is to learn how to iron without an ironing board.