5 Ways to Keep Your Clothes Wrinkle-Free When Traveling

Tips & Tricks

Nothing ruins a great outfit like wrinkled fabric. You want to look and feel your best — especially during a trip. How do you keep your clothes looking freshly pressed after being packed into your luggage? Whether it’s for a wrinkled shirt on an important business trip or a creased dress during a beach getaway, there are plenty of easy fixes for your wardrobe needs. Check out these five ways to keep your clothes wrinkle-free before traveling on your next trip.

Purchase a Travel Steamer

A great solution to wrinkled fabric is a steamer. Just fill it with water, let it heat up, and steam the wrinkles out of your clothes while they’re hanging. There are plenty of travel steamers out there, but a stand-out option is the Lemontec Portable Travel Garment Steamer. This handy little steamer is lightweight (1.25 pounds) and just six inches tall, making it perfectly compact to pack inside your luggage. Steamers are faster to use and generally safer than irons while traveling since most have an automatic shut-off feature to prevent overheating. The Lemontec Steamer heats up in just 70 seconds and gives you seven to 10 minutes of continuous use with each fill-up ⁠— plenty of time to steam your outfit for the day.

Rolling vs. Folding Your Clothes

Some travelers prefer folding their clothes during packing, while some swear by the rolling method. Which should you use? The answer is both. Folding heavier and more structured clothing items such as dress pants, jeans, sweaters, and dress shirts minimizes wrinkles. These items were designed to be folded. Rolling is a great option for thinner clothing items such as cotton t-shirts and other fabrics that crease easily. Rolling also tends to be more compact than folding and takes up less room in your suitcase. Using travel cubes for smaller items such as socks and undergarments also prevents wrinkling since these items will stay securely rolled inside of the cube.

Try a Wrinkle Release Spray

Despite carefully packing your clothes, you’ll still probably arrive at your destination with a few wrinkles. Try a no-iron, travel-size wrinkle release spray to remedy the issue. The process is simple. Spray the piece of clothing, shake it out, and then flatten it with your hands. Hang the item to dry if necessary. When it’s dry, it’ll be ready to wear. These multi-use sprays also act as a static-cling remover and freshener. For a natural option, try the Real Simple No-Iron Wrinkle Release Treatment, which comes in lavender, citrus, or unscented. Be sure to purchase a travel-size bottle if you need to take it in your carry-on luggage on a plane.

Purchase Wrinkle-Resistant Clothing

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If your clothes still seem to wrinkle no matter what products or methods you use, consider investing in wrinkle-free or wrinkle-resistant clothing. Many brands now carry travel clothing that is already made to resist wrinkles despite being packed into your luggage. A few reliable sites include Travel Smith, Bluff Works, Smartwool, Aviator, and Anatomie. When purchasing clothes for traveling, check the tag for the type or types of fabric. Synthetic fabrics tend to wrinkle less than natural fabrics. Some wrinkle-resistant fabrics include acrylic, nylon, and polyester. A few natural fabrics that wrinkle less than others are cashmere, washable silk, wool, and cotton blends. Try to stay away from linen, rayon, and 100% cotton items while packing for your next trip since they wrinkle easiest.

Get Creative

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For times when you don’t have any wrinkle-reducing products with you, there are still a few options if you’re in a pinch. Try turning the shower on high heat and let the steam do its work on the hanging clothing items in the bathroom. This method works best on thinner fabrics. If you have a hairdryer, lay the item on a flat surface and use the hairdryer on high heat a few inches away from the wrinkles. The heat should help to release the creases. Lastly, a flat iron or hair straightener set on low heat can fix a wrinkled collar or seam. Be sure to clean the iron with a wet cloth beforehand to avoid getting any hair products on the fabric and ruining it.

If all else fails, check and see if your hotel has a laundry room (it might even be free of cost) and put the items in the dryer on high heat if possible. Or, head down the street and find a laundromat where you can pay a few coins to dry your clothes. Being tumbled in the heat can help straighten out the fabric real quick. Just remember to keep an eye on sensitive fabrics to make sure they don't shrink.

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