How To Steam Clothes Without a Steamer – 7 Ways To Remove Wrinkles

A notification appears on your phone; the calendar informs you that tomorrow is your first anniversary. You have enough time to get a dinner reservation and buy flowers but don’t have the time to drop your pants off at the dry cleaners to get them pressed. Without a steamer, what can you do?

You can steam clothes without a steamer by running them through a drying cycle in the tumble dryer with a handful of ice. Or you can leave your clothes in the bathroom for 10 minutes while running the shower and faucet on hot. The hot steam will relax the fabric fibers, smoothing them out.

Let’s go through all the best hacks together. I have tried and tested all of these to make sure they work.

How To Steam Clothes Without a Steamer

Here are the seven best ways to steam your clothes without a steamer, and they utilize everyday items we all have, so there’s no excuse for looking like a Shar Pei after a nap. They are also just creative and original enough not to make steaming clothes feel like a tedious chore.

1. Put Your Clothes in the Dryer With Some Ice Cubes

To me, this is the easiest and least “steamy” method to try and I have had great success with it. Toss your clothes in the dryer and throw in a few ice cubes like you’re making the world’s weirdest cocktail. Then set the dryer to high heat and let it do all the hard work for you. 

The ice cubes melting in combination with high temperature will create steam, and your clothes will be toasty and wrinkle-free in just a few minutes. 

2. Blow Out the Wrinkles With a Hairdryer

While you don’t have to get naked for this one, you can if you want to.

Don your outfit or lay it flat on the bed. Splash it with some water – I highly recommend you use a water spray bottle because it gives a uniform light mist. Then dry your outfit using a hair dryer while stretching the outfit with your hands. The fabric will stay as straight as you managed to stretch it.

You can even do this with a hand dryer in a restaurant bathroom if you really have to.

3. Use the Steam From a Hot Shower To Remove Wrinkles

This method requires a little effort but just the tiniest amount. You’ll only need a bathroom with running water and a hanger. If your bathroom doesn’t have running water, steaming your clothes shouldn’t be your first priority. But I digress. 

Hang your clothes on a hanger and leave them in the bathroom. Turn all of your faucets on and the shower head on max, and let the steam build. Give your clothes a pleasant ten-minute sauna, and they’ll be ready for your night out in town. 

You may also shower and not waste the water for a more eco-friendly approach. Plus, smelling nice and fresh is always a bonus.

steamy bathroom can Steam Clothes Without a Steamer

4. Steam Your Clothes With a Facial Steamer

This one might put your girlfriend in a bad mood, but it’ll be worth it once she sees you all handsome and dressed up. Her pricey facial steamer works almost the same way as, well, a clothes steamer. Just point it in the right direction, and watch the wrinkles disappear.  

Then return the steamer to your girl with a bar of nice chocolate as an apology.

5. Use an Electric Kettle as a Clothing Steamer

An electric kettle (or a regular one if one of your British friends has it) also works like a directional steamer. Hang your clothes up and aim! Keep at least an eight-inch distance from the spout since the kettle creates scalding steam, so you could damage your clothes or, more importantly, your hands. 

Bring the water back to a boil if the steam stops coming out. When you finish, maybe eat some instant ramen, so you don’t waste water and electricity.

6. Iron Your Clothes With a Wet Towel on Top

Throw the wet towel over the clothes and iron your troubles away. I know this one seems like a lot of work, but it really works like a charm. 

The dampness in the towel will create a lot of steam, making your clothes much easier to flatten.

Iron steam is one way To Steam Clothes Without a Steamer

7. Straighten Out Wrinkles With a Hair Straightener

This one works great for sleeves and collars, but your sister might pop a vein when she sees the Remington in your hands. 

Just wet the clothes slightly and steam the place up with your sister’s precious hair straightener. Make sure to check the straightener is not full of hair products. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a different beast of a mess.

Don’t Be Shy To Ask for Help

If all else fails and you can’t steam clothes without a steamer – buy a nice take-out dinner and a cake. A lovely bouquet of flowers won’t go amiss, either, and wear your sweats.

All jokes aside some clothing is meant to be steamed – not ironed and it does give superior results. You may need to use your dry cleaners for certain materials such as silk if you don’t have a steamer. Using the professionals can also be needed if you have a stubborn stain such as sharpie or extra muddy clothes. Although check out my articles first to see if you can get these stubborn stains out before going to the next level.


All kidding aside, steaming clothes might seem tedious and unimportant, but you can never be sure when an occasion you might need to clean up nice for might arise. Looking sharp is a must, whether for an important job interview or the dreaded ‘meet-the-parents’ dinner with your significant other.

And although a quality steamer isn’t really a significant investment until you are ready to commit, these hacks can tide you over in a pinch.

Joe Carrow

Reno addict, keen gardener, and baker. I  started blogging in 2012 and have been hooked ever since!

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