Wrinkly Shirts and Linty Towels
May 27, 2009 1:48 PM   Subscribe

[LaundryFilter] I need help de-wrinkling and de-linting my clothes and towels!

This is kinda two questions in one, but I expect they are related.

a) I have a few shirts that I love, but react as if they were made of paper whenever I wear them. They come out of the dryer fine, but after hanging for a bit, they end up looking like tissue paper (small, fine wrinkles). Ironing has the same effect - looks nice for a matter of minutes, but they seem to spring back to tissue-paper state.

Any tips for ways to keep things less wrinkly (including shirt collars on button-up and polos) and save me some ironing time would be appreciated. Think buying one of those fabric steamer things would help?

b) In a similar manner, I have some towels that always seem to get lint all over me when I dry off. I like the towels, but the lint factor is annoying. I've tried drying them in a drying repeatedly, shaking them out, and a few other things, but it doesn't work. How does one de-lint towels like this?

So yeah. Help me figure out my laundry issues and I'll give you a cookie.
posted by phrakture to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
a) Take them out of the dryer immediately and hang them up. Don't stuff them in your closet, if at all possible. If they still get those little wrinkles, I would assume they are meant to look that way and wear them proudly.

b) Linty towels are an annoyance. Putting them in the dryer over and over won't get rid of the lint; putting them through the washer and then the dryer repeatedly will. Be sure to clean the lint trap in your dryer partway through the drying process, so the free-floating lint has a place to go. (Even the towels which have bamboo fiber in them will stop shedding lint onto your wet self after a few turns through the washer and dryer.)
posted by DrGail at 1:59 PM on May 27, 2009

Don't put towels in with anything that has frayed edges (cutoff jeans, dishrags, etc.).
posted by scratch at 2:04 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't know if you've somehow permanently embedded the wrinkles in the shirts, but you might try drying them in the dryer for only 3-5 minutes on hot, taking them out while still damp, smoothing or shaking out the wrinkles and then hanging them to dry on plastic hangers, with room for air to circulate around them.

Are the shirts all cotton or do they have polyester in them?

Repeated washing and drying as DrGail said should cure the linty towels. And do remember to empty the lint trap in the dryer!
posted by sarajane at 2:10 PM on May 27, 2009

Don't cram too much into any one dryer, as that really causes wrinkles.
posted by Carol Anne at 2:23 PM on May 27, 2009

I wash the towels alone, as they lint-ify my other laundry. I buy pretty cheap all-cotton towels; the really plushy ones seem lintier. Sounds like you have.... Static Cling Try some dryer sheets or fabric softener.
posted by theora55 at 3:11 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

A tip my mom taught me was to not dry the shirts all the way. Take them out of the dryer when still have a teeny bit of dampness to them and hang them up with a little breathing space. The heat and gravity will help in anti-wrinklation.

I don't have any tips for the towels but that would annoy me so much I would just buy different towels.
posted by spec80 at 3:12 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Laundry: The Home Comforts Book of Caring for Clothes and Linens, is an excellent resource for this sort of question.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:12 PM on May 27, 2009

I sound like Betty Freakin' Crocker. Aaaauuuggghhhhhhh. Back in my hippie days, I would never have imagined that I would answer such a question. Maybe "How do I get rid of the patchouli my lover wears before my boyfriend gets home" but not static cling. Times, they do change.
posted by theora55 at 3:13 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Dryer sheets, for the static cling and general lint factor.

Hang your shirts up in the bathroom when you take a shower to get some of the wrinkles out. Do NOT leave them in the dryer, or the wrinkles will set. You could, if all else fails, buy some spray starch. I have never used this myself, so I can't offer you tips on how to apply it, but you can just read the container.

The towels: Wash them several times, but only with each other in the wash load. I have had expensive towels that by right should have been "good" quality leave little towel scraps on everything through repeated washes, and cheap towels that were fine after just one cycle. So, I guess what I am saying is don't buy those kind of towels again.
posted by misha at 3:27 PM on May 27, 2009

those kind of towels? Ew. That kind of towels. Those towels. Carry on.
posted by misha at 3:28 PM on May 27, 2009

Downy makes a fabric relaxer spray called "Wrinkle Releaser". I thought it was a ridiculous idea -- I iron all my own clothes.

It works. Extremely well.

Spray your clothing. Tug on it. Smooth it with your hands. Hang it up. Within moments, wrinkles disappear. It can also be used in conjunction with an iron.
posted by zarq at 3:53 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wrinkle Releaser does work really well. And it continued to work really well after I'd almost run out and refilled the bottle mostly with water. And then after it was all water it still worked.
posted by artychoke at 4:29 PM on May 27, 2009

I was going to say no dryer sheets to solve the linty towels problem. It makes them too soft and fuzzy, and with the water build-up, it makes a gross effect.
posted by messylissa at 5:19 PM on May 27, 2009

I hate ironing. Hang-up shirts in the shower when you want to take a nice, steamy shower. Bye bye wrinkles.
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:56 PM on May 27, 2009

Best answer: It might be that the shirts were treated with some kind of anti-wrinkle glaze or sizing, which has somehow gotten set into wrinkles through the heat of the washer or dryer.

What I would try is this:

If you can, try drying your shirts on a laundry line. Hang them up straight out of the washer with their collars down, with clothespins at the button bands and side seams. The idea is to spread the bottom of the shirt out so it fills with air.

If you haven't got a laundry line, or the weather is bad, try ironing the shirts straight out of the washer. The dampness of the fabric should help the wrinkles.

Also, how hot is your iron? You may be having the problems with the reappearance wrinkles because your iron isn't hot enough. What kind of fibers are these shirts made of? If the fabric is cotton and damp, and you don't leave the iron in one place for too long, you can set the iron to "linen" or "kill" or whatever your high setting is and not scorch the fabric.*

*in my experience. Your iron may vary. Not vaild on petroleum-derived fibers without prior testing.
posted by Lycaste at 7:44 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

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