Garment Wrinkle Release Hacks & Tips: Great For Traveling!

With airlines frequently cutting allowances for baggage dimensions and weight (some are worse than others), every little bit of space we can free up in our suitcase counts. Who has the room to pack a steam iron nowadays? We want to wear items that are clean and comfortable, but no one wants to walk around touring in garments that are a sloppy, wrinkled mess.

Here’s a simple DIY recipe you can try (but the commercial product “Downy Wrinkle Releaser” is great too if you want to go the easier route and purchase a ready-made option).

All that you need to pack is a small empty spray bottle along with a small container with a few teaspoons of fabric softener (will fit just right in your make-up pouch in your purse or carry-on).

Next I have a few tips for getting your packed luggage wearable and tidy looking without pulling out a clunky, heavy steam iron.

DIY Spray

1 tsp fabric softener (liquid)
1 cup water (distilled is best)


  • Mix the two ingredients together in a small spray bottle, one that has a fine mist nozzle.

Use as you would with a commercial product, spray generously on clothing then tug and pull item to smooth. Hang or lay flat to dry (overnight).

*Try a small spot first to make sure this solution won’t stain the fabric.

Another Option:

Fill a fine nozzled spray bottle with plain water. Spritz the garment generously then use a hair dryer to blow clothing dry (flatten, straighten clothing item while its drying).

Try The Shower:

Hang garment in the bathroom while you take a shower, the humidity will help pull out the creases. Use a hairdryer to dry smooth if necessary.

Plan Ahead:

If you plan your day’s wardrobe the night before, hang selected pieces on coat hangers then spritz well with water. Hang them to dry on the shower rod in the washroom or they can even be hung in the closet (just keep the door open and pieces far enough apart for good airflow). I find this is all that’s needed for garments to be freshened up and wrinkles banished.

Note: Fiber Content

These techniques work best on poly/cottons or rayon blends. If it’s a 100% cotton clothing item that’s heavily creased, touchups with a hot iron will probably be necessary.

Packing Matters: This is going to solve a big part of the problem…if you pack your clothes properly, they won’t come out in a creased, jumbled mess with impossible creases to deal with. Learn how to fold or roll t-shirts, pants, dress shirts and skirts. There are a lot of terrific videos online that will teach you, I’ve even learned a thing or two!

I personally find the use of packing cubes helpful and I look for ways to be creative with small items such as socks, undergarments and scarves so that they are tucked out of the way rather than cramming in around clothing. For socks: I like rolling them up in pairs and then stuffing them into my shoes. Undergarments and light dress scarves are folded neatly and packed in a single cube. If you pack thoughtfully, your garments won’t be so squished.

I also like bringing extra clothes hangers, the ones that fold up for traveling. Hotels never seem to provide enough. I use these to hang up a couple days worth of garments and this helps keep things neat and tidy.

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    • Kypueblo

    Hey Guys I’ve been doing this for years! As a Real Estate Agent, Oh you better look like you’re walking straight out of the cleaners. Much too expensive for me. This works for my finest suits! I take a wet (not soaking) washcloth and place a dryer sheet with the wrinkled clothing,(I’m sure the spray will work too) shirt suits what ever. In the dryer for about 5 minutes, wrinkles gone and I’m ready to go! Love that fresh smell too!

      • Kathy

      I have tried for a couple of years to find Downy Wrinkle Releaser without luck. They had a close out a couple of years ago so I bought about 12 bottles. Little did I know that I would not be able to find it when I ran out. I made the wrinkle relaxer recipe and it works great. I also added 2 T of isopropyl alcohol to speed the drying time. I can’t think far enough ahead to take the wrinkles out the night before. Who knows what a girl is supposed to wear 🙂

      • Alan

      This stuff is aomswee! I “discovered” it when my Grandmother showed up for a visit and had a full bottle in her luggage. Too bad it doesn’t work on your face, I could use a good wrinkle remover for those crow’s feet.

        • terri miller

        Alan that is funny! I need some for that reason also.LOL

    • GAIL


    • Carol

    What I need is something to keep out the wrinkles WHILE I’m wearing the clothes! Rayon blend slacks – looks great, but after one hour, they look terrible – knee ‘pops’, wrinkles galour and even the butt is bagged out… I understand to never buy another pair of slacks with a rayon blend, but what can I do NOW?

    Thank you for ANY help!

    Holland Michigan

    • Savannah

    will the blueing stain the clothes if you use the fabric softener?

      • Kimber

      I have been making my own for over a year now & I have never had a problem with it staining. I use a 5 to 1 ratio. 5 parts water to 1 part fabric softener ( I use Ultra Downey) I still use the same bottle I bought 2 years ago of bargain wrinkle releaser at Family Dollar.

    • TipNut

    Hi Savannah, the fabric softener is so diluted that I haven’t found any staining at all.

    • ginger

    Great tip! Going to use this now on.
    Thank you so much.

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