12 Ironing Board Alternatives for When Those Wrinkles Must Go
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Ironing clothes can become a cumbersome chore, especially if you don’t have a good ironing board. Thankfully there are ironing board alternatives you can employ.
However, if you don’t want to purchase an ironing board because you’re tight on money or you don’t have space in your home for one, you can still iron your clothes without using an ironing board.
You’ll be quite surprised to know that you can get by without purchasing an ironing board and still accomplish your ironing chores on the many surfaces around in your home.
Right from your dining table, floor, bed, to the bathroom or kitchen counter, there are loads of firm surfaces that you can iron on.
12 Ironing Board Alternatives
The only thing that you must keep in mind is that you must not iron on any surface directly and you must protect it from the heat and steam by using a thick towel, blanket or bed cover.
In this article, we have explored various alternatives to an ironing board, showing you how to iron without an ironing board.
On the Table
If you have a sturdy table at a comfortable height, then this can make a perfect ironing board as it is just like ironing on the floor.
You don’t have to worry about not having space to set up an ironing board and it is very easy for you to iron on.
Simply lay a blanket, cloth protector or towel on the table to create a non-slip surface and start ironing. This will also help to absorb any extra moisture from the iron. You can use a kitchen towel or washcloth to place your iron on.
However, avoid ironing on a glass types of tables because the heat from the iron can break the glass. Wooden tables are also not the best surfaces to iron on.
However, if you don’t have any other option, then make sure that the wooden table is well protected before you iron on it. Using a natural fiber blanket or folded towel can help to prevent any heat or steam damage.
Using a layer of plastic sheeting under the towel or blanket is the best makeshift ironing board because it will prevent the wood from absorbing moisture, which can damage the surface.
You should also be careful when using a table made of veneered wood or one that has thick varnish as these may show marks if the temperature is very hot.
On the Floor
Any floor, whether wood, stone, tiled or carpeted makes a great surface for ironing as long as it is clean, flat and protected well from the heat of the iron. This is the classic choice of anyone trying to iron without a board.
Lay down a thick towel, a blanket or a cloth protector. Place the garment on it and iron it. Take care that the hot iron doesn’t touch the flooring directly because the heat and steam from the iron can damage the floor.
However, the drawback of using the floor to iron on is that if the floor is dirty, then your clothes can become dirty and the stains from the floor can get onto your clothes.
The floor, especially tiled or ceramic floors, can remain warm even after turning off the iron, so you need to be very careful. So even if you think to iron over your shower tile alternatives, be careful not to crack them with too much heat.
Also, if you have kids, you must keep them away from the hot iron or they can get burned. Getting on or off the floor and bending down to iron can be painful, especially if you are older, not flexible or suffer from back problems.
On the Washing Machine or Dryer
The top of your washing machine or dryer is one of the quick, convenient, and effective ironing board alternatives. Simply lay a thick towel on the surface to protect it and get to work.
The top of the washing machine is at the right height for ironing and is easy on your back. You can also purchase a magnetic ironing mat that is designed for the top of your washing machine or dryer specifically.
The magnet holds the mat in place and prevents it from slipping, making this an affordable, convenient and permanent ironing solution. If you have washer and dryer pedestal alternatives in place, this can be nice as they elevate the ironing surface up to a workable height.
On the Countertop
Your bathroom or kitchen countertop can be great ironing surfaces if you don’t have an ironing board. These can handle heat; however, avoid putting heat onto the counter directly and use something like a towel or bed cover to absorb the heat.
While vinyl and laminate countertops are quite durable, moisture and heat resistant, the steam iron’s heat and moisture can cause the counter edges to lift by causing the glue to soften. This same problem goes for all types of laminate flooring if you choose to iron on that surface.
To prevent this, you can use a thick towel that can protect the countertop from heat and steam. Countertops made of granite, marble and stone are very heat resistant and make great surfaces for ironing.
However, it is still a good idea to use a towel or blanket on the countertop when ironing to protect this ironing board substitute from heat damage.
On the Bed
If you want to do some quick ironing or a quick touch up, then you can iron on your bed. Using your bed is very convenient because you don’t need extra space to set up your ironing board.
Also, you can simply pull your clothes out from the cupboard and start ironing without carrying them to and from the laundry room.
However, you must take care that your types of mattresses are protected from the heat and steam from the iron. Just lay a towel, blanket or bed cover on your mattress to protect it before you start ironing.
However, you must be careful when ironing on your bed and be careful not to leave the iron on your bed and stand it up properly or the heat from the iron can scorch your mattress, which can be quite expensive to replace.
Also, using your bed for ironing your clothes, however firm your mattress is, won’t provide the resistance and support required to press out the wrinkles and get sharp creases.
And if your bed is very low, then it may be quite uncomfortable to bend down for a long time and iron all your garments. But still, if you don't linger any bed makes great ironing board alternatives.
Using a Clothes Steamer
If you don’t have an ironing board or hate the hassle of dragging the board out every time your clothes need ironing, then it may be a good idea to invest in a clothes steamer.
Ironing with a clothes steamer is wonderfully simple. All you need to do is hang the clothes on a hanger and run the steamer over the garments to remove the wrinkles.
Since the steamer doesn’t touch the clothes it reduces the chance of burning them accidentally, making it perfect for delicate materials like satin, silk, polyester, jersey, etc.
It also makes it easy to iron clothes that have ruffles or pleats, suit jackets, curtains and pillows and the steam also helps to kill the allergens and bacteria in the fabrics. It also helps to remove any unpleasant odors from the garments.
A steamer is very easy to use and faster too. And, since it is very small, compact and portable, it won’t take a lot of space and you can carry it around wherever you want, even on your travels.
However, the drawbacks of a clothes steamer are that you can’t press the creases to get a crisp line and some colors may run when the steam touches them. So, it's important to test the clothes before steam ironing them. Also, over-steaming may ruin the garment.
On an Ironing Blanket
An ironing blanket or an ironing mat is a creative, space-saving ironing board alternative if you’re tight on space or if you want to iron anywhere, be it while you’re traveling, RVing, camping, in sewing class, etc. you can simply lay it on any surface and turn it into an ironing board.
Ironing blankets are very lightweight, heat resistant and help to protect your surface from heat or moisture damage. They can turn any surface into a makeshift ironing board.
Easy to set up, the ironing blanket can be used with both steam and dry irons and the non-slip base prevents it from slipping.
And, after you’re done ironing, you can simply roll up the ironing blanket into a small bundle and store it in your closet. The blanket is available in different sizes and you can pick one that works best for you.
The drawbacks of using an ironing blanket are that you can’t use them on soft surfaces like your bed because it won’t provide sufficient resistance to get out the wrinkles and creases.
Also, smaller ironing blankets make it quite difficult to iron larger clothes such as curtains, bedcovers, etc. because maneuvering the clothes on the mat can be quite difficult. Still, ironing mats make any surface into great ironing board alternatives.
Using a Flat Iron
You can use your flat iron to remove small wrinkles and creases out of your clothing very quickly. This can be especially handy for smaller areas such as collars, cuffs, around the buttons, etc.
At a lower setting, a flat iron may be ideal for delicate garments and this is an extremely lightweight, portable option that doesn’t need any surface.
However, if the flat iron has hair products on it, it can ruin your clothes and since the heating surface of the flat iron is very small, it may not be suitable for large areas/clothes.
Using a Hair Dryer
As you've likely deduced, what we're seeking if we can't apply a hot item to the clothes on a flat surface is to soak and penetrate the clothing with hot air. Most family households have a hair dryer around.
The heat from the hair dryer can cause the wrinkles to release from the clothing. A little stretching and tugging can help but be careful not to introduce any extra wrinkles in the process.
Don't hold the dryer too close to the clothes and fan it back and forth, otherwise you risk scalding the clothes, especially delicates or white shirts.
Hanging the Clothes in the Bathroom
If you want a cardigan or t-shirt that you need for the night but don’t want to go through the hassle of ironing it, then you can simply hang the garments on a hanger in your bathroom before you shower.
The high temperature and the steam from the shower will help to smooth out the wrinkles from your clothes. Isn’t this a super cool idea?
In the Dryer
If you want to remove the wrinkles from your clothes without using the iron and ironing board, you can simply put the garments into your dryer along with a damp white towel and turn on the dryer for around 10 to 15 minutes.
The steam will help to get all the wrinkles out. Remove the clothes from the dryer and hang them on a hanger immediately without folding them. This is my favorite ironing board substitute and why I didn't own a board for decades. Check to see if your dryer has a dewrinkle cycle setting, too.
Using Wrinkle Remover Spray
This awesome product is great to remove wrinkles from any garment. Just spray the wrinkle remover spray onto the wet garment according to the instructions on the can and allow it to dry for around 10 to 15 minutes and the wrinkles are all gone.
Ironing Board Alternatives for When You're in a Wrinkle
Can you iron without an ironing board? If you don’t have an ironing board or don’t want to purchase one, there’s no cause to worry.
There are loads of surfaces around your home that can make wonderful spaces to iron on. Just use some creativity in finding ironing board alternatives and you can get wrinkle-free garments in a jiffy.