Blue suitcase with folded clothes

How to Keep Clothes Wrinkle Free When Packing

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One of the biggest issues that travelers face is keeping their clothes wrinkle-free. This is especially challenging if you’re traveling with checked baggage. Your bags are subjected to being tossed, tumbled, and shoved – you only need to look outside of your plane window while waiting to take off, as baggage handlers are busily loading luggage into the plane’s cargo hold.

In this post, we’ve collected our favorite strategies, tips, and tricks to keep your clothes as wrinkle-free as possible.

Choose the Right Suitcase

It’s essential to select a suitcase that is the right size for the amount of clothing you need to pack. A smaller suitcase will cramp your clothes and cause them to wrinkle, while a larger suitcase will leave your clothes free to move around and crease.

Also, choose a hard-shell suitcase as this can prevent your clothes from being crushed. A suitcase with interior compression straps is a useful feature that can keep the contents of your suitcase in place.

Choose the Right Fabrics

The type of fabric your clothes are made from plays a significant role in how prone they are to wrinkling. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are less likely to wrinkle, while natural fibers like cotton and linen are more susceptible. If you’re packing clothes made from cotton or linen, consider investing in wrinkle-resistant versions of these fabrics.

Also, you can opt for blended fabrics that combine the benefits of synthetic and natural fibers. A blend of cotton and polyester or wool and nylon will be less prone to wrinkles.

I’m a recent convert to polyester clothing, specifically sportswear. You couldn’t wrinkle this type of clothing if you tried. It’s not appropriate for all types of travel, but for trips to tropical climates, it’s perfect. It’s lightweight, moisture-absorbent, no odor after wearing it for a day, and very resistant to wrinkling!

Hot Tip: Pack your delicate and wrinkle-prone clothing in your carry-on bag. This will limit the amount of movement that they’re subjected to, reducing the chance of them being wrinkled significantly.

Fold Your Clothes Carefully

The way you fold your clothes can make a big difference in how they look when you unpack them. Avoid cramming your clothes into your suitcase haphazardly. Instead, take the time to fold them properly. Use a folding board or a flat surface to create crisp folds. If you’re not sure how to fold a particular item, look for online tutorials or videos for guidance.

How to Pack Clothes to Minimize Wrinkles – Travel Channel

Use Tissue Paper or Plastic Bags

Tissue paper or plastic bags can help prevent wrinkles by adding a barrier between your clothes. Place a sheet of tissue paper between each layer of clothing or between items that are prone to wrinkling.

Alternatively, you can use plastic bags to separate your clothes. This will help prevent friction between garments and reduce the chance of wrinkling.

Roll Your Clothes

Rolling your clothes is a great way to reduce wrinkles, save space, and make packing more efficient. Rolling also helps prevent creases and fold lines, making it an excellent option for delicate fabrics.

To roll your clothes, lay them flat on a surface and smooth out any wrinkles or folds. Start rolling from the bottom, tucking in any loose fabric as you go. You can also fold the sleeves in or out, depending on the garment. Once you’ve rolled your clothes, place them in your suitcase, leaving enough space between each item to prevent them from getting squished.

Invest In Packing Cubes

Packing cubes can help keep your clothes organized and reduce the chance of wrinkling. These small, zippered pouches are designed to fit into a suitcase and can be used to separate different types of clothing.

For example, you can use one cube for shirts, another for pants, and a third for undergarments. When you arrive at your destination, you can simply remove the cubes from your suitcase and place them in drawers or on shelves.

Use Garment Bags

Garment bags are an excellent option for keeping delicate or expensive clothing items wrinkle-free. They’re designed to hold clothing on hangers, preventing them from getting squished or creased. Garment bags are also great for separating clothes in your suitcase and keeping them organized.

When using a garment bag, make sure to hang your clothes inside, so they don’t get bunched up. If you don’t have enough space for a full-sized garment bag, you can also use a foldable garment bag or a travel-friendly one.

Pack Strategically

Packing strategically is essential for preventing wrinkles. When packing, start with heavier items like shoes and toiletries at the bottom of your suitcase. Then, layer in your rolled or folded clothes, leaving enough space between each item.

Try to pack your clothes in order of thickness, with thicker items like jackets and sweaters on the bottom and lighter items like t-shirts and underwear on top. This will help distribute the weight of your suitcase and prevent your clothes from getting squished.

Try to avoid overpacking your suitcase, as this can cause your clothes to become wrinkled and creased.

Pack Shoes Separately

Shoes can use up a lot of space in your suitcase and can also leave scuff marks on your clothes. It’s best to pack your shoes separately in a shoe bag or wrapped in a plastic bag. This will protect your shoes and your clothes.

I always clean my shoes before traveling with them. Despite all the precautions that you take, there is still a chance that they can come into contact with your clothes.

Unpack Your Clothes Upon Arrival

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, unpack your clothes as soon as possible. Hanging clothes in the closet or laying them flat on a surface will help remove any wrinkles that may have formed during travel.

Hot Tip: If you don’t have access to a closet or flat surface, hang your clothes in the bathroom while you take a shower. The steam will help to remove any wrinkles.

Invest in Wrinkle Release Spray

Wrinkle release sprays are a great way to quickly remove wrinkles from your clothes without having to iron them. Simply spray the solution onto your clothes and let them hang for a few minutes.

The spray helps relax the fibers in the fabric, making it easier to smooth out any wrinkles. There are many travel-sized wrinkle release sprays available, which can be a great addition to your travel kit.

Use a Steamer or Iron

If you do end up with wrinkled clothes, there’s no need to panic. You can easily remove wrinkles by using a steamer or iron. Most hotels offer irons and ironing boards, but if you’re traveling to a remote location, it’s a good idea to pack a travel-sized steamer or iron.

To use a steamer, hang your clothes on a hanger and run the steamer over the fabric, starting at the top and working your way down. For ironing, turn your garment inside out and iron on a low heat setting. If you’re not sure about the heat level, test a small area first.

Final Thoughts

There are several things that you can do to reduce the chance of your clothes becoming wrinkled when traveling:

  • Use a hard-sided and appropriately sized suitcase.
  • Pack synthetic wrinkle-resistant fabrics such as polyester and nylon.
  • Roll your clothes and store them in packing cubes.
  • Unpack and hang your clothes as soon as you arrive at your destination.

However, sometimes wrinkles are unavoidable. Thankfully, most hotel rooms include an iron and board to touch up any pieces of clothing.

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Hands Off My Suitcase
Hands Off My Suitcase
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