How to Prevent Wrinkles on Dress Pants

Keep your dress pants wrinkle-free with proper laundering and storage.
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Cramming your favorite dress pants into a drawer or stuffing them in the back of your closet is sure to produce wrinkles, but other mistakes can cause annoying creases, too. While it’s not always possible to completely prevent wrinkles -- certain fabrics like linen and rayon are prone to wrinkling -- there are some things you can do to minimize wrinkling and save yourself the hassle of ironing.

1 Wash Them Right

Preventing wrinkles on your dress pants starts the moment you load them into the washer. Avoid cramming a bunch of clothes in the machine with your dress pants. Instead, make sure there’s plenty of space inside for the clothes to move freely. Check the care label on the dress pants; if it’s safe for the fabric, set the washer to the “Permanent Press” setting, which helps to reduce wrinkles, and use a liquid fabric softener in the wash.

2 Dry With Care

When it’s time to dry the dress pants, if you’re using a machine, don’t overfill it with too many clothes. Cramming a bunch of wet clothes into the dryer will make your pants more likely to wrinkle. After the dry cycle has finished, remove the dress pants right away. Leaving them to sit in the hot dryer packed full with other clothes will likely cause wrinkles to form. If you’re air-drying the pants, smooth them out with your hands before hanging or laying them to dry, and dry them in a well-ventilated area for air to freely circulate.

3 Store Them Properly

After your pants are dry, don’t toss them in the heaping pile of clothes on your bedroom floor or they will surely be wrinkled when you pull them out. Instead, hang up the pants in a closet. Use a clamp hanger to hang the dress pants by the waist, taking care to smooth out any creases, and then hang them in a closet. Don't cram the pants into the closet where they’re smashed against other clothes; space them out so the fabrics aren’t rubbing together. If you’d rather fold your dress pants, do so by folding them along the natural creases to prevent wrinkles from forming and then lay them neatly in a drawer for storage.

4 Fixing Wrinkled Pants

If it’s too late to save your dress pants from wrinkles, you can still smooth them without breaking out the iron. Mist the wrinkled areas of the pants with water and then blow hot air on the wrinkles with a hair dryer, or mix 1 teaspoon of fabric softener with a cup of water and spritz the mixture onto the wrinkles. Use your hand to smooth out the fabric. Hang the pants on a hanger in the bathroom and close the door while a hot shower is running for another quick wrinkle-busting method. The steam will lift the wrinkles.

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.