So there you are, doing hand-washing in a hotel basin or bath, and hanging things up to dry. Most of us don’t insist on ironed underwear, but what about our shirts, particularly if we have an important meeting the next day?
Sure, if time allowed, you could spend heavily on hotel laundry services, but that’s not always an option when on the road, with frequent hotel changes. And, equally sure, you could ask for an ironing board and iron to be sent up, but who really wants to spend an extra 30 minutes at the end of a long day ironing a shirt or two? Not me – not on the road, and, in truth, not much at home either!
Some people address this challenge by packing traveling irons or steamers, and other people are careful to choose ‘wrinkle free’ clothing; of course ‘wrinkle free’ is itself a relative term – probably meaning ‘it doesn’t wrinkle as much as other things, but it sure isn’t starchy smooth’.
Now we have a new option. Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus – a new and improved version of an earlier product. You simply spray this liquid onto the garment in question, then tug/smooth the fabric, and, as if by magic, the wrinkles disappear. Give it 5 – 10 minutes to dry, and you’re done.
There are special silicone based substances in the liquid that act as non-greasy lubricants at the fiber level in the garment, allowing the fibers to smoothly move and flow, and align with each other rather than getting ‘stuck’ in wrinkle patterns.
It also has a pleasantly neutral ‘fresh’ smell to it. The spray also reduces the propensity of some fabrics to accumulate static, making them less likely to be clingy and hopefully reducing the nasty sparking one sometimes suffers with some clothing combinations.
I’ve always been a bit skeptical about such products, but decided to give it a try, because if it does work as promised, it would be a very helpful thing. So I washed and wrinkled up a shirt, and then followed the simple instructions – spray on to a general level of dampness, and smooth. Here’s a fun YouTube video showing the concept.
The spray worked very well and much as depicted in the video. The shirt did not end up starchy smooth, but the wrinkles generally disappeared. I’ve tried to capture some before and after shots, both close up and looking at the shirt (back) more generally. Here is a close up of the before and after, probably too close up, because you see the individual threads magnified, but at least it shows you there’s no trickery involved.
If this is something you think you might benefit from, the good news is that it is available in travel sized, TSA compliant, 3 ounce spray bottles, as well as larger bulk bottles too. The tiny spray bottles take up little space and little weight in any type of traveling bag, and have now become part of my essential travel kit.
A three ounce bottle can be found at most Targets for about $1.50, and a 33.8 ounce (ie one liter) bottle costs about $6.50. If you can’t find the product in a Target or other local store, you can simply click to Amazon, where the prices are a bit higher (you didn’t really think that a $1.50 item could withstand ‘free shipping’, did you!?) but still very moderate and fair for the convenience involved.
I got a couple of the small 3 oz bottles, because I just know I’m going to be lending this to someone and probably not getting it back again! They are designed to be refillable, so I also got a large one liter bottle, which has enough for 11 refills (and some spillage) too.