How to Iron Without an Ironing Board

Can you iron clothes without an ironing board?

The ironing board might seem like a pretty standard product within most households, but millions of families still don’t have their own. It’s not always an issue that people can’t afford an ironing board. They may find that they don’t have enough space for one in their living rooms. Or, they can’t find anywhere to store an ironing board after use.

The good news? You don’t really need an ironing board to do your ironing well. As long as you have a flat surface and you’re cautious about the way you approach your clothes with your iron, you should be fine. Here’s how you can iron clothes without using an ironing board.

How to Iron Without an Ironing Board in 3 Steps

Step 1: Look for a Flat Surface

The first step is finding the right surface. A flat surface is crucial to successful ironing, as it ensures that you the heat and pressure of your iron to get rid of any wrinkles in your clothing. Even if you’re low on space in your home, you should be able to find some flat surface options to experiment with, such as your kitchen table, kitchen counter, your floor, or even your bed.

Listed below are surfaces that make great ironing board alternatives.


It might not be comfortable for your back and arms, but you can iron clothes on hardwood floors, stone flooring, and even carpets without much of a problem. You may need to put a piece of cardboard or flat surface down on the carpet first.

Kitchen Countertop

The kitchen countertop can be a great space to iron your shirt and other clothes if you’re limited on space. However, you might struggle to iron larger products on the counter if your kitchen isn’t big.


Ironing on your table is a little easier on your back and neck because you won’t have to do as much bending. If you have a tall table, it can feel a lot like using an ironing board.

Washing Machine or Dryer

The top of your washing machine or tumble dryer also offers a flat space where you can iron some clothes. If you’re pressed for space, these options could help you keep your laundry in a compact space.

Bed or Sofa

You can iron your clothes on a flat surface like a bed or a sofa. However, when you’re using soft surfaces, it’s important to make sure that you’re not pressing into the fabric too hard accidentally.

Step 2: Find a Surface Covering

You can use various surface options you can use as an ironing board when you’re limited on space or money. However, don’t rush into using these surfaces without thinking. Simply ironing your clothing directly on top of your bed or a piece of cardboard could cause serious damage and even a fire risk.

You may have noticed that the average ironing board has a covering that helps spread the heat and steam evenly in the garment you’re de-wrinkling. This cotton fabric is heat-resistant, and it helps to predict the material underneath too.

For those times when you’re ironing without an ironing board, you’ll still need the buffer fabric to protect your laundry. The ideal option would be a heat-resistant ironing blanket. You can get an ironing blanket for your laundry room. Just place it on any board or surface to turn it into an ironing board.

Ironing blankets are made to withstand all kinds of heat, and they can work well with your floor, bed, tile, and tables. What’s more, most of these blankets also have a non-slip surface on the back, so it’s easier to keep your ironing steady. Look online for an ironing mat or blanket if you use an alternative ironing surface regularly.

If you can’t afford an ironing blanket yet, or you haven’t found the one you like, you can protect your clothing and belongings with a towel or a wool blanket instead. Although a towel won’t offer the same protection as an ironing blanket, a basic towel, flannel blanket, or wool blanket should offer some heat resistance.

Step 3: Begin Ironing

You’re ready to experiment with how to iron without an ironing board.

Place your ironing blanket or the towel you’re using for protection on the floor or flat surface. Carefully lay the fabrics you want to iron on top of that, then use a low heat setting, start removing wrinkles and creases. It’s best to start with low heat and minimal steam until you find out your alternatives to the ironing board work.

When you’re moving your garment around to get rid of all the creases, you may need to put the iron down from time to time. Ensure that you never place the hot part of the iron face down onto the top of any towel or garment you’re ironing with. Don’t just place the iron beside you if you’re sitting on your bed either, as it’s easy to knock it over.

You can put your irons on top of a flat towel or ironing blanket if you have one. You can also use an oven mitt to protect your surface against excess heat.

Don’t leave your iron against any surface for too long, and pay close attention if you notice any signs of overheating or smoke. Open the door to let any steam out as you iron.

Can I Iron on a Glass Table?

You may need to avoid when you’re ironing your clothes without an ironing board. A glass table offers a fantastic flat surface to work with, but you should never place your hot iron directly on the glass. If your glass table is cool, then sudden exposure to heat could cause it to crack or smash.

It’s worth making sure that you never iron your clothes directly on the fabric of your bed, the wood of your hardwood floor, or the glass of your kitchen counter. You can do this by placing a towel, blanket, or another material between your surface and the clothing you want to iron.

Can You Use Cardboard as an Ironing Board?

Once again, you can use cardboard as an ironing board, as long as it’s placed on a flat surface, and there are no creases in the cardboard that would end up in your garment. It’s also worth using your blanket or towel (we’ll return to this in a second) to avoid any fire risks.

If you use cardboard as a replacement for ironing boards, remember that exposing this material to steam could cause it to sag and lose its structure. This shouldn’t matter if you’re ironing on the floor.

What if You Don’t Have an Iron?

We have discussed how you can iron clothes without an ironing board, but what if you don’t have access to a flat or steam iron either? How do you remove wrinkles and creases from your clothes?

Start by making sure that you take your clothes out of the washing machine or dryer when they’re still slightly damp. Using an airer or a hanger to hang your clothes while they finish drying will encourage gravity to get rid of any wrinkles that might remain on your shirt or dress. However, you might need extra storage space to enable this.

If you don’t have enough room for an airer, try hanging your clothes on hangers in the bathroom. Steam from showers and baths should remove excess creases. Other options include:

Using a wrinkle release spray and leaving your clothes to hang out around the home. This can make your house look a little cluttered, though.

Using your tumble dryer’s ‘closet-ready’ setting. If your house has a dryer with a ‘closet-ready’ setting, you can use this to reduce the number of wrinkles in your clothes. It might also be worth using dryer balls to help get rid of extra wrinkles.

Using a steamer. If your shirt and clothing still look creased out of the dryer, you could think about investing in a handheld steamer. A small steamer is great for getting rid of wrinkles without an iron. Using a steamer is also one of the best ways to remove creases from your clothes.

Always Crisp and Wrinkle-Free

Now that you know how to iron without an ironing board, you can enjoy wearing crease- and wrinkle-free clothes without it. You can get that perfectly crisp and pressed look from your clothes with just about any stable, flat surface in your home. An ironing board alternative is a space-saving solution too.

Do you have hacks to help make ironing clothes fast and easy? Share your best tips below!

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