Homemade Wrinkle Release Spray

wrinkle spray

Homemade Wrinkle Release Spray
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Ironing is one of my least favorite chores.  Chances are, if an item comes out of the dryer wrinkled, it has a better chance of getting re-washed than getting ironed.  Most of the hubby’s work clothes are wrinkle-free, so if I get them hung up straight out of the dryer, we’re good to go.  But if I forget and they sit around and get wrinkly…we’re in trouble!

That’s why I’m so excited to share this new Frugal DIY Home recipe for Wrinkle Release Spray.  This one’s a game changer, people.  It can take a shirt from being a wrinkly mess to being wearable, all while my iron stays stashed safely in the closet.  It costs pennies, takes just a few seconds to make, and did a nice job on all the items I tested it on.  (The clothes won’t come out looking starched and pressed, but for most casual or business-casual clothes, it should do the trick.)


  • 1 cup water (bottled or distilled recommended if your tap water has a lot of chlorine or a high mineral content, just to be on the safe side)
  • 1 tsp. liquid fabric softener
  • 1 tsp. rubbing alcohol (optional, helps the spray evaporate quicker)

Dump the ingredients into a spray bottle with a fine mist nozzle.  Give it a shake, and you’re ready to go!

To Use:

  • Spray a clean, wrinkled garment.  Dampen it, but you don’t need to soak it.
  • Tug on the garment or give it a good shake to loosen the wrinkles.
  • You can also lay the garment on a flat surface (like a bed), and do a quick “iron” with your hands.  I found that this worked well on wrinkly shirt sleeves: just spray, smooth from the middle of the sleeve out to the ends with your hands, and the wrinkles go away.
  • Hang the garment to dry, and more wrinkles will disappear as it dries.
  • If you’re in a hurry, you can lightly spray the garment, shake out some of the wrinkles, and toss it into an empty dryer on low to “fluff” out the rest.

Easy peasy, and much better than ironing or re-washing (something I’m embarrassed to admit I do, but one of the reasons I’m thankful for my inexpensive Homemade Laundry Soap!)  As I looked through lots of wrinkle release recipes online, some of them contained more fabric softener, and some had a bunch of vinegar in them.  This recipe worked well for me, without using a ton of the most expensive ingredient, and without leaving you smelling like vinegar all day.


    • Too cheap to calculate :)  I made a double-batch using a 16-oz bottle of water (cost of about 10¢), and about 1/3 of a free sample packet of fabric softener.  Spraying down a decent-sized load of wrinkly laundry (4 pairs of pants and three dress shirts) used just over 2 oz. of the mixture.  So 7-8 garments per 2 oz…60-ish garments for 10¢…yep–super cheap, especially compared to a 16.9 oz. bottle of Downy Wrinkle Releaser regularly priced at $3.99-$4.99.

Home-it Folding Clothes Drying Rack

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Pin this post so you’ll have it handy for later use, and don’t forget to Follow Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring on Pinterest to see all our best tips & tricks, along with the things we love from around the web!


  1. Cara says

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I’d had this on my list to buy for a couple months, but I just hated to spend the money on it. I made this last month, and it works just as well as the stuff I used to buy. I made several batches to fill the 2 empty bottles I had. 15 minutes of my time saved me about $10. Can’t beat that!

  2. Linda says

    I made the wrinkle release the called for vinegar. I had to add lots or water and more softener to lighten up the vinegrar smell. I’ll use this one next time!

    • Megan says

      My husband is super sensitive to vinegar scent–pretty sure we’d have a revolt in the house if I tried that one! This one smells good, and works well! :)

  3. Joyful in NC says

    Does it matter whether you use Downy or any cheapo liquid fabric softener?

    We don’t iron around here. If my family hits me on a good day, I *might* throw the item back in the dryer with a wet washcloth with about a tablespoon of fabric softner on it. But this idea looks easier!

    • Megan says

      I just happened to have the Downy on hand…if you have the cheapo stuff, it’s worth trying! If you’re not satisfied, maybe try the Downy with a good coupon & sale and see if it’s worth it. If you got the more expensive kind just for this, and used it a little at a time, it would last a really long time. :)

  4. Amy says

    Tried it. Worked great! Used it on my bedskirt to avoid having to take the mattress off and all that. Thanks, great idea! :)

  5. Renee says

    As a long time user of downy wrinkle release I can honestly say without a doubt this home made spray works JUST as well – with the added benefit of smelling great! I had ran out of my spray and my shirt was a mess so I googled and found this site. I just put a tsp of downy with the water directly into my empty downy wrinkle release bottle and viola!! It’s great, thanks!

    • Megan says

      Thanks so much for the comment! Glad you found us and we were able to help–welcome to the site! :)

  6. Kendal Lynch says

    I’ve been spraying down my wrinkled items for quite a while with plain tap water, I never iron anymore (yay!) but never thought to put alcohol in it to dry more quickly. I don’t think the fabric softener added would do any better, I’ve had great results without it! (And we rarely use any chemical products). Thanks for the tip!

  7. TrippyCusp93 says

    I also despise ironing, so this recipe will come in handy for me. Thank you so much for sharing, now I can stop neglecting my husband wrinkled shirts! :)

    • Voss says

      I LOVE to iron. It is very relaxing and you look great afterwards!! But I don’t always have time. I have used the boughten spray in the past. That stuff is expensive so found this recipe. It makes total sense! Going to give it a try. Thanks!!!

    • Megan says

      No vinegar needed, Russell–just fabric softener, water, and a little bit of rubbing alcohol if you have it. I need to make up another batch of this! :)

  8. Christine says

    Fabric softeners and their scent give me an allergic breathing reaction.

    Do you think a natural hair conditioner that works for me could be used instead?

    Pros: it has natural ingredients, is white, has a nice smell, and I already own it.

    Thanks for your thoughts and advice.


    • Megan says

      You could certainly give it a try…it just might work! I would suggest testing it out on an older shirt just to make sure it didn’t leave any marks or anything, but if it works, would you let us know? You might also be able to find a sensitive or fragrance-free softener to try. I know my family likes the Free & Clear detergents, so hopefully they have something similar for fabric softeners. Thanks for stopping by!


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