I like to wear a suit, and of course, a reasonably formal shirt goes with it. Years ago, this meant ironing the shirts by hand, but these days non-iron shirts are pretty good. However, with non-iron shirts, your ideal scenario is to tumble dry just to get the last non-stubborn creases out. Stubborn creases are more than a problem, and I've noticed one particular kind that I don't have a way of dealing with. This is creases down the length of the arms, caused by the sleeves becoming twisted. The twisting probably occurs in the washing cycle, with the creases bedded in by the spinning.

Is there a way I can put my shirts into the washing machine that will prevent them from twisting?

  • Have you tried pulling the sleeves inside the shirt before washing?
    – apaul
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 22:31
  • If you take a hair straightener or iron to the sleeves they should de-wrinkle.
    – jburton
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 0:53

2 Answers 2


Things I try that I know work:

  • Put them in such a way that they do not wrap around the spinning portion of the washer. This can be done by putting heavier clothing in with it or washing it by itself.

  • Try putting your washer on a gentler setting. This can stop the washer from twisting the clothing.

  • Pulling the sleeves inside the shirt and tying the sleeves in a bow also work.

  • Fold them and tie them with something or put them in a delicates bag. This will stop the clothes from twisting because they will have absolutely no interaction with the washer.

If I am understanding your problem correctly then this comment on fluther.com will help:

From the user Wildflower:

It’s a matter of quality of the fabric – and is often indicated by the price. I think low-cost logo’d shirts are more likely to do this. Some t-shirts are made from stretched or loosely woven/knitted cotton and it may lose it’s shape. Others are made from good quality cotton, but not cut straight (in line with the fibers) and they may ‘warp’ too. The best way to avoid it is to dry them flat so that you can shape them while still wet and let them dry that way.

Some shirts are very prone to wrinkles this being, because the fabric is a gentler fabric. Washing and drying by hand is a good solution. Heavier fabrics cannot twist as easily.

Things that may not be a solution:

My sleeves have not twisted in a long time, I think this may be because:

  • I usually have a very full washer.

  • There is usually something heavy in the washer and dryer with it or it is by itself. Heavy clothing seems to work.

Reddit seemed to have a lot of the same ideas with additional ones.

  • Dryer Balls. Tennis Balls work just as fine, but some people say they damage your dryer.

  • Try shaking them out before putting them in the washer. From experience shirts are more likely to become crinkled if they are left in a ball or not totally unfolded.

  • Don't overload the washer. But I think overloading it can stop the clothing from moving in such a way that twists them.


The solution is in the dryer, not the washer. When putting shirts in the dryer pay attention and stretch the garments out. There is less control in the washer. How they go in the dryer has more significance.

Shirts are either permanent press, or require ironing. Either way, do not remove 100% of the moisture in the dryer. Only remove 70%. If slightly damp, clothes will air dry the rest of the way even if folded. For permanent press clothes, leaving a slight dampness will allow wrinkles to fall out when placed on a hanger, or pressed out if folded and placed with other clothes. If ironing clothes, the dampness will help when ironing.

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