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Trib Tested: Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus

Tribune-Review
| Sunday, November 9, 2014 9:00 p.m.
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Downy
Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus

The claim: Travelers can give themselves a vacation from ironing and simply spray clothes with Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. Just spray, tug out any visible wrinkles, smooth the fabric, allow your garment to dry and be wrinkle-, static- and odor-free in less than five minutes. Silicones in Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus grip the fabric fibers in garments, so they slide against each other rather than being frozen in a crease. The product can be used as an ironing aid in place of water for a crisp, fresh-smelling look, to freshen clothes or to eliminate static cling. Wrinkle Releaser Plus comes in household-size spray bottles for everyday wrinkles and a handy 3-ounce size for travel.

Cost: $1.99 for 3-ounce travel size, $4.19 for 500-milliliter bottle, $6.99 for 1-liter bottle

Where: Walmart, Target and other grocery and mass retailers

I spritzed Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus onto three garments — a thin sweater, a lightweight cotton scarf and a medium-weight T-shirt. I misted each until the garment was slightly wet, then pulled the fabric taut and held it for a few beats. I saw results immediately, and was pleased.

None looks newly pressed, mind you. But all are much less wrinkled than before, and with little effort. The sweater, in particular, looks presentable enough to wear.

I expect to buy this product and use it when I don’t have time to iron. It should work well on garments that don’t typically need much pressing anyway, such as T-shirts. I do wonder how it works and hope I’m not loosing nanobots into my wardrobe that slowly will progress from de-kinking fibers to conquering the world. Oh, well. At least it will be a world that smells like Downy fabric softener.

— Catherine Artman

L et’s be clear from the start — I hate to iron. So, I was eager to try Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus, and came away pretty happy. It’s a perfect time to use this spray as you pull out sweaters that have been gathering wrinkles all summer. I tried the spray on several weights of material, and it did a pretty good job.

Although spraying water on clothes and tugging and smoothing the material works just about as well, the addition of a light scent in the Downy product helps freshen long-stored clothing. I was a little worried about the scent being too strong, but after the garment dries, there’s only a hint of flowery odor.

One warning: Don’t plan on spraying and running out the door. It takes awhile for the spray to dry, so it’s best used the night before.

— Susan Jones

I like to travel light, taking only a carry-on when I fly, which can play havoc with dress clothes. I tested this product on a return trip from New York City. Before my flight, I wadded up my wool dress trousers, stuffed them into the bottom of my carry-on and didn’t unpack them for two days — so that the wrinkles would be extra-bad.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus did remove the wrinkles, but it took considerably longer than five minutes and required about half the contents of the 3-ounce travel-size bottle. The dark splotches had sufficiently faded from the trousers to wear them — if I had needed to — within about three hours. The “fresh” scent, however, is a lot more intense than summer meadow — and it lingers. A quick glance at the ingredients reveals: “fiber relaxers, water, quality-control agents and perfume” — in other words, water and undisclosed chemicals.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus did what it said it would, but it’s not a product I will use again — because I know how to wield an iron. An iron is quicker and cheaper and doesn’t require me to roll in the residue of who-knows-what chemical stew.

— Donald Gilliland

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