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10 Tips for Ironing Clothing – Best Methods

December 17, 2023

How often have you run into this situation? You take your freshly cleaned clothes out of the washer just to realize that they’re full of wrinkles.

Why does this happen? The fabric gets twisted during the final spin cycle. Don’t worry, though, because you can de-wrinkle the fabric with the dryer.

But what if the item cannot be tumble-dried? What then?

The answer is to use the hot iron. If anything, it’s the quickest and easiest way to get rid of wrinkles. The last thing that you want to do is to wear a shirt with hard-to-ignore creases, especially if it’s in a professional setting.

What about casual clothes, though? Things like t-shirts—is ironing necessary for those types of garments?

At the end of the day, it depends on your preference. Does the idea of wearing a creased tee bother you? If so, maybe give it a quick iron. Otherwise, you can just wear it as is.

Different Types of Clothes Irons

types of clothing ironsThere are several types of irons and they’re not all the same. For example, some are designed with specific purposes in mind.

The key is to pick the right one, but what should you look for?

Durability, ease of use, size, and features that you might want to use.

Basic Irons

Chances are, you’re familiar with the basic iron—these are the ones with a metal sole plate at the bottom.

They come with a dial on the body, which allows you to control the temperature. While inexpensive, however, they might not have all the features that you need.

For instance, you might not be able to achieve a proper press unless you use a spray bottle. Not to mention that these units tend to be bulky and heavy!

Steam Irons

Steam irons are probably the most common type of iron. They come equipped with a water tank and are capable of producing steam, which helps to create a neater finish—especially with delicate fabrics such as linen or common.

They’re also capable of releasing a burst of steam, which comes in handy when you’re working with stubborn wrinkles. These irons typically also have a retractable cord and an auto shut-off.

Vertical Steam Irons

vertical steam iron tipsVertical steam irons are pretty much exactly what they sound like – they’re steam irons that can be used vertically.

If anything, they’ve become more and more popular over the past few years due to their size and convenience.

With the press of a button, you’re able to reduce wrinkles quickly and easily. They might be a little more expensive than other irons, but the convenience is worth it.

Travel Irons

Travel irons are much smaller than other irons as they’re meant to be portable so that you can take them with you when you’re traveling.

For instance, many of them are foldable and cordless. As far as features go, it depends on the model that you have—some offer steam capabilities while others are more basic.

10 Tips for How to Iron Your Clothes Properly

Want to know how to iron your clothes properly? If so, you’re on the right page! We’ll be sharing with you all the tips that you need to know. By the time you’re done with this post, you’ll be an ironing master!

1. Make Sure Your Ironing Board is Straight

clothes ironing tipsPay attention to your ironing board. Before you start, you want to make sure that the surface is flat and even – this goes for when you’re ironing pants and ironing clothes.

Not only that but you want to make sure that it’s covered with a high-quality ironing board cover. A press cloth is also a good idea.

Remember, even the slightest bump can cause a crease to develop in your clothing. If that happens, you’re back to square one.

2. Start With a Clean Sole Plate

Always check the sole plate before ironing. You never know, there might be stains, which can transfer onto your favorite shirts and tops.

Before ironing your clothes, do a test run on a rag – that way, you’ll be able to tell if the plate is dirty (it might not always be obvious visually). If there’s dirt, consider applying a bit of water/baking soda mixture to the plate; wipe it off afterward with a clean cloth.

3. Use the Correct Heat Settings For Your Garment

It’s super important that you use the right ironing temperature setting when you’re ironing. The last thing that you want to do is to ruin a shirt with too much heat on the ironing plate.

Remember, different fabrics have different needs. For example, some may need to be ironed at a medium temperature while others need to be ironed at low (e.g. cool iron).

Before you start, always check the care tag label – it’ll tell you what heat setting to use for the item.

Assuming that you have a bunch of clothes, it might be a good idea to separate them based on their fabric.

In doing so, you’ll be able to iron them all at once with the proper setting. Here’s a tip—always start with low-temperature items, before increasing it for other garments. In some cases, you might want to protect the item by laying a pressing cloth over it.

Remember to let your iron cool down before putting it away.

4. Cover Your Ironing Board With Aluminum Foil

aluminum foil on ironing boardWant to cut down your ironing time? Then consider lining your ironing board with aluminum foil.

Don’t worry, it won’t melt – it’ll make the job a lot quicker and easier. How it works is that the foil will reflect the heat straight onto the underside of the clothes, almost like a second iron.

For the best results, make sure to put the shiny side up—that will allow for maximum heat reflection.

5. Iron Cotton When It’s Still Damp

You should only iron clothes that are dry, right? Wrong! Well, at least for cotton.

Those types of fabrics should be ironed when it’s still damp – that will help to reduce creases (they can be difficult to get out if the garment is dry). Did you forget to iron your dress pants when they’re dry? No problem, you can just moisten it with a spray bottle.

Ultimately, it’s the steam that will help the creases to fall out.

6. Iron in a Well-Lit Area

You want maximum visibility when you’re ironing so make sure you’re in a well-lit room – that will make things easiest, quicker, and you’ll get better results. Remember, the darker it is, the harder it is to spot creases, especially if you’re working with light-colored items.

So the next time you iron pants, make sure to do it in a well-lit area.

7. Hang Up Your Clothes Immediately After Ironing

how to iron clothesDon’t want your freshly ironed items to develop wrinkles and creases? Then hang them up immediately when you’re finished.

Here’s a tip – keep some coat hangers nearby when you’re in front of the ironing board. That way, you’ll be able to hang up the garments right away after you’re done.

Alternatively, you can fold the items up on a flat surface – that will also help to prevent your clothes from getting wrinkled before you store them away.

8. Never Iron Dirty Clothes

It’s not a good idea to wash a stained shirt without first pre-treating the spot. Well, guess what? The same thing goes for ironing. Put it simply, you never want to iron dirty clothes—that will only “set in” the stain (i.e. it might become permanent). Fortunately, this is easy to avoid; simply make sure that the shirt you’re working with is clean before you start ironing.

9. Iron Inside Out Whenever Possible

The heat from the iron can cause certain fabrics (e.g. dress shirt, shirt collar) to become singed or shiny. As you can imagine, it can be quite noticeable. Luckily, there’s an easy way to prevent this problem—simply turn your garment inside out. That will prevent your item from developing a slight sheen!

10. Remove Creases With Vinegar

Vinegar is a miracle worker when it comes to your clothes. Not only is it a great deodorizer, but it can also be used to get rid of creases and wrinkles.

Simply mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a small spray bottle. Give it a good shake and apply it to the creased areas on your shirt. From there, you just have go over the fabric with your iron. With that, the wrinkles will come straight out.

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Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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