Ironing is often thought of as a time-consuming (and therefore dreaded) chore, but with a few helpful tricks it can prove to be a quick and enjoyable task. The best approach to have with ironing is to reduce the amount of wrinkles that your clothing accumulates in the first place--this includes taking steps during the wash and dry cycles to eliminate any unnecessary creases. Many people make the mistake of leaving their freshly laundered garments in a heap until they are ready to be ironed, which only adds to the wrinkles and workload for later.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Commercial iron
- Aluminium foil
- Spray bottle
- Spray starch
- Cornstarch (optional)
- Second spray bottle (optional)
Set up your ironing board near your wardrobe so you will be able to easily hang up your newly ironed garments. Place a sheet of aluminium foil underneath the ironing board sleeve to heat both sides of your garments when you press them.
Fill a spray bottle with water and have your spray starch on hand. If you prefer to make your own spray starch, then add 2 tbsp of cornstarch to 2 1/2 cups of water in a separate spray bottle and shake well before each use.
Iron your clothing that requires the lowest heat setting first--for example, delicate and wool items. It's much faster to work your way up then to wait for a hot iron to cool down. Spray any creased areas lightly with water, or use starch for clothing that needs stiffness added to it.
Iron shirts with buttons, embroidery or graphics inside out. The creases will be removed without having to painstakingly manoeuvre around any detailing.
Fold pleated items such as skirts and trousers so they appear as you would wear them when ironed. Press from the waist band down in the direction of the pleat, and iron in sections. Pleats will look crisp without your having to iron every single panel.
Smooth out lined garments by turning them inside out and ironing the lining layer--this will get all of the major kinks out first. Continue by turning the garment right side out and pressing any remaining creases.
Spray jeans and heavy fabrics with water before pressing for faster results. In a rush, jeans only need the legs ironed as wrinkles on the top will disappear as they are worn.
Insert a rolled towel into cuffs and sleeves to provide an arm form. Use the steam function to blast away creases.
Tips and warnings
- Remove clothing from the dryer as soon as the cycle is finished. Hang up all shirts, dresses, trousers and sweaters immediately to reduce any creasing while they cool down. If you can't get to your dryer as soon as the cycle is finished (for example, if you are at work or out) then simply throw a wet hand towel in with the load when you get in, set the dryer for another 10 minutes and hang up the items when the cycle has finished. Your clothing doesn't have to be hung perfectly, but as long as they are somewhat vertical then gravity is already helping you to de-wrinkle your clothes even before you pick up the iron.
- Use wrinkle-release formula dryer sheets to reduce creases.
- Put two tennis balls or eco-friendly dryer balls into the dryer to help de-wrinkle clothing before ironing.
- To remove burnt starch build up from your iron and protect your garments, simply rub the iron with aluminium foil before you heat it.
- Use a steamer rather than an iron to remove wrinkles from your clothing.
- Never leave the iron unattended while it is turned on.
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