It seems like a simple thing, right? Just run an iron over some clothes and voila! Well it turns out there are right and wrong ways to iron if you want to preserve your clothes and look good in them. Here are some hints to turn you into an ironing master:
Before you start
Preparation is everything:
- Check the label on your clothing to make sure you set the iron to the correct temperature and whether the fabric can take steam.
- Sort your clothes so you can start with those which need the coolest setting, then work your way through the rest in order, turning up the temperature as necessary.
- If you have a steam iron, fill the reservoir with bottled water and turn the setting to the steam option. If your iron doesn’t have a steam setting, use a spray bottle filled with water.
- Wait for the light on the iron to go off so you know it’s up to temperature.
- While you wait, prepare hangers for the freshly ironed clothes.
Now you’re ready to get stuck in:
- Protect garments with printed or raised patterns on them by ironing them inside out (or cover the print with a clean dishcloth).
- Keep the iron moving so you don’t burn any one spot.
- Do collars, cuffs, sleeves and pockets (iron pockets inside out) first, then move onto the bigger panels.
- Iron large sections from the middle out to the corners.
- Iron shirt shoulders by laying them flat over the narrow end of the board, or curve them around it.
- For pants, align the inside and outside leg seams on the board, and iron them flat.
- Avoid ironing buttons as they may crack – rather iron carefully between them.
- Spray extra water over any stubborn wrinkles.
- As you finish ironing each section, turn it away from you to get to the next section, so you don’t accidentally wrinkle it again.
- Hang your ironed garments up immediately.
- Turn off the iron and allow it to cool completely before packing it away.
- Empty any water left in the reservoir out so you don’t end up with rust on your clothes next time round.
Simple, isn’t it!