Ironing may look like a simple chore to do at first, but many people still don’t know how to get rid of those stubborn wrinkles from their newly washed clothes. So whether you’re new to ironing or just haven’t got the knack of it till now, here are six tips to get your clothes looking good as new.
Iron with Long Strokes
A common rookie mistake that many people end up doing is ironing their clothes in one particular area. This usually happens when there’s that one crease or wrinkle that just doesn’t get flattened. It can be tempting to wiggle it out of existence, but that can be a terrible idea. You see, irons and garment steamers can actually stretch and even damage the fabric if placed in one small area. The best way to iron out the wrinkles is by using long, straight strokes, gradually getting rid of the crease. It may take a while, but it beats permanently ruining a good shirt or pair of trousers.
Follow the “outside-in” Rule
The best way to iron clothes is by ironing from the sides and working your way towards the center. This is the most efficient way to get rid of creases, as doing so the other way around can result in some difficult wrinkles. For shirts, this means starting from the collar all the way to the buttons. For trousers, start from the bottom all the way to the zipper.
Use the Whole Ironing Board
The ironing board is bigger than you think, and you should definitely take advantage of its size. Even smaller ironing boards can fit the length of most shirts, so be sure to line up your shirt so that as much cloth is placed on the iron as possible. This not only makes it easier to iron the wrinkles out but also prevents you from ironing one particular spot, thereby stretching and ruining the fabric.
Have Some Ironing Spray Handy
For particularly tough wrinkles, you’ll have to rely on some ironing spray. They can help if your fabric’s just a little too stubborn for your iron. Don’t rely on the spray too much, though - ironing spray should be used more as a last resort than an everyday necessity. If you can’t buy or don’t have ironing spray at home, then you can make a homemade alternative with equal parts distilled water and vinegar. Your clothes will smell a bit, but it beats having wrinkled clothing.
Only Iron Clean Clothes
This goes without saying, but clothes should only be ironed after they’re washed. Clothes that have stains on them will end up keeping those stains if they’re heated and ironed. So unless you want that smudge of ketchup on your white tee forever, then give it a wash with some fabric softener first. Stains that are ironed are more or less permanent, so be sure to check for any possible stains before ironing if you have the time.
Don’t Overdo It
Another common mistake that novices do is ironing the clothing a little too much. This may be because they don’t think the ironing was enough or the creases are too difficult to remove. The problem with this is that ironing can and will permanently damage your clothing if done for too long. Ideally, you only iron as long as you really need to. If the wrinkle is too difficult to remove, then try using ironing spray or, if possible, leave it be. Over time, clothes will start to wear out, so you want to minimize this by keeping it in the ironing board for as little time as possible.
To some, ironing clothes can be boring, difficult, or daunting. But with the right ironing techniques and materials, you won’t have to worry about ruining your clothes anytime soon.