Smiling woman irons clothes

Ironing made easy: Top techniques for a wrinkle-free wardrobe

Published 16th January 2023
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If you want your wardrobe to look its best, you need to whip out the iron and press those creases away! Ironing can be a tedious task, but with this short guide from OnBuy, you can make it much easier. Here are some tips for ironing clothes like a pro!

Get your clothes ready

Before you can start ironing, you need to gather your clothes together. The best way to do this is to sort them by material, since fabrics need to be ironed at different temperatures. Create separate piles for clothes that need to be ironed at low, medium and high temperatures. Turn inside out any piece of clothing that needs to be ironed on low.

You can find out whether a fabric can be ironed by reading our blog on the subject. Also, only iron clothes that are clean. If you iron dirty clothes the iron's heat might bake the dirt in, causing a permanent stain.

Prep your ironing area

Before you begin ironing, make sure your ironing board is properly prepared. Make sure it’s clean and free of any wrinkles or creases in the ironing board cover. Also, check that the board is level so that your clothes won’t slide off while you’re working on them.

Next, gather all of the ironing accessories you might need for your ironing session. A water spray bottle will be helpful at keeping your clothes damp (more on that later). If you're going to be ironing any delicate fabrics it pays to have a pressing cloth as well. It'll help protect delicate fabrics from scorching and also absorb moisture so that steam doesn’t escape during the process.

Make sure your iron is ready

Irons can take up to 10 minutes to get to the right temperature, and you don't want to iron while they're still heating up: It makes your ironing less efficient and it makes it easier for the iron to get stuck. Each iron is different, so make sure to check the instruction manual before you start.

Start at the low end of the scale first

Start with those that need to be ironed at low temperatures first. This will help prevent any damage from occurring due to high heat settings. Delicate fabrics such as silk, wool or rayon should always be set on the lowest temperature setting.

Spritz with water

When you're ironing, dryness is the enemy, since that's how your iron's soleplate can get snagged and cause scorching. The best way of avoiding it is by making sure everything that touches your iron is slightly damp. It will also allow steam to penetrate deeper into the fabric fibres for better results.

In the case of cotton and polyester clothes, the best way to do that is spritz them a little with water from a spray bottle, since you'll be ironing them directly. For any clothes that you use a pressing cloth for, spray the cloth instead.

Go smooth and steady

The best ironing technique starts with the correct positioning of your clothes. Place the item on an ironing board, ensuring that it's flat and smooth. Start at the top and work your way down, using a slow and steady motion to ensure even heat distribution.

To avoid creasing, always move in one direction, either up or down. When you reach a seam or pleat, press lightly around it before continuing on. Make sure to use light pressure when pressing delicate fabrics such as silk or linen to prevent damage. For larger items like trousers or skirts, start from the waistband and work your way outwards towards the hemline.

To get rid of stubborn wrinkles in thicker fabrics like denim or corduroy, press firmly over them several times until they are gone. Finally, don’t forget to turn your garment inside out before ironing for an extra crisp finish!

How to iron a shirt

Shirts are a little trickier than your average piece of clothing, because they tend to show off creases more. To get professional-looking results when ironing shirts, start by focusing on your cuffs. When ironing a shirt cuff, press down with the heel (back) of the iron instead of the pointed tip - this prevents ripples. Now you can smoothly iron along the rest of the sleeve. Next, you can move onto your collar.

When ironing a collar, lay it down flat then give it a steaming using your iron's power shot feature. This will loosen up the collar's fibres and help you to get a smooth, creaseless finish. You can then stretch out the collar before running over it a couple of times with the iron. Now, fold the collar the collar in half lengthways and press in the centre back with your iron quickly, once. Finally, do the collar up to keep it in place before moving on to the rest of the shirt.

The rest of the shirt is simple, just remember to stretch out the front and rear panels as you go and to iron around and in between the shirt buttons, not over them.

That's everything you need to know to iron clothes quickly and effectively. Follow these tips and your washing basket full of messy clothes will soon be taken care of! Maybe you'd like to upgrade your iron before tackling your next batch? In which case, read through our iron buyer's guide.

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