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How to Iron Clothes

By Edited May 10, 2015 1 4

Ironing can be one of the most hated of household chores, but if you know the tips and tricks of how to iron clothes properly, it can become less painful. The idea of ironing is to remove the wrinkles from washed clothes, but if you don’t know how to iron, this can turn into a disaster and ruin your favourite garments with burns or stains.  But if you follow the simple tips and tricks on how to iron that are listed below, you will soon find that it will become easier and faster to iron your clothes.

How to Avoid Ironing

For some of us, ironing is just not an option. Ironing is one of the most hated of household chores. It takes too long, or it is just too much hard work, and some of us just don’t want to iron clothes. If you want to try and avoid ironing altogether, but can't afford to pay someone else to do it for you, here are some simple ideas that may help:

  • While you are in the shower, hang up some of your garments in the bathroom. The steam will help de-crease you clothes.
  • Dampen wrinkled clothes slightly and then put them through a cycle in the dryer – this should help de-crease the clothes.
  • If a garment in only wrinkled in a certain area, dampen the area with a cloth and dry it with a hair dryer set to warm.

How to Iron Different Fabrics


With all the different settings and dials found on irons nowadays, who know what setting you should use for which type of garment? In learning how to iron, it is really important that you understand that different types of fabric need to be ironed differently, otherwise you could damage, burn and ruin your favourite clothing item.

  • Acetate should be ironed inside-out while slightly damp, using a cool, dry iron.
  • Acrylic should be dry and ironed inside out.
  • Cotton is best ironed on a high setting when it is slightly damp.
  • Hand-washed woollen garments don’t usually require ironing, but if you decide they do, the garment needs to be turned inside out, the iron meeds to be on a warm setting, and iron the garment under a damp cloth to protect it.
  • Silk is difficult, as it may or may not need to be ironed. If it does, iron it inside out while it is still a little damp. Set the iron to a very low temperature and use an ironing cloth to protect the fabric. 

How to Iron Pants

Here is a step-by step guide on how to iron pants properly:

STEP ONE:  Turn the pants inside out. Then using the wide end of the ironing board, iron the pants waistband, the pocket linings and the seams on both legs.

STEP TWO: Now use the narrow end of the board to iron both the back and front of the trousers below the waistband but above the crotch.

STEP THREE: If the pants have any pleats, use the tip of the iron to negotiate around them.

STEP FOUR: Turn the trousers right side out. Hold them up and line up each leg with their seams before laying them flat along the ironing board with one leg on top of the other.

STEP FIVE:  Fold the top leg back and iron the bottom leg. Use your hand to smooth the pant leg before ironing.

STEP SIX: Turn the pants over and do the same with the other pant leg.

STEP SEVEN: Repeat this process, this time ironing the outside of the pant legs.

STEP EIGHT: Hang the trousers up while they are still warm.

How to Iron Shirts

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to iron shirts properly:

STEP ONE: Start with the underside of the collar. Press the iron along the collar, working from the outside towards the middle of the shirt.

STEP TWO: Turn the collar over repeat the above step.

STEP THREE: Slip one of the shoulders of the shirt over the narrow end of the ironing board and iron half of the yolk. The yolk is the part of the back of the shirt, just above the seam. Move the iron from the shoulder towards the middle of the shirt.

STEP THREE:  Turn the shirt around and slide the other shoulder over the end of the ironing board. Iron the other half of the yolk, repeating the above step.

STEP FOUR: Iron the cuffs, starting with the inside and working you way along.

STEP FIVE:  Iron the sleeves. For each sleeve, take hold of the shirt at the top of the arm, and lay the sleeve flat on the ironing board. Run your hand along the sleeve so that it is smooth and wrinkle free, before ironing from the top of the sleeve to the bottom, creating a crisp, straight crease opposite the seam.

STEP SIX: Using the wide end of the board, iron the front parts of the shirt on the inside, taking care to negotiate around the buttons with the tip of the iron.

STEP SEVEN: Iron the back of the shirt on the inside, starting at the yolk down to the bottom of the shirt.

STEP EIGHT: Iron the collar again.

STEP NINE: Check the shirt for any wrinkles or creases by holding it up. Go over them with the iron before hanging the shirt up. 

Protective Ironing Press Pad

Protective Ironing Scorch-Saving Mesh Pressing Pad 2-Pack #128-2
Amazon Price: $8.99 $4.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 10, 2015)
The Ironing Press Pad will protect you clothes from scorch and shine marks while you iorn. It will also protect you iron from being scratched by zippers and buttons. It is also very easy to clean - simply throw it in the washing machine. The Ironing Press Pad's see through design makes it easy to see the garment you are ironing.

Did you know that ironing has become an extreme sport? Maybe with these tips and tricks on how to iron, your ironing skills will improve enough that you could take on these professional Extreme Ironers.



Jan 31, 2013 8:07pm
I have an iron that has been sitting in my closet for about 3 years. Mom got it for me. I had no idea how to use it until i read your article. Now i can at least attempt it.
Feb 1, 2013 4:25am
Glad it helped you. Thanks for reading.
Feb 10, 2013 7:56am
I never hate washing and ironing of clothes. The only problem is I don't iron properly especially when I am in a hurry to work. The tips yo have provided will help alot.Thanks for sharing..
Feb 12, 2013 5:44pm
Glad they proved useful. Thanks.
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