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How to iron your clothes, quickly and easily

Updated on January 27, 2011

How to iron clothing

Here are some points to remember when ironing your clothes

Ironing clothes is a simple and easy task. There are a few important points to keep in mind when ironing that will help you look your best and avoid damage to your clothing.

The first thing to remember when ironing is to keep the iron moving at all times. Letting the iron rest on your clothes can cause significant damage to your garments. Run the iron across your clothes with smooth, even strokes, watching closely for wrinkles. Using rainwater or distilled water can give your clothes a nicer feeling and helps to prevent mineral build-up in the reservoir. Place some aluminum foil under the cover of the ironing board. This will help retain heat and maintain an even temperature on your clothes while ironing.

You can check to see if the iron is hot enough by spraying a bit of water on the ironing surface, if it sizzles, you're good to go.

Make sure you check your clothing tag before ironing. You'll need to know whether the garment can be ironed and know the proper heat setting. As a general rule, garments made of cotton or linen call for a high heat setting. Mixed cotton garments or wool need a moderate setting and silk or synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester require a low setting.

To do the job thoroughly, it's best to iron both the inside and outside of your clothes. Do the inside (the part that goes against your skin) first. Be sure to stretch your clothing firmly across the ironing board as this helps guard against creating more wrinkles when you iron.

If you're ironing corduroy, you can steam them first to help loosen the wrinkles before ironing.

It's important to hang your clothes up immediately after ironing to prevent more wrinkles from forming. If you're ironing a shirt, button the top and middle buttons to help preserve the correct shape.

How to iron a polo shirt

Cleaning your iron


To get the best use of your iron, you'll need to maintain it correctly according to the standards set out in your owner's manual. Always be sure to turn iron off and allow it to cool completely before cleaning. Vinegar or vinegar and baking soda make a cheap and effective cleaning solution. If you get some buildup in the vents, use a pipe cleaner or cotton swab to remove it. Anything harder that than may scratch the surface of your iron. Clean the reservoir by filling it with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, turn it on and let it steam for 4-5 minutes. Drain the reservior and be sure to repeat the procedure with clean water before using.

One trick for cleaning waxy residue on your iron is to turn it on to the highest heat setting and run the iron across a newspaper several times. Oily substances can be cleaned with a cloth and ammonia.

Ironing supplies and accessories

Choosing an ironing board

The first people to use a rudimentary ironing board were the Vikings in the 9th century! It was made of whalebone and the clothes were ironed with heated rocks. Fortunately, today we have considerably more helpful options.

There are three main types of ironing boards. Most have a rounded point on one end for ironing sleeves or pant legs. The board consists of a metal base, with a foam pad and heat resistant cover. One end has a heat resistant cover on which the iron can be safely rested. Some ironing boards come with small sleeves attached for ironing sleeves or small clothing items.

Portable ironing boards are the most common. They have a stand that folds up so that the board can be carried to the location you desire. You can also set the height of the board as needed.

A table top ironing board comes with short legs and is designed to be placed on a table top. It is popular with students as it is easy to carry and to set up in a confined space.

Wall mounted boards fold out from a wall or closet. They are sturdy and convenient to use in small spaces and can be swivelled to the preferred position.

If you'd like to see a variety of mini ironing boards, wall mounted ironing boards and full sized ironing boards, look at these ironing boards for a good selection at many different price points.

Which Type of Board

Which type of ironing board do you use?

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