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Make Ironing Less of a Chore With These Tips

iron resting on an ironing board next to some laundry
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Ironing is another one of those household chores, like washing dishes and doing laundry, that never gets done. You iron that jacket, and as soon as you wear it once, it needs ironing again.

You can take the sting out of ironing by knowing how to do it more efficiently, and making sure you’re storing your ironed clothing in a way that keeps it from wrinkling again.

Get the Right Supplies

Ironing takes more than an iron and an ironing board—You need the right iron and ironing board. The right products can really make a difference in how well chores go.

How to Pick the Right Iron

When it comes to irons, you can go for something cheap and affordable, but you might not get the best function from that $20 option. A $100 iron may seem expensive, but it’s probably a better-built machine that will help you get the job done with more ease. Look for something in the $50 or higher range.

Not interested in spending a ton of time researching different irons? It’s tough to go wrong with the Rowenta DW5080—it’s one of the most popular irons (and the most reviewed) on Amazon for a reason.

Get a Good Ironing Board

There are tabletop ironing boards, free-standing ironing boards, and even ironing mat. None of them are particularly expensive, but if you can spare the physical space, you can’t go wrong with a full-size ironing board.

Larger ironing boards give you more space to get the job done. You can iron faster since you don’t have to shift things around a bunch. Tabletop ironing boards may not be as sturdy as free-standing. Even with a free-standing ironing board, you want to make sure it stands firm and doesn’t wobble when you’re trying to get the job done. Of course, if you’re in a small apartment, you may need to go with a slender or tabletop choice.

An ironing mat is a pretty convenient option. It’s a magnetic mat that sits across the top of your dryer and rolls back up for easy storage when not in use. It makes a great replacement for a tabletop ironing board—assuming you don’t have your washer and dryer in a closet, stacked on top of each other, or raised on storage risers.

Use the Right Techniques

a woman ironing clothes in a sunny living room

If your only concern with ironing is to put the iron on the clothing and move it around, you’re doing it wrong. The right techniques make all the difference. You also need to get used to a wrinkle here and there—Creating perfectly ironed clothing isn’t always a reality.

Dampen Clothing Before You Iron

You don’t want to pull clothing right from the spin cycle, but you can pull items that tend to need ironing out of the dryer before they’re completely dry. This saves you from having to spray them down before getting to the task.

If you don’t mind the little bit of extra work, keep a spray bottle with some water near your ironing space—be sure to fill your spray bottle with the same distilled water you use in your iron. Wrinkles are easier to remove when clothing isn’t bone dry.

Use the Right Settings

If there’s no settings guide on your iron, check the instruction manual that came with it. Settings go by the fabric that makes up your clothing item. By using proper settings, you’ll find it easier to get the wrinkles out, and you’ll be less likely to burn your clothing.

If you no longer have the user guide, start at the lowest setting and then gradually move the temp up until you find what works.

Learn How to Iron by Garment

There are all sorts of tricks out there for ironing different types of clothing. Youtube is full of videos with step-by-step guides. Here’s an overview of some techniques that will help make ironing less annoying.

  • Pants: If you want a front crease in your dress slacks, fold them where you want the crease before laying them on the ironing board. If you don’t want any creases, slide the leg over the nose of your ironing board before using the iron—This helps keep from wrinkling the opposite side of the leg.
  • Skirt: Ironing a skirt that is a flat style is as easy as lying the garment flat on the ironing board and doing the job. However, if your skirt has pleats, you’ll want to give each pleat attention—Straintening the pleat and hooking it with a paperclip to ensure it stays in plays while you iron.
  • Dress Shirt: Always make sure you open up the front of the dress shirt before ironing. If you iron a shirt with the buttons hooked, you’ll iron-in button-shaped creases on the back of the shirt. If you like a stiff collar, be sure to invest in some spray-on starch.

Iron Often

One of the biggest time-saving tips when it comes to ironing is to iron often. If you let your ironing work pile up, you’ll have a much bigger chore to deal with. Not only will you spend hours ironing, but you’ll also probably find the clothing items have even more wrinkles to deal with than they did when you noticed the wrinkles in the first place.

Consider ironing clothing the moment you take it out of the dryer. Don’t wait until you need to wear it. Sometimes clothing gets wrinkled in drawers or the closet. Find ways to fold your garments to reduce wrinkles, and make sure there is ample space in your closet to keep clothing from getting crammed together.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »
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