Depending on your personality, ironing is either a relaxing task or annoying chore. I’m the kind of person who thinks that if you’re going to do something you might as well do it right, so even though I tend to feel like it’s an annoying chore, I’ve taken the time to learn some of the best ironing tips and tricks. Not only has it helped me learn to iron better, but it also helps me get the job done faster, which I’m all for!
First, here are some tips on how to take good care of your iron:
- Only use distilled water in your iron. Tap water has minerals that will clog up your iron and result in some nasty residue being transferred to your clothes. You can purchase distilled water in jugs at your local supermarket or easily make it at home.
- Always empty your iron when you’re finished using it. Even though distilled water is much better for your iron, eventually residue will build up if you leave it sitting in the iron for too long.
- If you find that your iron has build up, while the iron is unplugged, clean the steam ports using a straightened paperclip or similar device. Then fill the iron with equal parts white vinegar and water and plug in the iron. Run the iron on the steam setting for about three minutes. Then use the spray button to force the mixture through the iron’s sprayer. Empty the solution from the iron and rinse the reservoir using distilled water before using.
- Always store your iron dry and in the upright position.
Now that you know how to care of your iron, you need to know what to gather in order to be prepared to iron your clothes:
- Gather anything you might need while your iron is heating such as hangers and spray starch.
- If you have an item that will need spray starch, you can make your own by slowly adding 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 2 cups of water. Stir the mixture until the starch is completely dissolved. Then add your mixture to a spray bottle with a fine mist setting.
- Add a piece of flattened Aluminum Foil to your ironing board. The foil will reflect heat from your iron on to reverse side of your garment, steaming both sides at once.
- Know what settings are appropriate for each item you plan to iron. Most garments have ironing instructions right on their tags.
- Organize the items you plan on ironing from those that require least heat to highest to prevent having to switch settings and waiting for the iron to heat and cool repeatedly.
The final step to ironing like a pro is using good technique.
- Always begin by ironing collars and sleeves first. To properly iron the collar, iron it first laying flat and then folded for a neat stiff look.
- If you’re ironing an item with pleats, add paper clips or bobby pins to the pleats to hold them in place while your iron.
- When ironing especially thick fabric, turn the item inside out and iron the inside fist. Then turn the item right side out and iron the outside.
- If you are ironing an item that can’t have direct heat, make sure you followed my above advice about using some aluminum foil under the garment. Then turn your steam setting on and hold you iron about four inches above the fabric for several seconds at a time. The foil will radiate the moist heat up into your garment and release the wrinkles.
- When you iron an item with heavy embroidery or eyelets, do not iron directly over the embellishments. Place the embellished side of the garment face down on a towel before ironing.
- To iron a tie, start by cutting a piece of cardboard to fit inside of the tie and inserting it. Then cover the tie with cheesecloth and iron lightly with the steam setting.
If you follow these simple steps, you should be ironing like a pro in no time!
Image courtesy of Flickr User It’sGreg