Iron How-Tos

You think that ironing your clothes is a no-brainer, even though it's no fun. But did you know there are a few ironing tips that can make laundry day a bit easier? SheKnows talked with Jerry Pozniak of Jeeves of Belgravia to get a few ironing tips as well as his recommendation for great at-home irons.

woman with laundry basketStep 1: Check the label

Before you put that iron on your favorite dress or shirt, check the label to be sure the fabric is iron-safe. There's nothing worse than ending up with an iron-shaped hole in the front of your dress because you used the wrong setting and melted the fabric of your favorite frock! Double check the label before ironing angora, chenille, polyolefrin (commonly used for silky linings), silk and anything overly fake like pleather. Come on, you know you've got a pair of slinky pleather pants in the back of your closet just waiting to see the light of day again!

Step 2: Determine your setting.

Depending on the fabric guidelines, determine the right setting for your iron. If you choose a steam setting, be sure to fill the reservoir with water so your iron makes adequate steam and works well. Some fabrics can withstand a cool or warm iron, while others work best with a high-heat, steam iron session. Again, just check the clothing label to determine the best way to iron. This is also the time to determine whether or not you need to use starch on your garment. Pozniak recommends you avoid over-saturating the garment so the fabric does not damage or burn.

Step 3: Use a spray bottle to mist the fabric.

Pozniak explains that spraying the fabric before ironing relaxes the fabric so wrinkles will come out more easily.

Step 4: Arrange the pressing cloth.

If you are ironing a particularly delicate fabric, you will want to use a pressing cloth – a thin piece of fabric that shields the fabric from direct heat. Pozniak recommends using a thin cotton cloth or piece of paper in between the soleplate of the iron and dark fabric garments to avoid that telltale shine that sometimes occurs.

Step 5: Iron in one direction.

Move your iron in one direction, leading with the pointed end. By not moving backwards against the fabric, you're avoiding encouraging those wrinkles to come right back.

Step 6: Let the garment cool.

Be sure you give your garment adequate time to cool before moving it from the ironing board. This ensures you don't add new wrinkles to the still warm – and impressionable – garment.

Iron buying tips

Consider your laundry load before purchasing an iron. Lower-end, aka cheaper, irons may get the job done for an occasional ironer but those with large families or large laundry loads typically find a little extra investment in an iron to have much appreciated benefits like fast wrinkle release, faster heating and more reliable temperature control. Also consider the way you iron. Pozniak recommends only ironing in one direction, but adds that if you choose an iron like the Panasonic 360° Freestyle which has dual pointed ends, you can actually iron in both directions. The home editors liked that this iron is cordless, which allows you to move it around a bit more freely. This comes in super hand for quilters and other sewers who need to flip the iron around constantly to iron tight seams and small projects.

Video: How to iron a men's shirt

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