If you really care about being well-dressed, you must learn how to iron your own shirts.
That process requires both the heat of the iron and the weight of its soleplate (the underside). Soon after, the shirt returns to its original form.
Although some say this can also be achieved through steaming (which takes less effort) the truth is there’s nothing better than the crisp pressing that only a hot iron will provide.
Ironing Your Shirt: Pro Tips
1. Forget the dryer – iron your shirts while they’re moist. Take them out of the washer right after washing. This allows your shirt to get a crisp finish (while avoiding the wear and tear that a dryer might inflict).
2. Iron your shirts in batches. The set-up process almost takes as much time as ironing one shirt. So by ironing all your shirts at once, you’ll save time versus ironing each one on separate days.
3. Check for stains BEFORE ironing. Ironing a dirty shirt can cause any stains or discolorment to settle permanently on the fabric. Even a drop of coffee or a ring around the collar should NOT exist when you’re using a hot iron.
4. For “stubborn” wrinkles – spray water to dampen the affected area. Then go ahead with ironing out the crease.
5. Place aluminum foil under the ironing board cover. This will help speed up ironing time.
6. For dark-colored fabrics – always iron inside out. This is to prevent fabric sheen (or shiny iron marks) from popping out.
7. Unsure about ironing a garment? Use a steamer instead. It’s less likely to damage your clothing. Consider using a pressing cloth (a thin cotton handkerchief that blocks direct contact between the iron and the fabric) as well.
8. Starch can be used in SMALL amounts. Starch is useful in keeping your shirt crisp for a short while – which is great if you have a morning presentation to dress up nicely for. But starch may also break down cotton fibers more quickly (and damage your iron over time). So apply only a little bit of starch on the collar and cuffs.
9. Learn how to take care of your iron. It’s necessary to clean your iron from time to time to keep it functional. You can ask for an iron cleaning kit at your local hardware store. Or try running a damp cloth over the iron (when it hasn’t recently been used) to take off any residue. Then rub a beeswax candle over the soleplate and rub off any excess with a rag.
And that’s it! You’ve just learned how to iron shirts effectively, safely, and quickly. I do suggest you print this out and stick it somewhere near your ironing station.
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