24 Golden Tips To Ironing Clothes: A Complete Guide To Before, During & After Ironing

Have you ever wanted a complete guide to ironing clothes? Whether you are a beginner or already practicing house helper, pick up some golden tips from MEIDE Cleaning’s complete guide to ironing clothes here!

Finally, say “no” to stubborn creases while ironing clothes. No more burn marks, or unsightly folds on your fabrics. So, follow these hacks and you will never find yourself struggling with the creases on your shirt again. These tips are sure to help make your skills in ironing clothes smoother (pun intended), faster, and more effective.

Before Ironing

  1. Do Not Overfill the Dryer
  2. Do Not Leave Laundry Unattended
  3. Find A Good Iron
  4. Clean Your Iron Regularly
  5. Invest In Grade-A Iron Board
  6. Get Your Environment Ready
  7. Check If Iron Is Ready
  8. Start From Cooler Temperatures First
  9. Prepare Some Full Cotton Cloths To Protect Delicate Fabric
  10. Consider Using An Aluminum or Tin Foil

Do Not Overfill the Dryer

Do not overfill your dryer to help your ironing
Do not overfill your dryer to help your ironing

Before we even talk about ironing, we must point out a golden tip to shave off massive amounts of unnecessary ironing. So, start by preventing wrinkles in your clothes! One common cause of unnecessary wrinkles in clothes is overfilling your dryer.

You might think it helps save time to stuff as many clothes as you can into a dryer. However, more likely than not, it will only lengthen the time you spend caring for your clothes. In order to allow sufficient space for clothes in a dryer to move around and get dried, a typical dryer should only be operated half full. If you put too many clothings in the dryer, stubborn wrinkles will appear and herein begins your ironing problems!

As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”. Try, in the first place, to prevent wrinkles!

Do Not Leave Laundry Unattended

Secondly, after you have removed your clothes from the dryer or washer, do not leave it sitting in a basket! If your dried or washed laundry regularly resides in a basket waiting to be ironed, wrinkles will worsen. Instead, hang it out and let gravity do its work by straightening out wrinkles for you!

Hence, in order to shorten your ironing time and avoid wrinkles to appear, take a few minutes and shake out your clothing – reshape the clothes, smooth the seams and pleats. Additionally, it would be even better if you could hang it out right away. In the long run, this would make your daily ironing simpler. Once again, do not leave damp laundry, or laundry in general, inside a basket, washer or dryer.

Find A Good Iron

Thirdly, find a good working iron or purchase one with useful functions. Indeed, not all irons are made the same. If your budget allows for it, MEIDE recommends finding a good iron with these capabilities:

  • Steam function
  • Spraying / Spritz function
  • Calibrated temperature adjustments and indicator light(s)
  • Automatic shut off function for safety reasons
  • Cordless capabilities

These benefits are elaborated in the golden tips further in our article below! Read on to find out how to utilize these ironing functions. If you are interested, and have the money to spare, there are finer details to explore here too when buying a new iron!

Clean Your Iron Regularly

Fourthly, cleaning of your iron is critical to making ironing clothes effective and efficient. For example, a dirty iron can leave marks on fabrics, and snag the material off. Thus, try to make it a habit whenever you notice rust, marks, dirt or stickiness on your iron, to remove it. Even with the anti-scale and anti-calcium functions, cleaning your iron regularly is a must!

Additionally, here are two quick tips to clean and maintain your trusty iron.

  1. Use a wet cotton swab to clean out the steam vents. This way, you will get access easily to the smaller holes of the steam vents.
  2. Once you have cleaned the steam vents, use a gentle, moist-to-wet cloth to clean up any dried starch from the ironing plate. These are stuff that may have built up from your previous ironing session.

Now, with a cleaned iron, you can always  iron clothes efficiently and effectively, all with a peace of mind.

Invest In Grade-A Ironing Board

An ironing board is equally important as an iron to get efficient
An ironing board is equally important as an iron to get efficient

As much as you want to up your ironing game, and you place your focus on the iron, do not forget the ironing board! Based on MEIDE’s research, the ironing board plays an equally important role. So, remember to optimize your ironing board too! From the dimensions, size, heights available, waterproof material, to safety levers and protective leg caps, picking the right ironing board does require some effort and consideration. Therefore, we’d say, invest some money in a decent and quality board to protect your clothes.

Once you have successfully picked out and purchased it, ensure your ironing board is set up to the right height and position too, for you to do your ironing. This will save you much backaches and neck pain. You are now well equipped!

Get Your Environment Ready

Next up, get your room environment ready with sufficient lighting to visualize fine creases and lines. Also, if your quantity of clothes to iron is high, ensure the room is not too warm. However, avoid turning on the fan at too high speed as it may cause your fabrics to fly about, hampering your ironing process. Keep the room well ventilated with just minimal breeze. Turn on some music to kill some boredom, or simply enjoy the tranquility! Indeed, setting up your environment is vital towards an optimal ironing experience.

Check If Your Iron Is Ready

All irons, regardless of brand, size, price and type, need to be ready to use before ironing. The best way to do this is to check the instruction manual that comes along with the iron when you bought it. Otherwise, if you have mistakenly lost or discarded it, try searching online based on the brand and model. Remember that the iron needs time to heat up or cool down to the correct temperature setting.

Correct Temperature Of Iron For Different Materials

How hot should your iron be? What temperature should the iron be at for each type of clothing? We provide a summary table here, along with handy tips:

MaterialCelsiusFarenheitTips
Nylon135275Be careful because nylon burns easily. Use a pressing cloth!
Lycra or Spandex135275
Acrylic135275
Acetate143290
Silk148300Do not use a steamer as this can cause water marks and stains. Turn the fabric inside out and use a damp cloth to cover it prior to ironing.
Polyester148300
Wool148300Turn the fabric inside out and use a damp cloth to cover it prior to ironing.
Viscose or Rayon190375Turn the fabric inside out prior to ironing.
Cotton204400If your fabric is dark colored, iron on the opposite side to prevent shine marks.
Triacetate200390
Linen230445Turn the fabric inside out prior to ironing.
Velvet or CashmereDo not iron this material. Instead, use a clothes steamer.
Sequined FabricDo not use an iron because this material can melt. Instead, use a light steamer on the wrong side of the fabric.
Correct Temperature Of Iron For Different Materials

After setting the temperature, be sure to make sure the indicator is ready. In a large number or brands, you will notice the indicator light going off. When it goes off, it means that the iron temperature is achieved. However, some irons may work in an opposite way, so again, the foolproof way is to follow the specific instructional guide (hardcopy or online) for your iron brand and model.

By ensuring that your iron is ready, you will have a safer and more enjoyable ironing process.

Start From Cooler Temperatures First

Before ironing, you should plan out your ironing ‘schedule’ to make it more effective. With a big pile of ironing to do, it’s better to begin with the coolest fabrics, then work up to the heavier fabrics. Begin by ironing delicates, synthetic, and silk products at low temperatures. Then, go for wool, which requires medium temperature. Finally, finish with cotton and linen. By the same logic, if you are unsure about your fabric material and the label is missing, always start from the lowest possible ironing temperature too.

Here is a gentle reminder: in the event that you need to go back to a cooler temperature, ensure you give your iron sufficient time to cool down after adjusting the settings.

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Prepare Some Full Cotton Cloths To Protect Delicate Fabric

A 100% cotton cloth – also known as a pressing cloth – will protect your delicate pieces of clothing! For example, clothes made of wool and lace are some of the most delicate clothes. Moreover, if your clothing contains beads, pleats, accessories, or simply appears delicate, use a pressing cloth. If attempting to iron them (at all), be sure to cover the area to be ironed with a damp cotton cloth first. This will ensure no direct contact with the iron and prevent burn marks and damage. Also, remember to always start from small and inconspicuous regions first.

Ideally, a full cotton white cloth that is slightly damp, but not overly wet, should be used. If in doubt, always use this method to protect your fabrics. In fact, you can also check the fabric labels to determine the type of material and suitability for ironing. You can easily find a pressing cloth at a shop selling fabrics, or a supermarket. In fact, you can also just find a big square piece of muslin or white woven cotton kitchen towel to use as a pressing cloth!

Consider Using An Aluminum or Tin Foil

By the way, try this fun ironing trick by placing a long strip (covering the whole ironing board) of aluminum foil on your ironing board. Make sure the shiny / reflective side is facing up. Then, you can iron your cotton or linen fabrics over the aluminum foil. This will greatly speed up your ironing process because heat is applied from both sides!

However, do ensure the fabrics are able to withstand high heat by referring to our recommended ironing temperature for different materials table above. Avoid doing this to more delicate items.

During Ironing

  1. Circular Motions Ironing – Big No-no
  2. Fabric Thickness Affects Ironing Duration
  3. How To Iron A Shirt
  4. Ironing Pants 101
  5. Ironing Skirts & Dresses
  6. The Steam Feature In Iron Is There For A Reason
  7. Spritz Away To Iron Clothes
  8. Save Scorch Marks With Vinegar

Circular Motions Ironing – Big No-no

Always iron in straight and parallel strokes during ironing clothes
Always iron in straight and parallel strokes during ironing clothes

Generally, the motion of ironing should be done in long and parallel strokes. In addition to our below mentioned tips for ironing each category of clothes, take note not to use circular ironing motions. With circular motions, it can scratch the fabric and can ruin the fit of your clothes. Avoid stretching the fabric and keep the fabric flat. Iron in one direction as much as you can in long linear strokes. It is as easy as that!

Fabric Thickness Affects Ironing Duration

Actually, this ironing tip comes from experienced helpers who frequently do ironing for MEIDE’s clients. The thicker the fabric, the longer you may want to keep the iron on top of the fabric. Alternatively, you may choose to press the iron firmer onto the fabric. However, this technique requires constant tweaking based on individual experience. To be safe, MEIDE recommends that you start with a lighter touch and keep the iron over the fabric for a shorter duration of time. As you get more experienced, you will find the fine balance between both.

How To Iron A Shirt

Ironing shirts, as most housewives testify, is usually one of the toughest arts to master.

If you must remember one tip, it is this: start by ironing the collar.

You should begin ironing shirts, from the collar down. Start from the center of your shirt collar’s underside and work your way to the edge. Then, go back to the center and proceed to the other edge. If the shirt you are ironing has no collar, you got lucky! Go to the next step right away.

Secondly, you will proceed to iron the body and back aspects of the shirt. You can decide to iron the back first, or the front first – it usually does not matter. To begin, drape one side of the shirt’s shoulder over the edge of your ironing board. Then, work the iron from the shoulder to the back or front. Subsequently, repeat on the other side. Remember to repeat these steps for both the front and back aspects of the shirt!

Finally, do not leave out the long sleeves of shirts. Basically, work from the cuff to the shoulder when ironing sleeves. Your shirt should now be ironed crisp and nice!

How To Iron Pants

The key to ironing pants is to iron from the waist to the leg. As most pants have pockets, another tip is to turn them inside out and begin ironing the pockets first.

Here are a quick 4 step guide to iron your pants efficiently and effectively:

  1. First, isolate and tuck out the front and back pockets to iron them. If not, ironing your pants with wrinkled pockets inside may cause more wrinkles instead.
  2. Secondly, smooth out the waistband and top area of the pants by leaving your iron on the area for two to five seconds. Remember to turn on the steam function for added wrinkle-removing effect! Now, tuck the pockets back in.
  3. Thirdly, lay your pants along the longest axis, parallel to the ironing board. Iron from the waist area (top) down to the ankle or lowest region. Do this one pant leg at a time.
  4. Lastly, because most pants have standard folds in the middle of the leg, remember to iron that crease too. Now, you can hang up your pants crisp and fresh for the next date!

Ironing Skirts & Dresses

Skirts and dresses are mostly made of delicate materials. Hence, set the temperature of the iron to the appropriate setting for your fabric type.

To start, drape the skirt over the ironing board. Then iron upwards, moving from the bottom to the waist. Finally if your skirt has multiple designs or sections, iron each section of the skirt individually, in any order.

Follow these 2 major tips too: 

  1. To avoid flattening the design, if you have a skirt that is embroidered with pleats or ruffles – iron the inside of the skirt.
  2. Items such as buttons should be ironed within the proximity, as there are fragile buttons that are vulnerable to damage skirts and dresses. Do not iron over hard objects like buttons.

The Steam Feature In Iron Is There For A Reason

MEIDE recommends fully utilizing the steam function in your iron
MEIDE recommends fully utilizing the steam function in your iron

Now, it’s time to get steamy! Use the steam function of your iron, if you have one. You should boil your fresh water before using it to fill your steam iron water tank. Thereafter, your steam function is ready to be used!

Now, if you have been following the correct technique, but the wrinkles are still there despite you feeling like you have been ironing forever, turn on the steam function. This is because the steam from iron dampens the fabric and loosens what we call “hydrogen bonds”. For ease of reading we shall skip the science behind it. Instead, trust us that the steam function in your iron is there for a useful reason indeed! 

Spritz Away To Iron Clothes

Sometimes, steam still does not give you completely straightened clothing. Or perhaps, you may not have the steam function in your iron. Not to worry. Spritz works as effectively too! That’s right. As cliché as it may sound, spraying does up to 80% of the work to remove the creases from your fabric. The additional moisture helps to smooth out wrinkles with less effort, and leaves the shirts super smooth.

In fact, spraying with just tap water works wonders. For the more adventurous, mix distilled water and vinegar to spritz away during ironing. Certain helpers swear it removes creases even quicker. Furthermore, distilled water and white vinegar has an added benefit to prevent yellow marks. At times, you can spritz away at the collars and underarms areas to prevent sweat stains.

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Save Scorch Marks With Vinegar

So, you went ahead to iron your clothes without reading MEIDE’s golden tips and guide for ironing, thus unfortunately leaving burn and scorch marks on your clothes? Ouch. But hold up. All is not lost. Quickly, attempt a rescue by applying a cotton cloth damp with white vinegar to the scorch mark(s). Gently dab it and avoid rubbing. Then, soak your scorched areas in clean and cold water. By doing so, you may very well save your fabric from some permanent marks! That said, we cannot guarantee results via this method. Remember, it is still better to prevent damage in the first place. So, read on!

After Ironing

  1. Never Leave Your Iron Unattended
  2. Cool Your Iron
  3. Store Your Iron Safely
  4. Use Sunshine or Spray Fragrance On Your Clothes
  5. Decide Between Hanging and Folding
  6. Hang Your Clothes With Sufficient Space

Never Leave Your Iron Unattended 

Sometimes, you may get interrupted during your ironing session. Or, you may decide to take a short break before continuing. Regardless, you should never leave the iron unattended. This is especially so if your household has children. The iron will be very hot and is a huge hazard. In all seriousness, it may cause deep burns, cuts, fires, and even electrocution! Therefore, you have to keep the iron and its apparatus all away from the reach of kids or pets. We cannot emphasize it enough – never leave it unattended.

Cool Your Iron

Finally, once you have finished ironing, reset the setting to the lowest heat to avoid it from getting damaged easily. Plug the switch off and give it around 10 minutes at least,  to cool down, before keeping it back to your storage. As a reminder, do not leave your iron face down on any surface! This may cause fires. Let it cool naturally and gradually with the ambience air. Furthermore, do not keep it while it is still burning hot as it may cause damage to your furniture or surroundings.

Store Your Iron In A Safely and Securely

Done ironing? Now, it is important to store your iron in a safe place. As our babysitters will preach – keep all dangerous items away from kids! Ensure that it is not reachable by children as the iron may be hot or bear sharp edges. Also, make sure that it is not kept in a high place with proper security lest it fall down and lead to bodily injuries.

Use Sunshine or Spray Some Fragrance On Your Clothes

For some, using vinegar or tap water during ironing may leave some odd scents on the clothes. Hence, after ironing, we suggest spraying some of your favorite perfume on your clothes. Do so sparingly and just sufficient to get rid of any pungent smell. Alternatively, get them hot and crisp through natural sunlight too. The sunshine and ambience heat will leave your clothes fresh and nice-smelling. As a bonus, sunlight’s UV rays do have germs-killing effects too!

Decide Between Hanging And Folding Clothes

Hang out your clothes immediately after ironing to prevent creases
Hang out your clothes immediately after ironing to prevent creases

Next, decide which clothes should be hung and which should be folded. Yes, even though hanging all of your clothes may be ideal to avoid wrinkles, you may not have enough space or hangers to keep them all hung. Therefore, differentiate your clothes to decide which is better kept folded or hung. For instance, you can decide to keep your undergarments, skirts and pajamas all folded. Consequently, you will have more space to store the clothes that need to be hung, such as office wear and dresses.

Hang Your Clothes With Sufficient Space

A cramped wardrobe is many girls’ bane, and it ends up crumpling your nicely ironed clothes again! Thus, ensure you have sufficient space in your wardrobe hanging compartment for ironed clothes. Storing your clothes with sufficient space and gaps allows your clothing to retain its form and shape. This prevents clothes from getting too cramped up in one space and causing wrinkles and folds.

All In A Day’s Work

And… that’s it! Ironing clothes has never been taught better with MEIDE.SG golden tips. Head over to our blog for more similar tips that will help with your cleaning. If you would are interested to know more about MEIDE, keep in touch with us at MEIDE social channels too!

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