Best Ironing Tips 

By  Enda McLarnon

It is a fact of life that most of the world do not enjoy ironing. To help with that we have put together some great and handy ironing tips, that you may find very useful indeed. We have included some general ironing tips, and also some that are more specific for certain types of garments like shirts and trousers. We trust that you will find them useful.

Ironing can turn a pile of wrinkled clothes into smart neat clothes that we wear every day. More than that, it contributes to the longevity of your garments, ensuring they withstand the test of time. From selecting the right iron to mastering advanced techniques, join us on a journey to achieve perfection with these invaluable insights. Let's transform the mundane task of ironing into a satisfying and efficient ritual, ensuring your wardrobe consistently exudes a crisp and well-maintained allure.

Tip 1 - Which Type of Iron Should You Use?

The Steam Iron

Most people will be familiar with the normal steam iron. That is the most basic type and on it you will have some steam to help with wrinkles and creases. There should also be a variable temperature setting, that allows you to change the temperature, depending on which material you are ironing.

Remember though that the iron’s temperature takes a little time to change when you alter the setting. You know it has changed when the indicator light comes back on. When lowering the heat setting, wait for the light to come on and then go off before ironing your clothes. You can read about steam irons by clicking here.

steam ironing tip 1

Different fabrics require different ironing temperatures and settings. Doing that prevents damage or scorching of delicate fabrics while effectively smoothing out tougher materials. Other things to consider are, constant steam outputs, steam shots, non-stick soleplates, the weight of the iron, water tank capacity, cord length etc.

Tip 2 - Understanding Fabric Care Labels

Always check fabric care labels before ironing to avoid damage and ensure proper care. Pay special attention to symbols indicating specific care instructions such as dry cleaning, hand washing, or avoiding certain ironing temperatures.

Look for additional recommendations related to fabric-specific considerations, ensuring that you address any unique requirements outlined on the care label.

Familiarise yourself with internationally recognised fabric care symbols, as variations may exist, providing comprehensive understanding regardless of the garment's origin.

Tip 3 - Sort Clothes by Fabric

Group similar fabrics together for efficient and effective ironing. Begin by categorising your clothing items based on fabric type, ensuring that garments with similar ironing requirements are grouped together for a faster process.

Sorting clothes by fabric not only expedites the ironing workflow but also allows you to adjust the iron temperature and settings more efficiently, catering to the specific needs of each fabric category.

This organised approach not only saves time but also minimises the risk of inadvertently applying the wrong ironing technique to delicate fabrics, promoting a more effective and fabric-friendly ironing routine.

Tip 4 - Invest in a Quality Iron

Look for features like steam functionality, non-stick soleplate, and adjustable settings for optimal performance. A quality iron with steam functionality ensures that stubborn wrinkles are easily tackled, providing a smoother and more professional finish to your garments.

Buying an iron with a non-stick soleplate prevents snags and ensures effortless gliding, safeguarding your clothing against potential damage during the ironing process.

Adjustable settings for temperature and steam allow you to customise the ironing experience, catering to the diverse needs of different fabrics and ensuring optimal performance for a well-maintained wardrobe.

Russell Hobbs Supreme Steam Iron, Ceramic soleplate, Easy fill 350ml Water Tank, 155g Steam Shot, 60g Continuous steam, Self-clean, Anti calc & Anti-drip function, 3m Cord, Auto Shut Off, 2600W, 23260

Tip 5 - Use the Right Temperature

Adapting the iron's temperature to the specific fabric is paramount in preventing damage, ensuring that heat-sensitive materials are treated with the utmost care during the ironing process. 

Adjusting the temperature setting not only safeguards delicate fabrics but also prevents overheating, reducing the risk of scorching and preserving the garment's overall quality.

Using the right temperature setting enhances the effectiveness of the ironing process, allowing for efficient wrinkle removal while maintaining the integrity and longevity of diverse fabrics in your wardrobe.

Russell Hobbs Cordless Steam Iron with One Temp Technology, Fast 6 second charge, Ceramic soleplate, 210g Steam Shot, 45g Continuous steam, 350ml Water Tank, Self-clean function, 2600W, 26020

Tip 6 - Steam Effectively

Maximise the use of the steam function to tackle stubborn wrinkles and achieve a smoother finish. The steam function serves as the best way to battle stubborn wrinkles, as it penetrates fabrics deeply to loosen and smooth out even the most persistent creases.

By using the steam function, you elevate your ironing game to professional levels, ensuring a polished and wrinkle-free finish that rivals garments from the most meticulous of laundries.

Beyond wrinkle removal, effective steam usage revitalises fabrics, imparting a refreshed look and feel to your clothes, leaving them not only smooth but also rejuvenated after each ironing session.

Tip 7 - Iron in Batches

Iron clothes in batches to save time and maintain a consistent workflow. It optimises efficiency, allowing you to complete multiple garments in a systematic and organised manner.

Batching clothes for ironing ensures a consistent workflow, reducing the start-stop interruptions and promoting a smooth ironing experience, which ultimately contributes to achieving uniform and well-pressed results.

Grouping similar items together streamlines the ironing process, enabling you to set the appropriate temperature and ironing technique for each batch, enhancing both speed and precision in managing your wardrobe.

Tip 8 - Iron Inside Out

Preserve fabric quality by ironing clothes inside out, especially for delicate materials.

If you have ever burned a silk scarf, or a nice new blouse, then welcome to the ironing club. You are not the first to do that, and you will certainly not be the last.

They key to ironing any delicate fabric is taking real care. If possible turn the garment inside out. Always use a pressing cloth so never place the sole plate of the iron directly on to the garment.

If you have access to a steam generator iron or a garment steamer use that, as it is a much safer method.I have done a full article on ironing delicate fabrics, which you can read about here.

Tip 9 - Handle Embellishments with Care

When ironing clothes with embellishments or prints, use a pressing cloth to prevent damage. Using a pressing cloth when ironing embellished or printed garments is a safeguarding measure to preserve the intricate details, preventing damage or distortion to delicate adornments.

The use of a pressing cloth reduces direct heat exposure to embellishments, ensuring that heat-sensitive materials or intricate prints retain their vibrancy without the risk of fading or warping.

Handling embellishments with care not only maintains the aesthetic appeal of your clothing but also contributes to the longevity of the garment, allowing you to enjoy your adorned pieces for an extended period.

Tip 10 - Store Ironed Clothes Properly

Hang or fold ironed clothes immediately to prevent wrinkles. Storing ironed clothes promptly, either by hanging or folding, is a proactive step in preventing wrinkles from reappearing, ensuring your garments maintain their freshly pressed appearance.

Hanging or folding ironed clothes immediately preserves the polished look achieved during ironing, allowing you to enjoy a well-groomed wardrobe without the need for additional touch-ups.

Prompt storage not only prevents wrinkles but also contributes to efficient wardrobe management, making it easier to locate and wear your neatly pressed clothes when needed.

ironing clothes hanger reviews

Ironing Tips Video

If you need a break from reading, then here is a useful video, with some very good ironing tips.

Tip 11 - Address Wrinkles in Specific Areas

Focus on problem areas like collars and cuffs for a polished look. Addressing wrinkles in specific areas, such as collars and cuffs, is akin to spot treatment for your garments, ensuring that key focal points exude elegance and attention to detail.

By focusing on problem areas, you refine the finer details of your clothing, enhancing the overall aesthetic and achieving a level of sophistication that comes from paying attention to specific, often noticeable, regions.

Attending to wrinkles in collar and cuff areas adds a professional finishing touch to your attire, providing a crisp and well-maintained appearance that speaks volumes about your sartorial care.

Tip 12 - Clean Your Iron Regularly

Prevent mineral buildup by cleaning the iron's soleplate regularly. Regularly cleaning your iron's soleplate is essential to prevent mineral buildup, ensuring the appliance maintains optimal performance and effectively transfers heat for efficient ironing.

Routine cleaning safeguards against mineral deposits that can cause staining or smudging on fabrics, preserving the integrity of your clothes and preventing unintended marks during the ironing process.

Consistent cleaning not only keeps your iron in top condition but also contributes to extending its lifespan, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained appliance for a more extended period.

hot iron cleaner reviews

Tip 13 - Use a Pressing Cloth

Protect delicate fabrics by using a pressing cloth to prevent direct contact with the iron. Using a pressing cloth acts as a protective barrier, safeguarding delicate fabrics from direct heat exposure, preventing potential damage or distortion to sensitive fibres.

The use of a pressing cloth is especially crucial for preventing scorching on delicate materials, ensuring that the heat is distributed evenly and minimising the risk of discolouration or burning.

By placing a pressing cloth between the iron and delicate fabrics, you preserve the natural sheen and texture of the material, allowing you to maintain the original beauty and quality of your clothing.

ironing pressing cloth

Tip 14 - Iron in a Well-Lit Area

Ensure good lighting to identify wrinkles and iron effectively. Adequate lighting is important in creating a well-lit ironing area, providing the best visibility to spot wrinkles, ensuring a thorough and precise ironing process.

A well-lit space establishes a controlled environment, allowing you to iron with precision and accuracy, eliminating the chances of overlooking wrinkles or ironing inaccurately.

Good lighting not only aids in the identification of wrinkles but also enhances the overall ironing experience, making the task more enjoyable and efficient as you work in a well-illuminated and focused environment.

Tip 15 - Iron Shirts Collar-to-Cuffs

Iron shirts in a logical sequence, starting from the collar down to the cuffs. Ironing shirts collar-to-cuffs follows a sequence that ensures a uniform finish, allowing you to systematically smooth out wrinkles and creases for a polished appearance.

The collar-to-cuffs ironing method is a professional approach that not only guarantees a consistently neat shirt but also establishes a refined aesthetic by addressing key areas in a logical and organised manner.

This logical ironing sequence promotes an efficient workflow, minimising backtracking and ensuring that each section of the shirt receives equal attention, resulting in a thoroughly pressed garment ready for wear.

I have completed an article on how to iron shirts, which you can read by clicking here.

how to iron a shirt

Tip 16 - Avoid Overloading the Ironing Board

Iron smaller sections at a time to maintain control and efficiency. Avoiding overloading the ironing board allows for a controlled and focused ironing process, ensuring that each garment receives the attention and precision it deserves.

Ironing smaller sections at a time enhances overall efficiency, as it facilitates a more systematic and detailed approach, preventing oversight and guaranteeing a thorough wrinkle removal.

Working with smaller sections on the ironing board ensures optimal maneuverability, enabling you to navigate around details and contours of the garment with ease, resulting in a more polished and refined finish.

Tip 17 - Iron with a Purpose

Approaching ironing with a purpose involves creating a strategic plan, prioritising high-priority garments to ensure a well-organised and efficient ironing session.

Having a plan allows for effective time management, ensuring that crucial or frequently worn items are ironed first, providing the flexibility to allocate more time to garments that require special attention.

Ironing with a purpose aligns with broader wardrobe goals, ensuring that key pieces are consistently well-maintained and ready for use, contributing to an overall polished and put-together appearance.

Tip 18 - Invest in a Good Ironing Board

Investing in a quality ironing board ensures enhanced stability, providing a sturdy foundation that minimises wobbling or shifting during the ironing process, allowing for smoother and more controlled movements.

A quality, adjustable ironing board offers customisable height settings, allowing you to tailor the board to your preferred working height, reducing strain and promoting ergonomic comfort for extended ironing sessions.

Choosing a quality ironing board creates an efficient ironing surface, with features such as a smooth, padded top that facilitates optimal heat transfer, ensuring consistent and effective wrinkle removal for all types of fabrics.

Vileda 172217 Premium 2-in-1 Ironing Board Cover

Tip 19 - Check for Residual Starch

Ensure clothes are starch-free or have the desired level of starch before ironing.

Using starch is an old fashioned method ironing. It harks back to the days when men and women needed a stiff collar. It has started to make a huge come back in the UK.

When clothes are washed they have a naturally tendency to shrink a little. Starch is used to then help stretch clothes back to their proper size. For example starch is mainly used on tablecloths, shirt collars and shirt cuffs. If you need something to look and feel crisp, then starch is a great solution.

Starch also forms a protective film on garments. That helps prevent stains and protects the fibre from wear and tear. You can buy liquid starch, but the most common is a spray starch, that comes in a spray can.

Best Press Clear Starch

Tip 20 - Ironing Hacks for Efficiency

Exploring ironing hacks like using hair straighteners for small areas enables precision ironing, allowing you to target specific details on clothing items with ease and efficiency.

The ice cube method proves to be a time-saving hack for quick de-wrinkling – a simple yet effective technique where a few ice cubes placed in a cloth can help release wrinkles, providing a swift solution for minor touch-ups.

By incorporating these time-saving ironing hacks into your routine, you not only optimise the efficiency of the ironing process but also discover innovative methods that cater to various fabrics and specific garment needs, making the task more manageable and even enjoyable.

Tip 21 - How to Avoid Shine Marks or Iron Marks?

My top ironing tip here is to iron delicate or fine garments inside out. That way if you do make a mistake the damage is on the inside of the garment. You should also use an ironing board that is well padded. You can check our list of the top 5 ironing boards by clicking here.

For very delicate garments use what is called a press cloth. That is usually something like a pillow case. You place that on top of the garment and then iron the pillow case, which protects the more delicate garment underneath. This should be used on woolen garments for example.

Enda McLarnon owner of the Steam Gen Reviews UK website

Enda McLarnon

I hope that you find my How to articles helpful as I know that laundry can be a real chore. On this website, I have tried to help out with buying guides and reviews for the many forms of ironing and other laundry issues.

Enda McLArnon

We have chosen products we think you will really like and may earn a commission from links on this page. Read about why you can trust our reviews and recommendations.

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January 30, 2024

Believe it or not one of the most

January 30, 2024

If you have ever wondered how to iron

September 16, 2023

In this article we explain how to wash

March 6, 2018

Aside from ironing board covers, and cleaning a