Last week we told you how to polish your shoes, but what good are shiny shoes without a crisply ironed shirt to match? You can look tip-top, but with a wrinkled shirt you’re giving the game away that you never learned how to iron a shirt. There’s no shame in it, of course, as long as you’re willing to sharpen up.
We’re here to show you that not only is ironing easy, but quick too – you can get it done in five minutes and get back to the more interesting things in life. With a freshly ironed shirt.
Picking the right tools
Make sure you buy an iron with a good soleplate (the base of the iron) and capable of a decent heat (hotter irons cut ironing time). If your iron doesn’t have a little spray nozzle, you might want a spray bottle of water to help with tough creases.
Make sure you have an ironing board with an ironing board cover. A cover is a great investment because if you damage the cover it can be replaced easily, whereas the ironing board cannot. If you buy a heat reflective ironing board cover you can iron the inside of your shirts easily, too.
Read the care labels. Most shirts are made of cotton or a cotton blend and will be able to handle high heat, but polyester shirts are more susceptible to temperature. Don’t iron silk or woollen shirts yourself – these can be ironed but require more care and aren’t suitable for the ‘novice’ ironer. If you’re not sure about the temperature then start low and slowly work your way up until the shirt starts to respond.
Make sure the shirts are damp, but not soaking wet. Put some hangers nearby too for hanging your items up after ironing and you are ready to go.
Start with the collar
Start with the collar as it’s often the most visible part of the shirt, being directly below your face as it is.
Flip up the collar and start with the underside, slowly moving the iron from one point to the other. Press down firmly and if any wrinkles do show up, press them to the bottom of the collar where they’ll be less visible. Repeat this process on the outside of the collar too.
Iron the Front of the Shirt
Start on the side with your buttons and careful work your way around the buttons with the point of the iron. Never iron over your buttons as they’ll probably melt, ruining the shirt.
Next, start the top of the shoulder and work your way down the shirt with the iron, pressing firmly and ensuring the shirt stays moist as you go. Repeat on the other side. Don’t be afraid to go over the area a couple of times to get rid of any creases but don’t let the iron linger as you could damage the shirt.
Iron Your Sleeves and Cuffs
Cuffs iron similarly to collars. Unbutton it and lay it out flat on the table. Be careful not to run the iron over your buttons as again, you will cause damage, and for double cuffs be careful not to press the fold because this could ruin it.
Everything has been building up to the sleeves, which are generally the toughest part of the whole thing. The key here is to be sure the fabric is flat and smooth before you apply the iron.
Take one of your sleeves by the seam and lay it out flat on the ironing board. If youD can match the creases from the last time you ironed, you’re doing great, but if not just start ironing at the top end where your sleeve is sewn into the shirt and work your way down towards the cuff. Repeat this process with both sleeves, and with a bit of luck your shirt is now ironed.
Don’t want to iron your shirt? There is an easier way – just download Laundrapp and let us do it for you!