1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

7 Ironing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By

Ironing clothes can be a tricky job. With so many fabric types, pleats, tucks, seams, etc. getting the wrinkles out can give even the best housekeeper a headache. Find out the top 7 ironing mistakes we make and how to avoid them. Some of them begin before we ever turn on our iron.

1. Letting clothes over-dry.

Clothes are very difficult to iron when they are fully dry or over dried in the dryer. Over-dried clothes can be very difficult to reshape. Try to remove clothes when they are still slightly damp. If you line dry your clothes, bring them inside to iron when they are not quite dry.

2. Overfilling the dryer.

It would seem like stuffing as many clothes as can fit into a dryer would save us time, but more than likely it will only lengthen the time you spend caring for your clothing. An average dryer should be only 1/2 full in order to allow freedom for all clothing to move. If too many articles of clothing are in the dryer, it will create monster wrinkles, and make your ironing much more difficult.

3. Forgetting to shake and smoothe.

When clothing is removed from the dryer, it frequently sits in a basket waiting to be ironed. Take a few minutes and shake out your clothing. Reshape garments, and smooth out seams and pleats. Even if clothing still needs to be ironed, it will be a much smoother process.

4. Not using the sprayer.

Many irons today come with a built in sprayer to dampen clothes during ironing. If yours doesn't have one, purchase a new inexpensive empty spray bottle to use. Dampen the clothing when you are ready to begin ironing. Wrinkles will fall out of the clothing as you iron. If you don't use the sprayer to soften up the clothing, ironing is much more difficult and for some garments, impossible.

5. Using Hard Water.

Tap water may be okay to use in your iron, depending on what type of water you have. People with hard water risk damaging their iron. Read the instructions for your iron, and if in doubt, use distilled water in your iron.

6. Improper use of starches and sizers.

Starches and sizers are a great tool when ironing, but they must be used properly. Spray these products as you iron, but allow them to actually penetrate into the garment before ironing over them. Allowing just a few seconds for the clothing to soak up the starch or sizer, will keep your iron's soleplate from becoming built-up with product residue.

7. Ironing heavyweight fabrics first.

If you have a large pile of ironing to do, try to iron your lightest silk, synthetic, and delicate fabrics first. These need to be ironed on low temperatures. Once the iron heats up, and you've ironed your lightweights, you can move on to the wools, cottens, linens, etc.

Related Video
Iron a Button-Down Shirt and Pants

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.