Ironing is one of those household tasks that people love or hate. While standing at an ironing board can be painfully monotonous for some people, for others it is a chance to listen to music or watch some TV whilst getting important jobs done. Either way, it’s a chore that needs to be done properly.
To get the best results out of your iron with the minimum of effort, follow these eight simple ironing tips.
1. Leaving delicates for last
Certain materials don’t take too kindly to hot irons, and they can burn or singe with relatively little heat. As irons take longer to cool down than they do to warm up, it’s always a good idea to begin with items made with delicate fabrics such as silk, wool and polyester. Once you’re done with delicates, turn up the heat and move onto your cotton and linen garments.
2. Not using distilled water in areas with very hard water
If you live in an area with very hard water, the risk of limescale accumulations on your iron is high. These accumulations can interfere with the operation of your iron and stain your clothes. However, by distilling water with a simple filter, you should be able to turn hard water into something much softer.
Tip: If you’re struggling with ironed in creases, add two tablespoons of white vinegar to your iron’s water tank. This makes wrinkle removal easier, and it also keeps your iron clean.
3. Neglecting your iron’s cleanliness
The average household iron takes a real battering over the course of a week. As well as tiny specks of dirt and dust, an iron can suffer from an accumulation of burnt fibres, which turn black and sticky over time. These accumulations can snag and stain clothes, so it’s a good idea to keep on top of them at all times.
4. Ironing without the mist function
Heat and a little steam is sufficient for most kinds of fabric. However, when you’re dealing with particularly stubborn creases and wrinkles, you should be dampening them with your iron’s mist function. Pulling the trigger on mist will dampen and relax the fabric, making those creases far easier to remove.
5. Using too much heat
Using too much heat on a garment can cause marks and burns, so you need to be using the appropriate heat setting for the material you’re ironing. Always err on the side of caution if you’re in doubt, but you should be able to ascertain how susceptible garments are to damage by reading the label. If you’re worried, try using a tea towel as a barrier.
6. Storing an iron full of water
Try to keep as little water as possible in your iron at all times. Storing lots of water in an iron when it is stood up in storage can lead to moisture finding its way into the electrical components. There is also a chance that leakages can cause discolouration to the soleplate.
7. Not keeping clothes taut
Ironing clothes that aren’t pulled taut can actually lead to more wrinkles and creases that are exceptionally difficult to remove. Grab the garments from the bottom, and pull gently before you pass an iron over them. Use the end of the ironing board to help keep shirts and trousers in position.
8. Not using tin foil
Cover your ironing board with some tin or aluminium foil, making sure the shiny side faces up. This will reflect heat back, meaning you can iron both sides of a garment at the same time.
Ironing is one of life’s unavoidable chores, but using these tips should make the job a little quicker, easier and… perhaps… more enjoyable.