First things first–easier ironing starts in the dryer. To prevent wrinkles from setting in, remove laundry from the dryer while still damp. But here are some more tips to help your ironing go more smoothly.

Reducing Wrinkles

Always hang your items immediately after ironing them. Spray starch on the underside of your garment and then roll the clothing into a ball to allow the fabric to absorb the moisture before ironing. When ironing, pay attention to your iron’s temperature. If it sizzles when applied to the fabric, lower the heat.

Ironing Strokes

Here’s something that might surprise you: you should never, ever iron in circular strokes or you’ll end up stretching the fabric. Instead of running the iron over a wrinkly spot several times, iron lengthwise and level those ridges with a burst of steam.

Ironing a Lining

If your garment is lined, be sure to press it separately. And don’t forget to check the lining fabric. It may differ from the main garment and require a different temperature.

Ironing a Shirt

Achieve a wrinkle-free shirt in five minutes or less by following these simple directions.

  • Collar: Start with the underside of the collar and then work your way from each point back to the center.
  • Yoke: This is a very important area to conquer for a wrinkle-free shirt. Smooth the yoke by slipping one shoulder over the narrow end of the board, ironing from the shoulder to the center of the back. Now do the same on the yoke’s other side.
  • Cuffs: Make them look sharp by ironing the inside first, then work the outside.
  • Sleeves: Press the body of each sleeve starting with the cuff-opening side, then the reverse side.
  • Body: Last, but certainly not least, iron the shirt body, beginning with one front panel and continuing to the other.
  • Collar: Once the entire shirt is done, go back and press the top of the collar again.

Ironing Pants

Crisp, wrinkle-free pants are just four simple steps away.

  • Pockets: Begin by laying the pockets on the ironing board and pressing.
  • Waistline: Take the waistline and fit it around the ironing board. Iron the top of the pants, rotating the garment away from your body.
  • Legs (inside portion): Start by laying your pants flat, one leg on top of the other. Now align the inseams by matching the sides of each leg, and iron the inside of the bottom leg by folding back the top leg. For the other side, simply flip and repeat.
  • Legs (outside portion): Keep the inseams aligned and iron the outside of each leg. Creases can be set easily with a burst of steam.

*Hint: That shine you may experience when pressing wool pants or dark fabric slacks can be easily outshined using a press cloth. You don’t have to go far to find the perfect press cloth–just try an old handkerchief.

Ironing Items with Zippers

Don’t let zippers get in the way when ironing. Just follow these simple steps for ironing success.

  • Start with the obvious–zip up your zipper.
  • Take your garment and turn it inside out. Using the tips of the iron, press the inside flaps.
  • Now unzip the zipper and press lightly along the fabric set around it. Close the zipper again and iron the outside of the fabric.

*Caution: Be thorough but also very careful. If your iron touches the teeth of a plastic, nylon or polyester zipper, the heat will melt them.

Happy ironing!