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How to iron clothes in easy steps

From wash to wear, our clothes can easily become creased. Whether you need help getting the correct setting or knowing where to start, read our guide below to learn how to iron clothes at home with ease.

Updated By Cleanipedia Team

An iron and pile of t-shirts on an ironing board
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Ironing is actually easier than it seems at first glance. Read on to discover our simple ironing guide, from general ironing tips to specific advice on how to iron clothes of all sorts.

How to iron clothes safely

Before you get started, there are some simple safety considerations you should be aware of when it comes to how to iron your clothing at home.

  • Never leave a hot iron unattended.

  • Don’t touch the heated soleplate of the iron.

  • When you’re not actively using the iron, stand it upright on the ironing board.

  • Never leave it on your clothes.

  • Switch off and unplug the iron as soon as you’re finished with it.

  • Let the iron cool down completely before you store it.

Once you know how to iron, be sure to take care of your iron too. Use distilled water or a specialist ironing water to prevent a build-up of limescale and avoid flaky deposits on your iron which can transfer to your clothing.
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RequiredComfort Vapoureese Blue Skies
Comfort Vapoureese Blue Skies bottle
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Distilled water

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How to iron clothes: the basics

Whether you're here to learn how to iron a t-shirt, trousers or even a dress, the basic steps will remain the same. Here are our top tips and tricks to follow for how to start an iron pressing routine safely.

  1. Before you start ironing, check that it's suitable for your clothes.

    Always check the care label first as not all fabrics should be ironed at home. Cotton and linen can usually be ironed on a higher heat than wool or synthetic fabrics. You should only ever iron nylon, polyester, and silk through a cotton tea towel.

    It's worth noting that your iron may have specific settings for different fabrics. Don't be afraid to check the manual and use the iron temperature settings advised.

  2. Make sure your clothes are clean before you iron them.

    Ironing clothes while they're dirty may set-in stains. Make sure your clothes are clean, using a good quality detergent and fabric conditioner to wash your clothing. For advice on the best way to achieve the cleanest clothes in town, check out our article on how to do laundry like a pro.

  3. Give your iron less work to do.

    Using a fabric conditioner like Comfort Intense Fresh Sky in your wash will cut down on wrinkles.

  4. If you’re using your iron’s steam function, use the right kind of water.

    To avoid limescale build-up and leave a fresh scent, use distilled or filtered water or a specialist product such as Comfort Vapoureese.

  5. Give the iron time to heat up properly.

    Your iron will reach temperatures between 121 °C and 182 °C. For optimum results you will need it to full heat to the setting you have selecting before starting to use it.

  6. Don't iron fastenings.

    To avoid damaging them, always work around buttons or zips; don’t iron over them.

How to iron trousers

Whether you need to know how to iron jeans or suit trousers, we've got you covered. Here are three simple steps for how to iron trousers.

  1. Focus on one leg at a time.

    Work from the top of your trousers to the bottom, pressing the wrinkles out.

  2. Press the iron to a spot on the trousers for a couple of seconds at a time.

    Rather than moving the iron against the fabric, do one area at a time, then lift it up and move it to the next spot.

  3. For suit trousers, create a centre crease.

    Lay the leg along the length of the board with the side seams on top of each other. First, press the fold at the bottom, followed by the top. Finish the crease by pressing along the fold, connecting the bottom and top sections you have already pressed.

How to iron a t-shirt

Now you know how to iron trousers, what about your tops? Here are some simple steps to follow for how to iron a t-shirt.

  1. Put your t-shirt over the ironing board.

    Instead of laying the t-shirt on top of the board, open it and slide it onto the ironing board, so that you’re only dealing with one layer of fabric.

  2. Use the hot iron to press the t-shirt flat.

    Again, try not to move the iron around. Instead, lift and press the iron down on one spot at a time.

  3. Revolve the t-shirt around the board as you go.

    Take care not to do this when the iron is touching the fabric.

If you need to know how to iron a long sleeve shirt, you should start by ironing the collar, followed by the sleeves on top of the ironing board. Then follow the steps above to iron the body of the shirt.

Top tip: Don't forget to take care to avoid the buttons, working around them as you iron.

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See? It's simple. With a little practice, you’ll soon be an expert at following our steps for how to iron clothes, and quickly discover it can even be quite therapeutic. Now you know all about iron temperature settings and have our top tips for how to iron at home, make sure you know how to care for your clothes in other ways such as how to remove static from clothes or how to make clothes smell good and stay fresh.

Frequently asked questions on how to iron clothes

What water should I use in my iron?

If you're wondering what water to put in an iron, we recommend distilled or filtered water, or a specialist product such as Comfort Vapoureese. This will help to prevent mineral deposits and build up that can damage both your iron and the clothing you use it on.

How can I get creases out of clothing without an iron?

There are a number of options when it comes to understanding how to iron without an iron. Why not try using a set of hair straighteners, or even hanging your creased clothing in front of the steam from a kettle?

What temperature should I use on my iron?

Knowing what temperature to iron clothes at will depend on the fabric of the clothing you are trying to iron. First, check the care label for any instructions the manufacture has provided. Also check the manual for your iron, as it may have specific setting for certain fabrics. If it does, use the iron temperature settings advised.

Originally published