It’s a basic skill that every man needs to know but it can be hard to get the hang of. In this quick guide, we’ll teach you how to iron a shirt properly.
How to Iron a Shirt
Not everyone knows how to use an iron, let alone how to iron a shirt! If you’ve never learnt and the whole concept confounds you there’s no need to let it put you off learning how. Luckily it’s nowhere near as difficult as you’d first think and you might even find it quite relaxing after a little while.
Ironing doesn’t have to be boring! You can use the time to watch a new series or listen to an audio book. There’s no need to see it as a chore. If you don’t love ironing you’re going to want to learn how to do it as efficiently as possible.
How to Iron a Button down Shirt
When ironing, you don’t want to waste time going over your shirt because you didn’t get the creases out the first time. The best way to do this is by making sure your iron is hot enough and not rushing. Remember to check the label first if you’re not sure how hot it should be.
Once you’ve got it at the right temperature it helps to have a spray bottle of water or if your iron has a spray function don’t be afraid to apply water liberally. It’ll help to get the creases out quickly but isn’t ideal if you need to wear the shirt straight away.
It’s best to try and avoid wrinkles forming in the first place. You can do this by hanging your shirts up as often as possible. Don’t let your shirt become a crinkled mess as it’ll mean more work for you in the long run. If you’ve got a ridiculously creased shirt, it might be a good idea to stick it in the wash, hang it up to dry and that’ll help most of the creases to fall out. Once it’s nearly dry give it an iron and then hang it up again.
How to Iron an Oxford Shirt
There’s always that one guy in the office who clearly can’t iron or just can’t be bothered. No one wants to be that guy. To avoid having to walk around in a creased shirt all day you’re going to have to learn how to iron a shirt.
- Put it on a hanger to help the creases drop out naturally as it dries.
- Undo all buttons, including sleeves and collar, to make it easier when ironing the smaller sections.
- Set the iron to the correct temperature and keep it moving at all times to avoid burning the shirt.
- Start with the collar on the outside and then the underside. Then move onto the yolk and shoulder panel.
- Focus on the first half on the front. Then flip the shirt over and repeat the process for the other half.
- Once you’re happy, leave your shirt to cool off on a wooden hanger with the top button closed.
How to Iron a Dress Shirt
Ironing a dress shirt is not particularly harder than any other kind of shirt but it will take a little longer to make sure it’s looking good. The first step for ironing a dress shirt should be to check the recommended heat settings for your iron. Once you’ve set the iron to the correct heat, follow these steps to iron your dress shirt correctly:
- Start with the collar and iron the underside. Fold it over and press along the seam.
- Iron the Yolk and then move on to the sleeves.
- Dampen the cuffs and iron both sides.
- Iron the rest of the shirt and check for any creases before hanging it up.
How to Wash Dress Shirts
- Use a decent detergent. You shouldn’t have to run this through the wash twice to get out a tricky stain.
- Wash the shirt on a cold wash to avoid any unnecessary damage or shrinking.
- Do not tumble dry. Hang the shirt up to dry and be patient.
- Iron the shirt while it’s still damp to make sure it’s as crisp as possible.
How to Iron a Polyester Shirt
Polyester can be a tricky fabric to deal with as it’s very sensitive to heat. Too many people find they’ve ruined a shirt because they’ve ironed it directly and damaged it for good. If you’ve got some tricky wrinkles you need to get rid of, you’re going to want to get hold of a protective mesh cloth or pressing cloth. Always try and avoid ironing polyester directly on the fabric.
If you find you still can’t get the creases out with an iron there’s still hope. Wash the shirt and hang it up while it’s still wet, the weight of the water should force the creases out, if there are still a few creases in the shirt, throw it in the tumble dryer for a quick spin and the wrinkles should have disappeared.
How to Iron Without an Ironing Board
We don’t all have the space for an ironing board or we can’t be bothered with the hassle of lugging the board out for a quick touch up. It’s easy to iron without one but you have to be careful of a few common pit falls. You can iron on most surfaces but always be aware that the heat might damage it. If you’re in doubt put down a thick towel or sheet to protect it before you begin.
Whatever surface you pick, make sure that it’s sturdy, the last thing you want is to end up dropping your iron on the floor, or worse, your foot because you’re using a weak table. If you’re worried and can’t find anything suitable, you can always use the floor.
If you’re ironing on a carpet, make sure you put some form of protection down first so that you don’t end up burning the fibres of the carpet. If you’ve got a treated wooden table, it’s best to never iron on this or you’ll find the heat can warp the wood and remove any varnish you had on there.
How to Iron a Shirt Without an Iron
It’s all about crease limitation. As soon as the shirt’s been cleaned you want to hang it up whether that’s on a washing line or a hanger. Once it’s dry it shouldn’t have too many creases and will make your next steps a lot easier.
For little touch ups, a pair of hair straighteners is perfect. If you’ve got nothing available you can always use a bathroom. Hang the shirt up and take a hot shower, the steam from your shower should help the creases fall out of the shirt.
A hairdryer is a great choice for lighter fabrics such as cotton, give it a go by hanging the shirt up and literally blowing the creases away. You can also try throwing some ice in your tumble dryer with the shirt you want to wear. After a few minutes, the steam should permeate the shirt and leave it crease free. If all else fails you can even just dampen your shirt with water in the creased areas, hang it up and the creases should fall out.
How to Fold Shirts
It’s not always possible to keep a shirt on a hanger so there’ll be a time that you’ll have to fold your shirt. If you can fold a shirt right there’ll be no need to iron it again when it’s unfolded. It’s a lot easier than you’d first think.
- Lay the shirt out flat with the button side face down.
- fold the sides in from the shoulder to straighten the sides equally.
- fold the sleeves back on themselves so they sit inside the sides of the shirt.
- Take the bottom and turn in up to cover the folds and create a neat rectangle.
How to Starch a Shirt
The most common type of starch spray is already mixed, but you can buy a powder that requires mixing or you can make your own starch spray from home. To make the most of starching a shirt, you should prepare ahead. There are a few tips you should follow to get a well-starched shirt:
- Make sure your shirt is thoroughly cleaned.
- Apply the starch spray to the back of the shirt first and iron, then do the same with the rest of the shirt.
- Be careful to not set your iron too hot to avoid damaging the shirt.
- Hang the shirt up as soon as it’s ironed to make sure it stays crisp.
How to Iron a Shirt
- Try and prevent creases forming in the first place by hanging shirts up after they’ve been washed.
- Iron your shirt while it’s slightly damp to get the creases out as easily as possible.
- Keep a water spray to hand to dampen hard to iron areas.
- If you don’t have an iron there are alternatives if you’re willing to be creative.
- Always read the label before setting your iron’s heat level.
- Hang shirts up after you’ve ironed them to prevent them from creasing again.
On That Note
Ironing isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. It’s a skill that will come in handy as soon as you’ve learnt it. Whether you end up loving it or hate ironing you’re going to need to know how to do it well. If you follow the steps in this you’ll be ironing shirts in no time and more importantly preventing your shirts from getting creased in the first place.
Feature image from Pinterest