Ironing your clothes can be a daunting task for many but not all clothes are ready to wear and most of them require ironing before you wear them. But as easy as it may seem the fear of burning one’s hands or burning the garment made it necessary to be handled by professionals.
Gone are the days when the ironing of the clothing folds was left only to the professionals. With the availability of high quality steam iron in the market and some knowledge on how to use steam iron, almost everyone can iron clothes like a professional.
How do you use steam irons?
Restoring clothes from wrinkles that are difficult to smooth out with dry iron is a tedious task. Steam irons are effective for deep, tough wrinkles and almost all types of fabrics. Steam irons are also easier to use. The basic functions remain the same for different types of steam irons. However, each model has its own characteristics and specifications. It is therefore recommended that you carefully read the instructions that come with your product.
Steps before you actually start ironing
1. Always check the tags on the garment for instructions on ironing the fabric you want to iron. This is important to determine the ideal ironing temperature for that specific fabric.
Low Setting: Acetate, rayon, silk, and wool. For rayon and silk, turn the items inside out prior to ironing. For wool items, place a damp cloth between the item and the iron.
Medium Setting: Polyester (slightly damp before ironing)
High Setting: Cotton (slightly damp before ironing)
2. To prepare the ironing area, an ironing board must be set up, if available. Otherwise, you can also use any even and stable surface such as a table or platform that can absorb heat and moisture. Make sure that it should not be flammable.
3. Few steam irons have a separable water tank, while some have an attached water tank. Avoid using any fabric softener to prevent unnecessary stains and calcium build-up in the water chamber. Clean and filtered water is all you need.
4. Place the garment on a flat surface. Depending on the fabric type you might be required to turn the garment inside out. If you put a damp cloth between the wool article and the iron, the wool will not shrink.
5. Have the hangers ready along with a suitable place for arranging ironed clothes.
Ironing the clothes
1. Fill the water chamber just below the maximum level or as indicated in the product instructions. Close the tank carefully with the lid. If the water tank is removable, reset it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Switch on the iron and let it heat it for a few seconds. Remember that it is important that you choose an appropriate setting in order to get an optimal temperature based on the fabric (see the table above). However, it is always better to switch from low to high.
3. As soon as the press/iron is hot, switch on the steam mode. Move the iron on the garment in up and down than circular. Iron automatically releases steam. Therefore, keep it away from you to avoid any possible injuries.
4. Hold the iron firmly and iron individual parts of clothing such as cuffs, collars, sleeves, etc.
- Unbutton the sleeve and lay it flat on the ironing board. Make sure that you can iron the entire cuff lengthways.
- Once both cuffs are done, lay the sleeves out on one side. Make sure the sleeve is completely smooth before ironing it down.
- Unbutton the collar and lay it flat. Spray water before ironing the collar it softens the fibres in the collar.
- Fold the collar back and gently press the middle of the collar with the iron to secure it. Don’t iron the full collar when folded.
- Hang the yoke (the back and shoulder of the shirt) from the ironing board and press the area with your iron.
- Hang the back of the shirt to the ironing board and remove wrinkles by firm presses of the iron.
- Now only the front of the shirt remains. After removing wrinkles on the front of the shirt, iron between the buttons. Never iron over the buttons as this can damage the buttons.
5. Avoid placing the iron directly on the cloth. Hold the iron plates that are directly above the fabric. (Make sure that the cloth is slightly damp even after ironing).
6. If any particular part of the garment is still wrinkled use the spray function and move the iron up and down with some pressure. Iron over a damp section to smooth out wrinkles.
7. Hang the ironed fabric on a hanger and let it air dry.
8. Remove the plug from the socket and carefully empty the water while it is still hot. When you are finished ironing, place the iron out of the reach of children. Let it cool completely, wrap the cable and put it away.
So, the next time you’re not sure how to iron clothes just remember to follow these tips.