Thank you to Bianca from Ironing Lab for sharing these ironing hacks!
The truth about ironing is that nobody really wants to do it, nor do we want to pay the hefty prices charged by laundry services. So where does that leave those of us who still need to iron clothes for work, a date, or a mother-in-law’s visit? After all, ironing is standard operating procedure to make your budget wardrobe look expensive.
If your normal strategy is to give in and wield that hot iron, or to take the path of least resistance and simply worn your clothes creased — gasp! — you’ll be happy to hear that someone just like you has hacked the ironing algorithm.
Your time behind the ironing board is about to be cut down significantly. Also, you’ll spend less money getting the job done. Read on for the secrets of faster, cheaper ironing. Because, let’s face it, time is money, and ironing…well, we have better things to do!
How to Iron Clothes Faster and Cheaper
1. Wash and dry clothing correctly
You already know proper washing techniques keep your white clothes brighter, but did you know the way you wash also influences how much ironing you need to do? This first tip is so simple, it’ll blow your mind: If you don’t overload your washing machine, clothing comes out less creased.
A little extra care with your drying process can mean zero ironing, too. When clothes need to hang dry, shake them out first and then position them as straight as possible. The weight of the wet garment plus a little help from gravity will pull out most of the wrinkles.
For those pieces that go in the dryer, hang them up as soon as they’re dry and still warm. This way, the fibers of the fabric settle in their perfect un-wrinkled state as they cool.
2. Avoid ironing by buying wrinkle resistant fabrics
Polyester is one of the most affordable ironing-free fabrics available and requires the least amount of care. In most cases, it washes and dries wrinkle-free, so ironing polyester is rarely necessary. Some blended fabrics may crease slightly, but with the above washing and drying techniques, you’ll spare yourself extra work.
If a large portion of your ironing is made up of work
shirts, you’re going to love the magic of permanent pressed clothing.
Permanent pressed fabrics are chemically treated to prevent wrinkles. Shirts can be washed and hung or thrown in the dryer, and they won’t need a hint of ironing. They may cost a little more than the average shirt, but it’s worth a few extra dollars to invest in clothes that save you time and frustration.
3. Use your dryer as an ironing alternative
OK, so you’ve just pulled a creased item out of your ironing pile and want to de-wrinkle the darn thing without using the steam iron. Throw it back in the dryer with an ice cube or a damp face cloth. The moisture from the melting ice cube or face cloth will help steam and soften those creases.
Hang up the garment as soon as the cycle is done and then allow it to cool before tossing it on.
4. The right steam iron makes all the difference
When ironing is unavoidable, the iron you use can make the job way less painful. Steam is the magic ingredient that takes ironing from painfully slow, to highly effective and, dare I say it, satisfying!
If you’re working with a relic of an iron that needs replacing, then bite the bullet and replace it. Spending more on a quality appliance will spare you stress and time over buying the cheapest iron on the shelf.
Powerful steam output is what you’re looking for. The more steam, the faster you’ll glide through that ironing pile. Rowenta is one of the top iron brands on the market and they have the perfect fit for those of us looking for quality on a budget. Check out the Rowenta Focus Steam Iron to cut your ironing time in half.
5. Save money using an ironing board alternative
Who needs an ironing board? They’re big and bulky and take
too long to set up. We don’t need to iron like our forefathers to get the job
For the occasional ironing job, place a towel on a tabletop or mattress and you can iron out whatever needs quick attention. If you have more than one wrinkled piece on your hands, though, this method can be inefficient and back-breaking.
The solution is an ultra-affordable ironing blanket or ironing mat. Simply unroll the heat resistant mat and you’re ready to iron. Any surface like a countertop or ever your washer and dryer can be turned into the perfect ironing surface.
6. Use an ironing cloth so clothes look newer, longer
An ironing cloth acts as a barrier that protects your clothing from direct contact of the iron’s hot soleplate. How many garments have you accidentally scorched and had to throw out because the fabric is discolored, distorted or has nasty shine marks?
Any piece of cotton fabric like a pillowcase or dishcloth will work. If you want to get a little fancy, you can pick up a mesh ironing cloth for a few dollars. These are semi-transparent and allow you to see through to the garment to make sure it’s laid flat while protecting your clothing from any harm.
Its almost automatic to switch off when completing mundane ironing tasks, and this is where accidents inevitably happen. An ironing cloth may seem like an additional step, but it will save you a fortune in replacement clothing.
7. Only iron the bits you see
Winter is the best time to take full advantage of this pro ironing hack. Gals and guys, if you’re wearing a jacket over a shirt, there is no need to iron the whole thing.
Instead, spot iron the collars, cuffs and front panel of the shirt. No one will be the wiser. In fact, you don’t even need an iron for this step. Hair straighteners (set to medium heat) can simply be run over the visible areas and you’ll look work-ready.
Spend less time ironing
Surely, there are things you’d rather be doing than ironing. Use these tips to iron clothes faster and add hours to your life!
Thanks for stopping by! I'm Catherine, your Budget Fashionista style editor. I'm a bargain shopper at heart, as I love nice things but hate paying for them! I'm also a personal finance writer who's been featured on USA Today and MSN Money.