Sunday, April 19, 2009




Dear Houswife Dawn,
I need help with ironing. Is there a right and wrong way? I’m sure there is, but I was never taught how to iron. Sometimes the clothes look worse than before I ironed them.

Dear HELP,
There most definitely is a right and wrong way to iron. Let us just cover the basics for today.

  • Cotton fabrics require a high heat setting. If the fabric is heavily wrinkled, iron it first on the back, then on the front.
  • Rayon can be ironed on the wrong or the right side, but for best results, iron on the right side. Iron using low heat: high heat can burn the fabric.
  • For heavily wrinkled clothes, dampen a towel, lay the wrinkled fabric on the towel, and iron. The steam from both sides of the fabric will remove the wrinkles faster. This technique works well on cotton shirts and denim.
  • Remove clothes from the dryer and iron while they are still slightly damp to eliminate excess wrinkling. Iron delicate fabrics like polyester on the wrong side. Then if the iron should scorch or leave shiny spots on the fabric, it won’t show through to the front.
  • Use pressing cloths for delicate fabrics or fabrics with ornamentation. Lightweight towels or muslin cloth are perfect to use as pressing cloths.
  • Iron seams on the wrong side first, and when ironing a shirt, iron seams first to flatten them down nicely.
  • When ironing hems, stop ironing just short of the hem to avoid creating a line over it
  • Collars are difficult to iron. They should be ironed first on the wrong side, starting at the collar points. Work the iron in to the center point, leading with the point of the iron. Then flip over to the right side of the fabric and repeat the process. Don’t press down; instead, use the heat of the iron to glide over the fabric.
  • Line up sleeves and press the inside of the sleeve cuff first, letting the heat of the iron do the work. Stop the iron short of seam edges to prevent unwanted creases.
  • For large items such as tablecloths, don’t use the small end of the ironing board. Instead, lay the fabric (folded, if needed) across the big end of the board and press. Keep the fabric moving forward until it is ironed, then flip it over and press the other side.


  1. Thanks for the damp towel tip! Wade's polos drive me crazy to iron and I think that will help!

  2. Thank you for the tips! I am definitely a someone who didn't realize there was a wrong way to iron until I tried it and failed miserably! My husband laughs at me because he has to iron all of his shirts because I make them look worse when I try! I'll have to give these tips a try to see if I can get better at it. Collars are especially difficult for me so thank you for your tip on those!