Watching clothes go from crease-ridden to perfectly pressed is a satisfying sight to behold, but to really go the distance while ironing, you’ll need something to break up the monotony. Watching TV or streaming a new series on Binge or Netflix is a great way to pass the time while you iron.
2. Pick your battles
Everyone knows at least one person who insists on ironing absolutely everything in sight, right down to pyjamas, entire sets of bed linen and even underwear. If you happen to love ironing, by all means, go ham! But if you’re actively trying to reduce the amount of ironing you’re steaming through each week, be ruthless about the items you iron and simply fold and store the rest.
3. Invest in a good quality iron
Want to get the ironing done faster? The simplest way to do this is by investing in a good quality iron. The more steam the machine produces, the quicker you’ll be able to cut through the ironing pile.
When selecting an iron, look for features like a non-stick sole plate, rapid heat-up, and a continuous steam function. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to spend a fortune for a good iron (some top-of-the-range models can cost upwards of $400). The Philips EasySpeed Plus Steam Iron, for example, is a great option that retails for about $49.95 full price.
4. Allow the garment to cool before you wear it
If you’ve ever worn a shirt immediately after ironing it and wondered why it still looks creased, you’re doing it wrong. Allowing the shirt to cool before you wear it will help to prevent new wrinkles forming.
5. Sort items according to fabric
Think about it: every time you adjust the temperature gauge on your iron, you have to wait. While it may seem like a matter of mere seconds, it all adds up! Sort clothing according to fabric and start with the most delicate items first. The iron will already be hot and ready by the time you reach stubborn fabrics like cotton and linen.
6. Iron inside-out
Avoid burning delicate logos off clothing by ironing them inside out! Better yet, wash and dry clothes inside out too. This is a simple trick that will prevent clothes fading while drying on the line in the sun.
7. Use a teaspoon to protect buttons
Tired of shirt buttons breaking or falling off? Part of the problem may boil down to faulty stitching, faulty buttons or wear and tear from washing, drying and ironing. It goes without saying, but you should never iron over buttons. Simply cover buttons with a teaspoon and iron around them.
8. Use aluminium foil to cut your ironing time in half
To really speed things up, place a layer of aluminium foil underneath your ironing board cover (shiny side up). The foil will retain the heat from the iron and help you to smooth out wrinkles on both sides of the garment.
So far you may have noticed that these hacks have focussed on making the task of ironing simpler and faster. But what if you just don’t want to iron, period? Congratulations, you’ve reached the pro-level of ironing hacks: avoiding the task altogether.
9. Select a wash setting designed to prevent creasing
Some washing machines have a cycle dedicated entirely to the prevention of wrinkles. In an LG machine, for example, when you select the ‘Crease Care’ option, the drum will continue to spin gently once the wash cycle is complete. This prevents the clothes from settling and creasing.
10. Add fabric softener to the mix
Fabric softener has more uses than just making clothes soft and smell great. It also helps to reduce the amount of wrinkles that set into clothing during the wash cycle.
11. Hang clothing up ASAP
To avoid wrinkles setting into your clothing, hang clothing up as soon as the dryer cycle is complete. As for line-drying, one mum shared her time-saving laundry hack involving coat hangers and a portable clothing rail.
Simply place wet washing on hangers straight out of the washing machine, hang them up on the portable clothing rail, and wheel the rail outside into the sun. Once they’ve dried, the clothes can be put away immediately - all without ironing!
12. Let the dryer do the work
Pop dry creased clothing and an ice cube into the dryer and allow the machine to run on the hottest cycle for a few minutes. Once the cycle is complete, your clothing will be fresh and crinkle free!
The downside to this trick is that it only works with a few items of clothing. Perfect for a night out but not so much for a pile of ironing that seems to grow by the day. If you don’t have an ice cube, try using a damp face washer instead.
13. Use a wrinkle release spray
Wrinkle release sprays are a great option if you have extra time on your hands. Simply spray a product like The Laundress’s Crease Release onto the garment and hang it up to dry. Once dry, the number of visible creases in the garment should be visibly reduced.
14. Get a steam cupboard
The steam cupboard trend hasn’t yet caught on in Australia, but in places like South Korea, they’re all the rage - and for good reason. Imagine having a section in your wardrobe that does the ironing for you. Samsung’s AirDresser Clothing Care System, for example, has a wrinkle care cycle that also sanitises, freshens and gently dries garments while it works. At $2999, it's an appliance that doesn't come cheap. But if you find you spend a fortune at the dry cleaners each month, it could be a worthwhile investment.
15. Wear wrinkles with pride
Finally - do people even care about creased clothing anymore? Creased clothing, made from linen, for example, is so popular right now. In fact, it’d probably be weird to see someone in linen that isn’t creased! You might even say linen fashion has normalised creased clothing. So go on, wear those wrinkles with pride and lap up all the free time you have now that you’ve given ironing the flick.