The beginner's guide to wrinkle-free clothes

Ironing is an essential skill if you want to look professional and well-maintained. Here's some of the basics when it comes to ironing, so you can have that crisp look with minimal effort.

The beginner's guide to wrinkle-free clothes

It starts with the clothes dryer

  • To avoid unnecessary ironing, remove clothes from the dryer and fold immediately when the cycle is finished.
  • Items marked "no-iron" or "permanent press" will come out wrinkle-free if you remove them from the dryer quickly.
  • Don't leave clothes or baskets of clothes on top of the dryer. The heat will create wrinkles that can only be ironed out.
  • Make sure your loads aren't too big. An overstuffed dryer almost guarantees wrinkles.

Get the right accessories

  • If you're ironing, you'll need an ironing board. Find one with adjustable height settings to make ironing more comfortable.
  • When purchasing the board, also buy a thick pad and a sturdy cover.
  • You'll also need a pressing cloth. Available in sewing stores, pressing cloths have a chemical finish that protects and, in some cases, refreshes the fabric.
  • You can make your own pressing cloth from an old, clean sheet.
  • Sleeve boards and tailor's hams are shaping tools you can use to help give clothes a more tailored look.

Find an iron that works for you

  • Choose an iron with a contoured handle and built-in thumb rest that feels comfortable in your hand.
  • Be sure your iron isn't too heavy to lift or move.
  • Look for an iron with both dry heat and steam settings. You'll need dry heat for most garments and steam to dampen hard to iron fabrics.
  • Most irons feature no-stick surfaces, which makes ironing much smoother.
  • Look for such safety features as a setting that turns off if the iron is flat for too long, or one that turns the iron off if left unattended.
  • A well-designed iron also is stable when sitting on its heel.

Nothing compares to the look and feel of a freshly ironed garment. It shows you care about your appearance and can give you confidence. Now that you have the ironing basics, you can look good when you want without breaking a sweat.

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