These 10 Brilliant Hacks Make Ironing Fast And Easy

My husband’s white dress shirts are always impeccably ironed. Unfortunately I can’t take credit for it. He is a little compulsive when it comes to his shirts, and he actually prefers to iron them himself. And to that I say more power to him! :-)

Ironing has never been one of my favorite chores, but sometimes it’s simply unavoidable. So I thought I’d try to find a few ironing tips that make the process easier for me. And luckily, I found some really good ones!

So today I’ll be sharing some of the best ironing hacks that I’ve come across. These tips are sure to help make your ironing easier, faster, and more effective. (And if you have a must-know tip about ironing that isn’t listed here, share it with us in the comments if you feel so inclined!)

Related: This Is The Perfect Solution For Your Hard-To-Iron Clothes

10 Genius Ironing Hacks You Need To Know

Ironing Tips

1. Use Your Dryer

If you need to smooth out a few items of clothing that are only lightly wrinkled, skip the iron and use your dryer! Use a spray bottle of water to dampen the items, then toss them in your dryer for a few minutes. The heat of your dryer will cause the moisture on the clothes to turn to steam, and those wrinkles will fall right out. Throw those clothes on, and you’ll be ready for anything!

Ironing Tips

2. Wash Smaller Loads

Doing smaller loads of laundry allows your clothes to tumble more freely in the dryer. The steam and heat have more room to pass evenly throughout your clothes, helping to reduce wrinkles overall. So smaller loads = less ironing! :-)

Ironing Tips

3. Spritz Your Shirts

For super crisp dress shirts, some people swear by using a water bottle to spritz a shirt while ironing. Many steam irons have a spray function, which would work just as well! The additional moisture helps to smooth out wrinkles with less effort, and leaves shirts super smooth. You can also try my wrinkle release spray!

Ironing Tips

4. Hang Clothes Up ASAP

Once your clothes are done drying, hang them up as soon as possible (preferably immediately!) This simple step can really cut down on the amount of ironing you have to do. The clothes will still be warm enough that wrinkles won’t have “set in” yet, and gravity will help take care of the rest!

Ironing Tips

5. Shake It Out

When you’re transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer, give each item a quick shake. A good shake helps to untwist and untangle your clothes, so they’ll have a better chance of coming out of the dryer wrinkle-free.

6. Iron In Order

Organize your items from delicate and less-wrinkled, to sturdier and more-wrinkled before ironing. Before you start ironing check the laundry symbols on the tag to make sure the clothing item can be ironed. Your iron will heat up more as you go, meaning your iron will be the perfect heat level for what you’re ironing at the time. No more waiting for the iron to cool down part-way through your ironing! You’d be surprised at how much time you’ll save this way!

Ironing Tips

7. Say No To Circles

I had no idea about this, but it turn out that ironing in circular motions is a no-no! Apparently it scratches the fabric and can ruin the fit of your clothes. Instead, use long parallel strokes in one direction to avoid stretching the fabric.

Ironing Tips

8. Say Yes To Steam!

If it feels like you’re ironing forever and the wrinkles are still there, crank up the steam on your iron! Steam is the natural enemy of wrinkles, and you’ll find that with more steam, those wrinkles will disappear in record time. Better yet, invest in my favorite clothes steamer and say goodbye to ironing forever!

Ironing Tips

9. Check Your Board

Having a good ironing board is almost as important as having a good iron! A good ironing board makes the whole chore easier, and less likely that you’ll keep putting it off. ;-) If your board is in rough shape, you may just need a new cover. If that doesn’t do the trick, consider replacing it with a new ironing board.

Ironing Tips

10. Clean Your Iron

A dirty iron plate can discolor your clothes and snag fabrics, and no one wants that! So if your iron plate is looking a bit rusty or scorched, it’s time to give your iron a good cleaning. The easiest way I’ve found to clean an iron plate is to use a Magic Eraser!

Ironing Tips

You should also descale your iron regularly if you use tap water in the water reservoir. Check your iron’s user manual for instructions on descaling your particular model. (And once it’s clean, use distilled water in your iron to avoid limescale buildup in the future!)

I hope these tips help make this necessary chore a bit less of a drag! :-)

Read This Next


Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

MORE IDEAS FROM

Bright Ideas

  • This is a great tip I found online for cleaning the gunk off my iron: wet a cloth with hydrogen peroxide and rub the sole plate of the iron. It worked beautifully! Clean as a whisle!

  • INCREASE HEAT FOR CHEAP!!! When replacing the cover – lay a sheet ( or more ) of heavy duty aluminum foil – SHINY SIDE UP – either between the batting & cover – or directly on the board itself. This not only reflects the heat of the iron – but traps excess steam on the back of your item. It’s like having half pressed the other side!

  • Hi! Enjoyed the article and the trip down memory lane when ironing was a daily chore:) I would like to pass on the tip I received for men’s dress shirts…spray, roll up and store overnight in the freezer. Then iron sleeves, collar, shoulder area and finally the body of the shirt starting on button side and working your way around:) Did I mention that “permanent-press” is one of my favorite inventions?

    • Except for prepping the shirt, I have been ironing this way since I took Home economics in the 6th grade. It is definitely the most efficient way to go. 6th grade. Gosh I’m feeling old LOL

      • Thank you! Marilyn for the Big smile and another trip down memory lane! I was just passing on to my granddaughter my Home Ec training in washing dishes..silverware and glasses first:) I’ve converted her to metal straws, turning off water while brushing her teeth, ditching plug in air fresheners and I’m hoping she will continue reviewing this fantastic website for ways to not only save time and money but also be more aware of and capable of managing her home:)

  • We didn’t have the sprinkler top to put in a pop bottle. Mom said it wasn’t necessary. We used our fingers/hand to dip in the water and ‘sprinkle’ on the clothes. Yes most everything was ironed. Probably three or so, depending on size, sprinkled items were wrapped in dish or hand towels and put in the clothes basket. We only put sprinkled clothes in the fridge if the ironing wasn’t finished that same day. BUT….don’t forget to take it out of the fridge. If it stayed too long, it will mildew. Ask me how I know. After I was married even, I still forgot a blouse in the fridge once.

    Since I had to replace my washer a while back, it holds way more than the dryer does. So I dry half at a time. They get done while the washer is washing the next load. Please don’t anyone get their knickers in a twist. I know it might take a bit more electricity but I make up for it by not having to use the iron. :-) If that doesn’t do it all, the convenience of not having to iron is worth it to me anyway.

  • re: Ironing hacks. Mother taught me years ago how to make irining a bit easier. A very well padded board is a must. You can start with a “store-bought” cover, but add lots of extra padding to the plain board first. You can use old blankets, old towels, quilt batting, just make it good and thick. Then put the bought board cover on. You may need to criss-cross the underside with heavy string sewn into the edges of the cover. Just make sure you get it nice and tight along the whole edge. You’re now ready to glide your way through a basket full of the dreaded ironing!

  • I also am a great believer in giving things a good shake when I
    Take them out of the washing machine. I have also found if you
    hang things outside over night the damp in the air will get rid
    of the wrinkles in lighter fabrics.

  • If you have a wrinkle that doesn’t want to come out, spray with a little vinegar. It will press right out or put a good crease in where you want it (pant’s legs.)

  • My 3 tips. Up until recently I haven’t owned an iron and the iron I have has only been used for wood projects. 1) I try to buy clothes that don’t need ironing, 2) I take things out of the dryer promptly and items that may need ironing get pulled after 10 minutes in the dryer then hung neatly to finish drying, 3) For those items like T-shirts that have wrinkles when pulled from the shelf I use Downy Wrinkle Release. Would love to find a DIY for the Wrinkle Release if anyone has a recipe.

    • A DIY wrinkle releaser I love is one cup of water and one teaspoon of your favorite fabric softener. I just keep refilling my old store bought wrinkle releaser bottle. You can double, or triple the recipe. Give the bottle a shake and your ready to fight wrinkles. You can add a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol to the mix to help it dry faster, I just don’t cause I wasn’t sure if the alcohol was safe for all fabrics.

  • I hate ironing. When I do iron I am very particular. I have T-Fal iron which I purchased at BJ’s for $30. It is great. I have a Shark which I had gotten free with my first Shark vacuum, had used it prior to the T-Fal. It is o.k. but I prefer the T-Fal. Even some more expensive irons which weren’t any better then my T-Fal. My new Samsung washer and dryer have a steam cycle which is great for freshening up clothes that have been hanging in the closet for a while. You are right about not over loading the washer so when you dry the clothes they come out less wrinkled or no wrinkles. I don’t have to use a fabric softener. Besides a fabric softener leaved a film on the lint screen which can cause a fire if allowed to build up.

  • Havent irpned in years but when l did l coveted the padding on the bosrd with aluminum foil before putting the cover on to reflect the heat. I line dry my clothes and people think l iron my jeans.

  • Great tips. I, like you don’t care to iron but I’m a bit compulsive and iron my work scrubs after washing. My husband hates the way I iron. So there ya go, more power to him.

    • I am the oldest of 6. My Mom always ironed she ironed all those white shirts & blouses & our uniforms. I remember her sprinkling the clothes, rolling & storing in the frig. I think she still does it with some things especially in the summer.

  • 2 tips get yourself a cordless iron. I have a Panasonic that I adore no more worrying about the cord getting tangled up in stuff. And it gets amazingly hot on the highest setting.
    For those shirts you absolutely have to iron, do the collar and cuffs first then the sleeves then the body. this minimizes wrinkles to the body. If you do it first, you’ll find it gets all tangled up as you wrestle the sleeves collar and cuffs.

  • I keep an iron and a pad that I bought from Amazon that goes on top of my dryer so if I notice something that needs ironing as I’m removing it from the dryer I can do it right there. Since I started doing this edges of sheets or pillowcases get a quick touch-up, collars or whatever on clothing that won’t hang out get touched up too. It takes only a moment, no opening up a ironing board. I have a cordless iron I keep on the shelf above the dryer so it’s extremely handy. Yes I have an ironing board and sometimes do have to use it when I’m sewing but rarely any other time.

  • I grew up at the time, just about everything was ironed. I remember my mother, rolling up dampened clean laundry and refrigerating them. I don’t remember for how long they were in the refrigerator before she ironed them. I also cannot remember why she would do that. I also don’t think she did this with every thing she ironed. Would anyone know why she did this? She has been with the angels for over 35 years now.

    • This is just a guess, but putting them in the refrigerator would slow down the evaporation. Perhaps she didn’t have such easy access to large plastic bags as we do today. However, when leaving damp things in the fridge eventually they would dry out because that’s how refrigerators work : by pulling moisture out of the air inside it.

    • Back when we didn’t have air conditioning, when your “sprinkled clothes” set in the heat of the room all day they would start to mildew, so the left over items got stuck in the “ice box”.

    • Pocahotas’ reply is correct but, if the fridge was before the frost-free fridge/freezer combination, it would not suck the moisture out. Before frost-free you had to regularly defrost the freezer compartment. And even further back fridges didn’t have a freezer in them at all. In other words, before frost-free the fridge did not suck out the moister. That being said damp clothes will eventually dry out on their own so rolling them up slows that down. Now manufacturers are going back to the fridge part of the unit not being affected by the frost-free moisture sucking effect that keeps your freezer compartment from frosting up. They’ve finally realised it’s better for fresh vegetables.

      The colder cloth with a hot iron would produces more steam and ease the wrinkles out better. Helpful, if you had a dry iron (before the invention of the steam iron). I actually prefer it over steam irons.

      It was my chore to do the ironing when I was a child. We didn’t have a steam iron, just a plain iron. They were called dry irons when the steam iron came out. The wrinkles came out of clothes, fresh from the line, better on colder days (winter, spring & fall) than on hot days. We didn’t have a fridge but I’m guessing it did the same thing.

      Collars and cuffs on everything always were ironed first and coke bottles with a sprinkler/shaker attachment in the top was used to moisten really dry and wrinkled clothes; the ones you didn’t get to on wash day. It was the equivalent to a spray bottle today. You had to shake it downwards towards the clothes like a salt shaker to get any water out. As they got older they would drip and the cork around the insert that held them in the neck of the bottle would dry out, too, and become looser. They lasted for years, though.

    • How interesting! Here’s what I found: “Before I had a spray bottle filled with water, I used to use a little gadget made just for dampening clothes. It was made of plastic or aluminum, was full of holes, much like a tiny salt shaker, and fit nicely into the top of a Pepsi bottle filled with water. Back then, this was called ‘sprinkling clothes’. After sprinkling the shirts, each one was rolled into a ball and placed into a pillow case. The pillow case was placed into the refrigerator, where the shirts were kept fresh while the ‘sprinkles’ evened out to a uniform dampness.” :-)

  • Other than dampening the garment before tumbling a few minutes in the dryer, you can also toss in a damp washcloth or even a few ice cubes. I like to use ice cubes because they melt & evaporate as the clothes are drying.

    Another hack that I’ve been using since I was in my teens & which was passed down by my mother is to soak a clean white cotton cloth in white vinegar. Wring it out well & lay it on top of the garment that you are ironing & iron over it. I keep the vinegar in a bowl so I can redampen the cloth as needed. This is especially helpful for stubborn wrinkles & also for putting nice, crisp creases in pants (though that’s not trendy right now). Once the garment dries, the vinegar smell disappears.

  • I use spray starch on all my husband’s shirts and it saves me so much time. I fold my washing straight from the clothes line and my tumble drier has a wrinkle-free option which I can use. I also use spray starch on anything that has stubborn wrinkles and pure linen, as I like that crisp. It is marketed as “Fabulon” in Australia and I would be lost without it.
    I pad my ironing board heavily too as this also seems to help.
    I spend a lot of money (always well over AUD$100) on a good steam iron with a ceramic hot plate, as if you don’t have a lot of pressurised steam coming from your iron (and no drips) how can you iron quickly, and I do hours of it every week and am very fussy about the end result.

  • I lower my ironing board to a sitting position so I can iron in my office while sitting in my desk chair! I have a portable ( it has rolling wheels on it ) hanging rack to put the clothes on before and after I iron them. Just put them on the rack after you get them out of the dryer and roll them into wherever you do your ironing. Sitting and ironing is so much easier than bending over the board while standing!

  • Great ideas. I’ve done the dryer trick before. I just use a clean damp wash cloth and put stuff in about 20 minutes. I agree about taking stuff
    right out of the dryer. It a lot of times saves me one day of ironing my work clothes. My mom uses a spray bottle when Ironing. I use the Jillee version of the wrinkle releaser a lot on the stubborn to iron items.

  • Removing clothes from the dryer while still damp but wrinkle free saves wear on the fabric. “Finger Pressing” / shaping cuffs, collars, pocket flaps, & hems on the hanger while still damp will eliminate the need for ironing. (Dampen/mist these areas and any stubborn areas with water or “wrinkle release” solution to shape if needed…collars, button plackets, hems ~ and seersucker garments ~ respond well to this treatment.)

    Hang damp jeans & slacks by the hems (side seams together) to pull the wrinkles out… you can also “finger press” a crease in front & back. Spray a water mist or wrinkle release solution on stubborn areas like pocket flaps & curling hems to finger press & shape, eliminating the need for ironing.
    The weight of the waist & body area will pull out the wrinkles & allow the garment to dry with a natural crease, without breaking down the fibers in a dryer.

    If there isn’t enough space in the Laundry Room to allow clothes to hang dry, hang them on the shower curtain rod in the bathroom (but don’t put away in the closet while still damp).

    OGT has posted previously the recipe for a DIY WRINKLE RELEASE SOLUTION made with vinegar, water and fabric softener.

    If you MUST iron dark colored items, be sure to use a pressing cloth to avoid a permanent SHINE on the fabric!

  • Thank you so much for these tips! I am one of the strange people who like to iron and also view it as an essential part of sewing – which I have been enjoying for more years than I will admit to. I read these tips with the attitude of “what could you possibly teach me?” Well, I was very pleasantly surprised and grateful to learn some new things! I appreciate all that you and your staff put into these posts. I learn something new/helpful/interesting every day. Thanks!

  • >