There is an art to ironing a shirt properly. Many people prefer to take it to the laundromat for ironing, as it is very difficult to iron a shirt so that it is crease-free. However, if it turns out that you really have to wear the ironed shirt now for tonight's event, there's no time to take the shirt to the laundry, so you'll have to know how to do it yourself.
Method 1 of 3: Preparing Your Shirt
Step 1. Start with a freshly washed shirt
When your shirt comes out of the dryer, shake it off, smooth it with your hands and hang it on a hanger. Button the top button.
Step 2. Fill in your iron
Fill the iron with distilled or bottled water, if you can. Tap water contains small amounts of minerals that can build up in your iron over time. This causes a blockage. If you notice that your iron is occasionally spraying too much water, it's because it's clogged.
Step 3. Allow your iron to reach the right temperature
To keep your shirt wrinkle-free, you'll need to set the temperature setting to a cooler setting than the heat setting used for cotton. Be careful not to burn the clothes. See manufacturer's instructions.
Step 4. Prepare a place to hang clothes
If you are ironing more than one item, you will need to fold the clothes you are ironing or hang them up. This will prevent the clothes from creasing again when you iron other clothes.
Step 5. Spray some starch
Spray a small amount of starch spray (optional) on the shirt hanging, then remove the shirt from the hanger. Unbutton the top of the shirt.
Method 2 of 3: Iron the Shirt
Step 1. Place the collar on the ironing board and press
Iron the inside of the collar at the back of the neck. Do it also on the outside of the collar.
Step 2. Press the shirt yoke (the part that connects the front of the shirt to the back) and the shoulders
Position your ironing board inside your shirt and into your sleeves. If your ironing board doesn't have a small board to slide into the sleeve, then place the sleeve on top of the ironing board, both sides flat, and iron it. Turn the shirt to iron the back of the shirt. Change position to iron the other shirt shoulder. Then turn the shirt, and iron the back of the yoke and the shoulders of the shirt.
Step 3. For a long-sleeved shirt, press down on the wrists, similar to the instructions for ironing a collar
Twist the shirt to press the other side.
Step 4. Place one arm on the ironing board
Align the sleeves following the bottom seam as a guide. Press carefully, pressing both layers of fabric together to keep the iron flat as the iron slides across the front surface of the shirt sleeve. Repeat for the other arm. Turn the shirt to iron the other side of the sleeve.
Step 5. Position the shirt body on the square end of your ironing board, button panel first
Press the iron from the lower tail up to the collar. Do not allow wrinkles or creases to be compressed by the iron. Twist the shirt to iron the inside of the shirt body.
Step 6. Move the shirt position to the next body panel, halfway behind the shirt
Press the iron from the tail forward up to the collar.
Step 7. Move the shirt position to the next body panel, the other half of the back
Press as before.
Step 8. Move the shirt position to the last body panel, the other half of the front, the button panel
Press as before.
Step 9. Return the ironed shirt to the hanger, buttoning the top button and the third button
Method 3 of 3: Iron the T-shirt
Step 1. Place the shirt on the ironing board
Insert the shirt into the ironing board as if you were attaching it to someone. The fabric should be laid evenly but not too stretchy.
Step 2. Smooth out the wrinkles on the shirt
Smooth out the main wrinkles with your hands and make sure they are as flat as possible.
Step 3. Iron the shirt properly
The main trick for ironing T-shirts, since T-shirts are also knitted, is that you don't have to move the iron in a circular or curved motion as you normally would. Instead, press the iron one place at a time and don't move it when the heat hits the fabric (as much as possible).
Knitted fabric stretches easily if you push and pull the fabric by moving the hot iron
Step 4. Rotate the shirt and continue until all parts of the shirt are ironed
Step 5. Lay the clothes flat
Lay the shirt as flat as possible until it cools down, to make sure all the wrinkles are removed.
Step 6. Fold the shirt
Fold or hang the shirt to prevent wrinkles from forming when you put it on.
- Hang washed and dried shirts on hangers and don't pile them in a pile of clothes to be ironed.
- To see if the iron is hot, put your finger in the water, and splash the water on the iron. If it immediately boils, it means the iron is hot and ready to use.
- Cotton clothes should be pressed very tightly and on a hotter iron setting.
- You may need to iron the back or inside of the fabric as you would the outside of the fabric. This will make it neater, smoother looking, less wrinkled. Start ironing the bottom, or the inside of the fabric first, so you can remove any wrinkles when ironing the outside.
- If you have a steam iron, use distilled water purchased at the grocery store. This will prevent blockages caused by mineral buildup.
- Air fresheners are not a substitute for deodorizing sprays.
- Remember to unplug the iron when finished ironing, place it on the stove to cool, and keep it out of reach of children.