A College Student’s Ironing Guide
Fabrics have improved so much that ironing has almost disappeared. Students take clothes out of the dryer and put them on. Some garments are wrinkle-free and some are not. The day will come – a wedding, anniversary, graduation – when your college student has to look right and wrinkled clothes don’t cut it.
Wrinkled fabrics are “in” because college students don’t know how to iron or don’t want to iron. Sometimes, however, a college student needs to dress up for an occasion and that means wrinkle-free clothing. These 12 tips will help your student finish his or her ironing in a flash.
Does your student know how to iron? If not, these tips will get him or her started.
1. Follow label instructions. According to “Ironing Tips for Organized Living,” an article on the Organization Makes Sense Website, the label tells if a garment can be ironed (iron symbol) and gives the temperature. “The more dots the higher the recommended heat.”
2. Use a well-padded board. Ironing is a waste of time if the ironing board doesn’t have enough padding. You can buy a board cover and pad set, or add extra padding with a swatch of flannel or old blanket. Secure the extra padding with safety pins.
3. Use distilled water. This prolongs the life of the iron and keeps it from spitting tiny “rocks” of lime.
4. Start with higher heat items. This recommendation comes from “Ironing Tips,” posted on the OPH Good Housekeeping Website. Work your way to garments that are ironed on a lower setting.
5. Set lower temperature. This prevents accidental scorching. Instead of setting the iron on linen, for example, set it on cotton.
6. Keep the iron moving. If your college student leaves the iron in place while talking on a cell phone, the garment could be “fried.” In fact, synthetic fabric may melt.
7. Spray wrinkles. Stubborn wrinkles will disappear if you mist them with water before ironing. A plant mister with a spray nozzle works well for this.
8. Hang clothes promptly. After the garment has been ironed it should be hung up immediately so it doesn’t sag and get new wrinkles. Buttoning the second button from the top holds a shirt or blouse in place.
9. Iron the wrong side. Thick fabric, fragile fabric, and polyester should be turned inside out before ironing.
10. Iron shirts properly. The “Ironing Tips” article recommends ironing the sleeves first. I fold the sleeves along the seam line and iron them. Then I iron a front panel, the collar and back of the shirt, and finally, the second front panel.
11. Cool iron. Putting a hot iron on a shelf could be dangerous. The iron should cool down for 30 minutes before it is put away. Leave the cord loose to prevent kinks in the wire.
12. Be careful with graphics. Gymnastics outfits, football jerseys, and college t-shirts usually have plastic graphics/lettering on them and they can melt. These items should be ironed on the wrong side or folded and “hand pressed” when they come out of the dryer.
Ironing may be a lost skill, but it’s still a valuable skill to have. Some college students think ironing is calming. Meryl Streep, who has won many Academy Awards, thinks ironing has another advantage. As she noted, “You can’t get spoiled if you do your own ironing.”