Whether it’s cotton, linen, wool or any other fabric, shirts are bound to develop wrinkles. The good news is that you can eliminate most wrinkles by pressing your shirts with a hot steam iron. The steam smooths out wrinkles and creases, leaving your shirt nice and crisp afterwards. While ironing may sound like a simple enough, however, many men do it wrong, leaving behind wrinkles or even damaging their shirts in the process. So, what’s the right way to iron a dress shirt?
Choosing the Right Iron
First and foremost, you’ll need to choose an iron that’s suitable for the job. You can identify the “power” of a clothes iron by its power consumption, with most consumer-grade irons ranging in power from 420 watts to 1800 watts. Conventional wisdom should tell you that an 1800 watt iron delivers more heat than a 420 watt model. And when there’s more heat, you can iron clothes in less time.
You should also look for a steam feature on an iron. Basically, this allows you to spray steam directly onto the fabric; thus, helping to eliminate wrinkles and creases. When you come across a stubborn wrinkle, simply spray a mist of steam over the fabric to smooth it out.
Read the Care Label
Before ironing any shirt or garment, read the care label for the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some shirts may contain delicate fabric that cannot be steam-ironed, in which case you should take it to the dry-cleaners.
Prepare Your Shirt
When you are ready to begin, lay your shirt flat on the ironing board, with the ironing board running through the middle of the shirt. Doing so protects the rear side of the shirt from wrinkles, allowing you to iron only one side at a time.
Most experts recommend ironing the the collar of your shirt first. Pop up the collar and iron from side to the other. If any wrinkles appear, run your iron to the bottom to minimize their appearance. When you are finished, flip the shirt over and repeat these steps to the outside.
After ironing the collar, go ahead and iron the cuffs. Make sure the buttons are unfastened, flip the cuff inside out, and iron the fabric to eliminate wrinkles and creases.
Now the Front.. and Back
Last but not least, you’ll need to iron the front and back of your dress shirt. Assuming your shirt has buttons, you should begin with this side, using caution to iron around the buttons, not over them. As you finish the front of your shirt, iron over the shoulder and work your way back down. Repeat these steps on the back, at which point you shirt should be crisp and wrinkle-free!