How to Iron Clothes Fast

Iron a shirt collar, then the body.
Iron a shirt collar, then the body. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Ironing clothes is a necessary evil, but it doesn't have to take up your whole day. Organizing your clothes first will make the task easier and faster. Sort your clothes by fabric type and iron temperature and begin ironing the clothes that require the coolest setting first. Increase the heat as you continue. Knowing which parts of the garment to iron first will also make the chore go by faster.

Things You'll Need

  • Ironing Board
  • Iron
  • Hangers
  • Water in a spray bottle

Point the tapered end of the ironing board to the left if you are right-handed, and to the right if you are left-handed. Set the iron to the appropriate temperature for the garment.

For pants and skirts, iron the waistband first. Place skirts over the tapered end of the board, with the waist on the end of the board and the skirt flowing over the top. Iron in a circular motion, pulling the skirt toward you as you finish the section on the board. For pants, once you have finished the waistband, place the folded pants with the front pleats facing you on the board. Iron the whole length of the pant first, then fold over the top leg and iron the bottom leg. Flip the pants over so that they are lying on the ironed side and repeat the process.

For shirts and blouses, iron the collar, then the collar band. Then iron the shoulder area and wrists. Lastly place the open shirt or blouse on the ironing board, with the front left panel flat on the board and the back and right panel hanging over the board toward the ground. Carefully iron the button or button hole placket. Move onto the back. If the shirt or blouse is large, start at the section closest to the already ironed front panel. Move the shirt as you finish, always working in the same direction.

For dresses, start with the collar, then collar band, shoulders and wristbands, if any. Then pull the dress over the tapered end of the board and iron the top portion first. Iron one section at a time, always adjusting in the same way, until the whole top is done. Then carefully pull the top of the dress until the waist is at the end of the board. Iron the skirt section in the same way, ironing and pulling around until you have reached the section where you have started.

Tips & Warnings

  • Taking a couple of minutes to get organized before you start will help in the long run. Divide your pile of clothes in one of two ways: Either by fabric content (polyester blends, then wool blends then cotton/linen blends) or by type of clothing. (Dresses, then skirts, then shirts, then pants, etc)
  • Separating by fabrics will let you iron progressively from cooler to hotter temperatures, while separating by type of clothing will allow you to develop good work rhythm.

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