Best Way to Iron a Shirt: Complete Guide and Tips

best way to iron a shirt
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Back in the day, our grandmothers were the neat and tidy types who used to iron everything and anything. These include anything from curtains and bedsheets to tablecloths, pillowcases, and even handkerchiefs. You will not see any trace of wrinkles in their clothes. Everything looked wrinkle-free, crisp, fresh, and clean.

In today’s generation, though, it’s very uncommon to find kids who know the best way to iron a shirt, much less properly fold it after washing. We usually press our clothes only when we need to go to an important function; otherwise, we follow the wash and wear standard of casual clothing.

Benefits of Ironing Your Shirt

Learning how to iron your shirt is a skill that we all should have. If you are the type who loves to dress well, make sure that your shirt is always pressed and wrinkle-free. Aside from being well-dressed and looking prim and proper, here are the other benefits we can gain from knowing how to iron a shirt:

1. Shirts Lasts Longer

Ironing shirts instead of having it dry-cleaned means that you had washed them beforehand. Washing your clothes allows you to clean the parts where dirt accumulates faster. Making sure that your shirts get the cleaning they deserve is one way of prolonging their shelf life.

2. Saves on Money

You can save a lot of money in the long haul if you iron your shirt at home instead of always going to the dry cleaners. You may pay a small amount every time you bring your shirt to the shop, but combining all those little payments will still result in something big.

3. Instant Gratification

Knowing how to iron your shirt allows you to choose and prepare the one that you want to wear at that specific moment. It is also beneficial if there’s a need for you to change into a different shirt instantly.

To do this, simply grab the garment and the clothes iron and press it. There’s no hassle of having to run to the dry cleaners to get a fresh shirt.

4. Clean-Smelling Clothes

There are instances where our freshly washed shirt smells odd. Applying heat and some fresheners as you press your shirt can do wonders to the smell even after wearing it the whole day.

5. Recognizing Cleaning Errors

We don’t always notice small details as we clean our shirts in the washer. It is only through ironing that we notice every spot and corner of our shirt. We will see if one cuff is still dirty or there’s a missing button that we need to replace.

6. Clean-Looking Clothes

Ironing makes our clothes look clean and fresh. Regularly washing our garments is not enough to make us look presentable. Wearing freshly ironed garments can help boost our confidence and self-esteem.

7. Hygienic

Washing and cleaning alone will not remove all the germs on our clothes. Applying the heat and pressure from the clothes iron will eliminate the bacteria that remained on our clothes after washing.

8. Eliminate Shrinkage

Some fabrics shrink after washing. Sometimes it’s because of the laundry detergent used for washing, but most of the time, it’s the fabric’s reaction to the water’s temperature that causes them to shrink.

Things You’d Need to Iron a Shirt

You will need the following items to achieve a perfectly pressed garment.

1. Clean Iron

Make sure that the base plate of your clothes iron is well-built and checked before using it as it may damage your garment. You can try using the iron on any white cloth to make sure that it’s clean.

Aside from that, it should also have the ability to provide the right amount of heat to smooth out wrinkles and shorten your ironing time. It will also be better to use a steam iron, as steam can distribute heat evenly onto the fabric. The size and weight of the clothes iron also play a crucial part in the outcome of the ironed shirt.

2. Clean Shirt

It’s no use pressing a soiled shirt. Check the shirt’s care instructions to ensure that you set the iron’s temperature to the right heat to avoid ruining your clothes because of the wrong temperature settings.

3. Ironing Board

Using an ironing board is optional but advisable. Removing wrinkles on the shirt is more comfortable with an ironing board than any flat surface. Make sure that your ironing board is stable and sturdy. Put a pad and cover onto the flat surface of the ironing board.

4. Clean Water in a Spray Bottle

Steam irons need water during the ironing process. Make sure that you use clean water to avoid leaving any stains on your shirt. Using water aids in removing wrinkles faster and prevents burning the fabric.

If you use a spray bottle, do not use one that was used for a cleaning solution. It’s best to have a spray bottle for those stubborn wrinkles so that you can spray water directly on the spot.

5. Light-Colored Cotton Towel

Always have a towel handy as this can serve a lot of purposes while you are doing your ironing task. You can lay it on the ironing board and serve as a pad. You can also roll it then insert it into the sleeve while you iron that part. It can also help in wiping excess water on the fabric.

best way to iron a shirt

Best Way to Iron a Shirt: Step by Step Guide

Ironing a shirt should only take three minutes to complete. It’s not hard to iron press a garment as long as you follow the correct way of doing it. Below is a step-by-step guide to ironing a shirt the best way:

Step 1: Back of Collar

Let’s start with the collar. Open the shirt up and lay it flat on the ironing board. Start ironing the edges, moving to the middle. Visible creases at the corner of the collar might appear if you press the center of the collar first.

Step 2: The Cuffs

Same as with the collar, iron the inner part of the cuff first, starting from the corners and moving to the middle. Complete ironing the cuff by pressing the outer side with the same process of starting from the edges and moving to the center. Make sure to avoid the buttons so as not to damage or burn them.

Step 3: The Sleeves

Lay the sleeves on the ironing board and smooth it out with your hands and fingers before applying the hot iron to ensure that there are no crinkled parts. Some people begin with the sleeves first instead of the collar; this depends on your preference.

Use the bottom seam as a guide in aligning the sleeve. Using the tip of the iron, start at the cuffs then move your way up to the shoulders. Check the other side to see if it also needs ironing by flipping it over.

Step 4: The Back

Some shirts have pleats at the back on the upper-middle part. Iron the underside of the pleats first before ironing the top. Iron the rest of the garment by continuously moving the shirt on the ironing board to make sure that every corner has been pressed.

Step 5: The Shoulders

The shoulder is the challenging part to iron on a shirt. Some people call this the yoke. Slip the yoke into the narrow part of your ironing board.

Begin pressing the corners then slowly move to the center. Remove the inserted yoke from the ironing board and then do the same to the other yoke.

Step 6: The Front and the Placket

Next is the front side of the shirt. We need to be extra careful on this part since this is where all the buttons are found. One wrong move and the buttons might get burned or the threads might loosen. Focus on getting the placket well-pressed and wrinkle-free.

With regards to the shirt pocket, iron the outside part first before moving towards the center to prevent creases from forming.

Step 7: Front of the Collar

To complete our task, iron the front collar using the same method that we used in ironing the back collar.

Ironing Tips from the Pros

There are many ways to press a shirt and make it crisp and wrinkle-free. Here are some tips from professionals to achieve the fresh look that we desire.

1. Iron shirts while still moist.

Your shirt will get a crispier finish when you iron it while moist straight from the washer—no need to put it in the dryer. In fact, it is best to avoid using the dryer frequently to prolong the lifespan of your garment.

For dry and wrinkled shirts, it’s best to use a steam iron. If you don’t have a steam iron, put water in a spray bottle and spritz water on the shirt before pressing the dampened part. 

2. Iron shirts in batches.

The preparation to iron one shirt daily takes as much time as when you iron several shirts at once. You will be better off doing it in batches. It is also one way of conserving time and electricity.

3. Check the shirt for stains before you iron.

Make sure that your shirt is clean and stain-free before you start pressing it. Any amount of blemish on the shirt will be hard to remove once you applied heat to it. It might even be permanent if not checked right away.

4. Iron dark-colored fabrics inside out.

Always iron the wrong side of dark-colored garments. This is to ensure that there will be iron marks or shiny spots showing on your shirt.

5. Use a steamer.

If you are not sure how to iron a particular shirt, or if you are afraid of burning your favorite garment, use a steamer instead of a regular iron.

Alternatively, you can use a pressing cloth if you don’t have a steam iron. It’s a piece of material that you put on top of the shirt, so you don’t place the iron’s baseplate directly onto the shirt’s fabric.

6. Use starch in small amounts.

Using starch on your shirt is one way of making your shirt crisp and fresh-looking for a short period. However, the constant use of starch may shorten the lifespan of the garment. It can also damage your iron in the long run.

7. Take care of the iron.

We should also take care of our primary tool to make sure that it will always perform well and not lose its function. Make time to clean the clothes iron regularly, especially the baseplate, as this is the part that is always in contact with our garments.

You can look for an iron cleaning kit or wipe it with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or residue absorbed from the garments. Rub some beeswax candle on the baseplate and then wipe it off on a rag.

8. Iron clothes in the bedroom.

If you do your ironing chore inside the bedroom, you will have easy access to hangers and the closet. The bed is also an excellent spot to arrange and categorize your clothes.

9. Use an aluminum foil.

You can shorten your ironing time by placing an aluminum foil under your board cover. This reflects the heat, which means that you would be able to iron the garment on both sides at the same time.

10. Iron clothes accordingly.

When ironing clothes, start with garments that require a low-temperature setting and move on to those that require the highest setting.

11. Practice correct ironing techniques

When ironing your clothes, make sure to move the finished part away from you to prevent it from getting creased again as you press the remainder of the shirt.

To prevent creases on hems, cuffs, and collars, make sure to iron the wrong side of these parts first. Then, flip it over and do the same on the right side.

Use a steam iron for wrinkled corduroy by placing it above the fabric without letting the baseplate touch the garment. Then, use your palms to smooth out the material while still damp.


It is always lovely to wear a well-pressed shirt, especially during special occasions. Make sure to follow our guide and remember our tips, and you will always look snappy on your freshly ironed shirt.

The best way to iron a shirt is to use a good iron that emits sufficient heat. If you want to invest in great clothes or steam iron, you can check the best steam irons in the market today and pick the one that will work best for you.

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