How Hot Does a Clothes Iron Get: Ironing Effectively and Safely
Irons are one of the oldest small appliances you likely have in your home since they have been used for many years by homeowners of all ages.
With the help of an iron, you can work out creases and wrinkles that can ruin your clothes and your appearance. However, understanding the right temperature settings is quite important.
Every fabric has its own limit in terms of heat, especially when it’s directly applied. Being able to answer how hot does a clothes iron get can help you easily work with a variety of materials. Additionally, you won’t have to pay a dry cleaner to handle the project for you.
The Maximum Ironing Temperature
Every iron is different, especially when it comes to settings, which makes people wonder how hot does a clothes iron get. Some irons may only be used for certain materials whereas others are equipped for anything.
On average, the maximum heat that an iron will produce is 500°F. When you’re buying an iron, it’s important to pay close attention to its wattage capacity. The higher the wattage, the hotter the iron will be able to get. This is because it will draw more power, which causes the unit to heat up faster and to higher temperatures.
How to Achieve the Hottest Temperature
Now that you are aware of the maximum temperature for most household irons, it’s important to know how to get there. Many people assume that because the heat indicator light is on, the iron is at the right temperature. However, this is not always the case.
When you’re looking to work with higher temperature settings, you’re going to need to give the iron time to reach the desired heat. Ideally, you should wait up to 15 minutes for the iron to reach 500°F. With that being said, not every fabric should be ironed at such high temperatures, as it can lead to scorching and discoloration.
The Different Ironing Settings for Fabrics
In today’s day and age, manufacturers always attempt to make appliances easier to use. With so many user-friendly features, you can quickly become your own dry cleaner.
Most irons are equipped with a variety of settings for different garment materials. When you select an individual setting, it will automatically preheat the iron to the right temperature.
It’s also important to note that not everyone likes to iron this way. Many homeowners like to have a little more control over the temperature of their iron. This is especially true if the care claim for garments specifies a maximum temperature.
If this is the case for your clothes, you’ll need to know what specific temperatures are required. Below is a comprehensive guide to the right heat settings for different materials.
1. Linen (445°F; Iron Setting Five)
Linen is incredibly forgiving while ironing, but it’s also one of the hardest materials to work wrinkles out of. You’ll surely want to use steam and a high heat setting for the cleanest press.
Either iron while the material is damp or pre-moisten it. You’ll also want to use the steam setting to work out stubborn wrinkles.
2. Triacetate (390°F; Iron Setting Four)
While the garments are slightly damp, press the triacetate gently. A pressing cloth is recommended to prevent shininess.
3. Cotton (400°F; Iron Setting Five)
Note: These rules also apply to muslin, denim, calico, and chintz.
When ironing cotton, you can use both dry ironing and steam ironing. It’s recommended that you either iron on the fifth setting while the clothes are damp or moisten them with the steam.
4. Viscose or Rayon (375°F; Iron Setting Three)
Viscose or rayon is prone to shininess similar to wool. With that being said, make sure you turn the garments inside out and prevent an excessive amount of pressure while ironing. You may also want to consider using a pressing cloth for added protection.
5. Wool (300°F; Iron Setting Three)
Note: These rules also apply to flannel and cashmere
Wool is a cozy material, but it’s also quite fragile. It’s recommended that you use a pressing cloth between the iron and the garment to protect the wool from scorching. Additionally, you’ll want to turn the garment inside out and use a spray bottle to moisten the fabric.
6. Polyester (300°F: Iron Setting Three)
Ironing polyester is relatively simple. It’s recommended that you leave the garment damp or pre-moisten it before ironing. Even though it’s a resilient material, you’ll only want to use low to medium heat settings.
7. Silk (290°F: Iron Setting One)
Similar to wool, you’re going to want to turn any silk items inside out prior to ironing. Compared to the other fabrics on this list, you do not want to use steam, as this can permanently damage the item. For even more protection, consider using a pressing cloth so that the iron can easily glide along the fabric without snagging.
8. Acetate (290°F: Iron Setting One)
Acetate is incredibly fragile, and as such, you do not want to use water or steam while ironing. Also, ensure that the iron is on the lowest heat setting and turn the garment inside out.
9. Lycra or Spandex (275°F: Iron Setting One)
By dampening the targeted area, working with spandex is simple. Depending on the stickiness of the fabric, you may also want to consider turning it inside out. Make sure that you move the iron quickly to avoid burning.
10. Nylon (275°F: Iron Setting One)
You’ll want to work with nylon exactly as you would with acetate, as it’s equally as fragile. Using the lowest heat, turn the garment inside out and dry iron.
If you’ve ever wondered how hot does a clothes iron get, the answer is likely hotter than you expected! With knowledge of the right settings, you can work stubborn creases out of any material without damage.