How To

The Way You're Ironing Your Clothes Is Ruining Them

We hate to break the bad news to you, but the way you've been ironing until now has been hurting your clothes.

Even if you aren't leaving singed patches on your shirts, the common mistakes that we all make are shortening the time we get with the favorite parts of our wardrobe.

The problem is that ironing is an art and a science, and most of us are taught bad habits when we learn how to do it. But it's never to late to become an ironing expert and make your clothes last longer.

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The most important thing to remember is never iron in circles. It may feel natural, but moving your iron back and forth stretches out your clothes and weakens the fabric. You should always use long, lengthwise strokes in the same direction.

Just as important, you should learn what temperature is best for each piece of clothing.

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Yes, when it comes to the settings on your iron it's not "one size fits all." Use your lowest setting on silks and synthetic fabrics, a slightly higher setting on wool, and turn it up high for cotton and linen.

For best results, divide your laundry pile into three categories and iron your clothes from "coolest" to "warmest."

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Sometimes, even if you follow all the rules your fabric doesn't cooperate. If you start to see shiny or singed patches on clothes and the temperature isn't too high, turn them inside out when you iron.

Finally, for clothing with tricky pleats always start at the bottom and iron from the inside out .

Once you've done all this, fold or hang your clothes right away and let them sit for a few hours at least. This way, all the creases you've made settle into the fabrics.

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