As one of the first household chores our parents made us do as teenagers, you’d think we’d all be experts at ironing by now.
But from fabric burns to makeshift ‘boards’ using a towel and kitchen counter (guilty!), most of us are still pretty poor at getting simple creases out of the contents of our own wardrobes.
It turns out ironing requires a skill more advanced than the ability to tweak the heat setting while also putting on the latest episode of Fleabag.
And before you say “nah, I’m just going to pop to the launderette” there’s actually good scientific reason to smooth out your iron ability once and for all.
A study published in January revealed that the hated household chore can actually boost your mental health.
The University of Tubingen in Germany discovered that “emptying” our brains through “boring” tasks was the ultimate stress buster.
So, if you’re looking to wind down after a tough day at work, how exactly do you go about getting your shirts and other items crease-free?
First things first, don’t allow your clothes to sit in your washing machine long after it has done a final beep.
“Take it out of the machine as soon as it’s completed drying to avoid wrinkles setting in. When removed, lay flat.
“Do not crumble into a basket.”
Next, you need to prep the item of clothing for the board to maximise those swipes of the iron.
“Make sure all of the buttons on your soon-to-be-ironed shirt have been undone beforehand, including the cuffs,” recommends Karen Tierney of professional dry cleaners Jeeves Belgravia to the Independent.
“Set your iron temperature to the correct heat setting, which you’ll have to check by looking at your shirt’s aftercare label instructions.”
And now you can begin ironing your clothes.
According to Fashion Beans, you should begin with the collar – remembering to iron both sides – before moving onto the cuffs.
Then start working on the back and shoulder section before moving onto the back.
Next, iron the front and finally tackle the sleeves.
“The trick is to keep the iron moving at all times, so you don’t burn anything – while ironing out creases and avoiding adding any new ones in,” they reveal.
“Lightly pull on the shirt as you go, but not so much that you create creases.”
Oh, and don’t forget to hang up your beautifully smooth item of clothing on a good-quality hanger afterwards.
If you’re got some time to spare this Sunday evening we highly recommend practicing your new-found knowledge and striking while the iron is hot (sorry)…