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How to Iron a Dress Shirt


Not all of your clothes need ironing. Often, if your clothes go right from the dryer to the hanger or neatly folded in a drawer or on a shelf, they’re fine to wear without any extra work. However, certain items like dress shirts really need the extra effort to make sure that they’re freshly pressed and wrinkle-free. 

If you’re unsure about your expertise with the iron and ironing board, that’s okay. Take a look at some tips from the dress shirt experts that will help you get your dress shirts ironed perfectly.

Check the Tag on the Shirt

Did you know that dress shirts often come with ironing instructions? Those symbols on the tag inside your shirt may look strange, but they have meanings. An iron icon with one dot inside of it means that the shirt is made from synthetic fabric and that it needs to be ironed on the lowest heat settings. Two dots means that the shirt is made from silk or wool and requires medium heat. Three dots means that the shirt is made from linen or cotton. These shirts need the highest heat settings and can also receive steam unless there’s an X through the steam symbol.

If your shirt has an iron icon with an X through it, that means that the shirt shouldn’t be ironed at all. Paying attention to the ironing instructions on the tag can help prevent burns and other iron-related mishaps. 

Start With Collars and Cuffs

Once you’ve determined the appropriate heat setting for your shirt, you can get started on the shirt collar. Start with the back of the collar and work your way toward the center from each of the points. That way, the material won’t crease.

When you’ve finished with the collar, flatten the cuffs on the ironing board. Pressing the cuffs first will make the sleeves easier to iron later. This is true for both button cuff and French cuff shirts. The sleeves are one of the trickiest parts of ironing for beginners, so it’s important to begin the right way. When you’re finished with the cuffs, flatten the seam of the sleeves on the ironing board and spread the material out with your hands. After the sleeves, do the back of the shirt, then the button row, then the front.

Try Spray Starch

Using starch causes there to be less friction on the ironing, which can make the chore easier. It also keeps your shirts looking crisp and wrinkle-free longer. The drawback is that if you overdo it, starch can cut down on the lifespan of your shirt. The starch builds up in the collars, cuffs, and seams and causes fraying. 

Spray starch is a good solution to this problem. You have much more control over how much starch you use with a spray variety. After you spray, allow the starch to soak into the fabric for 30 seconds or so before flattening the area by hand, then applying the iron. 

If ironing your dress shirts is taking up too much of your time, why not let Tide Cleaners press your dress shirts? Your best shirts will be in the hands of laundry experts and treated with premium products, and you’ll be free to focus on life, not laundry.