Ironing is not a favorite when it comes to household chores, but then again, which chore is?!? Many a person has stood at an ironing board and thought, does this t-shirt really need to be ironed…again? And it’s a valid question, especially when your ironing pile is ever-growing and every week sees the return of the same items.
Why is ironing clothes important? How you represent yourself is a reflection of who you are and ironed clothes make you look and feel good about yourself. Having clothes that are fresh and wrinkle-free has a direct impact on how you are viewed in both work and personal relationships.
For you firm haters of all things ironing, I hope this makes the ironing chore awaiting you somewhat easier. We don’t need to love the task, but it can definitely be made easier with a slightly rosier perspective… let’s hope we can achieve at least that.
The right tool for the job will also make ironing a breeze. Check out our review of the top steam irons for clothes if your current iron is making the task a nightmare.
1. Clothes Look Better for Longer
Steam ironing garments help fabric fibers soften and return to their original state.
This can improve their quality and ensure a long life. Some fabrics stretch out as you wear them changing the original form of the garment.
By ironing shirts and dress fabrics, your garment will maintain its shape and look like new for longer.
Sweater cuffs and even knitted jerseys tend to lose their shape over time. By running over the garment with a steam iron, the fibers return to their just-bought structure. Use parallel strokes instead of a circular motion when ironing to avoid stretching fabrics and distorting the garment’s shape. If seams, pleats, collars, and cuffs are pressed correctly, the garment will maintain its ‘just off the shelf’ shape.
2. Cost Savings
According to industry reports, the average household spends over $500 on dry cleaning per year. Every pillowcase, shirt, pair of trousers or sweater costs between $2 and $5 to be washed and ironed. That’s motivation enough to just get the job done yourself.
If you’re doing your own ironing, you’ll be saving a small fortune on dry cleaning bills.
3. Steam Kills Germs and Eliminates Mold
Ironing, more specifically steam ironing, kills germs and spores leaving clothes and fabrics in top hygienic shape.
What if we told you there’s an added benefit to ironing your clothes. Well, the good news is, there is. Steam iron needs to heat up to 212 degrees in order to generate steam, and at this temperature, the steam kills bacteria, germs, mold, and even dust mites.
So what does this mean exactly? For germophobes, it means your clothing is free of any living organisms when you put them on. And if you’re health-conscious, steam cleaning is highly effective and replaces the need for toxic chemicals that don’t always do the job of sanitizing as you’d hoped.
Dust mites are another casualty of steam ironing clothing, linen, and drapes. Especially if you have pets, simply running your steam iron over surfaces that seem a little grimy will restore their freshness.
4. Steam Ironing Removes Odors
But even if you’re not fussed about the occurrence of foreign particles living in your clothes, a natural byproduct of bacteria is body odor. By ironing your clothes, bacteria are killed and the odor dissipates.
If your iron has variable steam settings, turn it all the way up and spot treat shirts under the arms.
Sports gear and polyester fabrics can sometimes come out the wash with a faint reminder of your last workout. A good steam will ensure this is not a problem and leave your clothing super fresh and hygienic.
5. Stand Out in The Corporate World
When applying for a job, taking pride in your appearance is not about vanity. Dressing well and having clothing that is crease-free shows you take pride in yourself. It follows that people who take pride in themselves take pride in other areas of life too.
Even if you’re overqualified for a position but arrive looking worse-for-wear, that will distract a future employer from what you’re truly capable of. Your interviewer has a short time to make a judgment of who you are. Clothes that look messy and unkept will not help your application.
If you work in a profession that requires heavy, sweaty work, have a change of clothes available. Some fabrics are better at absorbing moisture and sweat, this will avoid anyone noticing any unpleasant body odor.
Work trips where you’re in an outfit or shirt all day may mean clothing requires some freshening up. A travel iron is ideal for just this situation. They heat up in seconds and can iron out any travel creases, plus, they refresh clothing. Apply the steam iron to areas which may be a bit sweaty like under the arm, this will effectively help eliminate bacteria and any odor.
What about moving up the corporate chain? They say to dress for the job you want, not the one you have. A flawless appearance comes with investing additional time in your appearance and clothing. Look sharp and don’t distract from the overall picture by neglecting to run an iron over wrinkled garments. A possible promotion is that much more of a possibility when you stand out for the right reasons.
6. Safer Than Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaners use harmful chemicals that you avoid by doing your laundry and ironing at home.
Most dry cleaners treat garments with a chemical called perchloroethylene, also known as PCE or perc. PCE and other cleaning chemicals like it, stick to your clothing and can be inhaled or absorbed by the skin. These toxic chemicals are harmful to our health and inhaling even small trace amounts can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, dizziness, and even vision problems.
7. Improved First Impressions
First impressions last, and just like you’ll be observing what you do and don’t like, so will your date. Don’t allow the wrinkled appearance of your clothing to distract them from the good stuff. A crumpled appearance could indicate you didn’t care enough to put in a little extra effort.
And for those of us already in a relationship, it shouldn’t have to be said, that you need to maintain a personal level of care and hygiene. We’re not saying you need to iron your underwear or pajamas every night. Lazing around the house on a Sunday morning is perfectly acceptable, but when you leave the house of your partners arm, take pride in your appearance.
Just like most people won’t leave the house without combing their hair or brushing their teeth, up your game to include ironed clothes that make you look and feel polished.
8. Ironing Helps Reverse Shrinkage
Some woven fabrics can tighten up during the washing and drying cycle. By steam ironing the material, you can help relax and flatten the fibers which can restore the natural shape of the garment. This can oftentimes make the difference between clothing feeling too tight, or just right.
9. Relaxation & TV Time
Studies show that boredom can promote creativity and even improve a person’s problem-solving abilities. Ironing allows your mind the time to switch off, which is rare in our fast-paced lives.
Next time you have a laundry pile to conquer, look at it as a meditation session and use the time to calm your mind.
If however, that’s not your thing, then why not use the time to catch up on your favorite podcast or Netflix series.
Do You Iron Your Clothes?
If your answer is no, then maybe you should start. Not all clothes, of course… thanks to the creation of modern textiles, there are iron-free fabrics which save any extra work.
We are well aware that judging a person based on the appearance of their clothing is in no way a reflection of their worth or who they truly are. However, there are several social situations where it is a key factor by which we are judged and if you wish to participate in that playing field, then ironing your clothing is the least that’s required.
Ironing your clothes is important because it says you care, and it says you take pride in your appearance. At social events, showing up in the right clothes that are neat and well-tended to shows your respect for the nature of the occasion. It’s putting your best foot forward, and that doesn’t go unnoticed.
What it comes down to is… just get it done! Avoid letting the pile grow too high as that mountain can become almost impossible to conquer. There is great satisfaction in a job well done and a neat pile of wrinkle-free clothing feels pretty darn sweet.