You can use one of several techniques to remove shiny iron marks from natural fibers like wool blends and cotton. These techniques will help soften the fibers and help them return to their natural, uncompressed state.
Shine marks on polyester are more likely to be melted fibers as opposed to compression. In these cases, the damage is permanent and impossible to reverse. However, if the shine is caused by compression, then the below techniques will have the same effect on man-made materials as they do with natural fibers.
How to remove iron marks from clothes? Iron marks, burns or shiny marks can be removed by treating the area with Hydrogen Peroxide. In natural fabrics where shine has occurred, applying steam or vinegar to the spot can help restore the flattened fibers to their natural state.
Here are 6 techniques that should help improve, if not completely eliminate the problem.
1. Identify the Fabric
The chance of removing shine from natural fibers such as cotton is much higher compared to man-mad synthetic fibers like polyester. If synthetic fibers have melted because of exposure to high heat, there is little chance of undoing the damage.
2. Steam-out Shine
This is one of the quickest ways to undo shine as soon as you spot it. Without letting the soleplate come into contact with the fabric, apply steam to the shiny area. This could be enough to loosen the fibers that have been compressed.
You could also hang the garment and use your irons vertical steam feature. You can also run over the area with a clothing brush or a dry towel to help loosen and decompress the fibers.
If it’s a faulty iron that got you into this pickle in the first place, check out our list of tried and tested steam irons for home use. You’ll see the best results from an iron with a more powerful steam output.
3. Cold Water Plunge for Shiny Marks
This technique works for shiny marks. Dip the item of clothing into cold water and leave it overnight. Like with steaming, this should soften those flattened fibers, and by soaking them, they can return to their normal condition.
4. Re-wash the Garment
For both shine and scorch marks, you should see a marked improvement. Following the wash instructions on the garment label, wash the piece of clothing adding a small amount of vinegar. (1 part vinegar to 2 parts detergent).
5. Dab Shine with a Vinegar Cloth
This is another tip that will work for shine marks. Dab the shiny area with a vinegar-soaked cloth, followed by a clean water-dampened cloth. Repeat the process, alternating between the two until the sheen disappears.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide for Burn Marks
This technique works incredibly well for accidental scorch or burn marks. Soak a clean white cloth in 3% hydrogen peroxide and then lay the cloth over the damaged area. Iron over the spot, lifting the cloth to check for improvement. Repeat the process until the shine is lifted.
On a white shirt, you will notice the caramel burn marks start to fade to a pale yellow. Depending on the severity of the burn, you may need to repeat the process a few times.
Hydrogen peroxide is available at most drug stores. Make sure you buy a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. This is best done on white fabrics as hydrogen peroxide has a mild bleaching effect. For black or colored garments, first, test a small drop of hydrogen peroxide on an inside seam to make sure the fabric is colorfast and will not discolor.
Finally, wash and dry the garment as normal when you are done.
7. Use a Brush to Help Lift the Fibres
In some fabrics where fibers have been compressed or flattened, you may need to help lift them by brushing them gently. For more delicate fabrics, start with a more gentle tooth brush. For denim and thicker fabrics, a course brush and a little extra pressure may need.
It’s a relief to know garments can be brought back from “the shine”, but it’s much easier and more time-efficient to avoid the problem completely. Check our article on how to avoid shine marks while ironing.
Black fabrics show up scorches the most and those pieces of clothing are often our go-to favorites. Because they are worn more frequently, we need to care for them a little more to ensure they don’t look tired and old before their time. A good tip is to buy two of the same item so you can circulate the two.
Shines or accidental scorches are an easy mistake to make. Ironing can become an automated activity and if your gym shorts are at the bottom of the ironing pile, without any thought, their polyester fibers will melt and die a shiny death. Prevention is better than cure!