How Do You Stop Shine When Ironing?

That “shine” that can occur when ironing, makes clothing, especially darker fabrics, look old and tired. It can happen in seconds and just like that, your favorite shirt is ruined… or is it? It’s a common yet frustrating part of ironing which in most cases, can be completely avoided. There’s more good news… some accidental sheens can even be removed, and we’re about to tell you how.

How do you stop shine when ironing? To avoid shine of fabrics, you can reduce the heat of your iron, use a protective ironing cloth, iron the garment inside out, or vertically steam the garment so it doesn’t come in contact with the iron’s soleplate.

We’ll cover this in more detail so that by the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what causes those smooth, shiny, scorch marks and you should be able to completely avoid it happening ever again.

What Are Shiny Marks on Clothing?

Shine is caused when your iron is too hot… the intense heat of the soleplate actually flattens or melts the fibers, and that’s what gives it that shiny look.

Shine marks are particularly obvious on black and dark clothing. It can appear on any area of the garment, but it is most common on seams where the increased height of the ironing surface makes it more vulnerable to scorching. This includes collars, cuffs, and pockets where the surface is uneven.

Seams are also more prone to shining as more pressure and time are applied to them to get them neat and flat. The following tips, along with a well-padded ironing board should absorb this pressure and avoid shine throughout your wardrobe.

10 Tips to Avoid Shine in Fabrics

Removing shine marks is not guaranteed, so it’s easier to avoid accidentally scorches. Here’s how.

1. Read the Clothing Label

It’s important to read and really understand the clothing label… this will tell you exactly what the fabric’s made of. From this, you can see which heat setting to choose when ironing the item. Natural fabrics like cotton can handle higher heat settings but synthetic material like polyester or nylon needs much less heat.

2. Invest in a Quality Steam Iron

Get yourself a quality steam iron with a high steam output. The higher the steam output, the quicker wrinkles will be removed and there’ll be less time for you your iron to damage the fabric. For home use, check out our Best Steam Iron for Clothes Review.

3. Take Extra Care with Dark Fabrics

Shine is much more obvious on darker colored clothing so be extra careful when ironing them.

4. Iron Delicate Fabrics First

Iron your more delicate fabrics first. What I like to do is I sort my ironing pile by the different materials and iron the synthetic items first, because they need the iron to be cooler. This way, as your iron gets hotter, you don’t risk scorching the more sensitive fabrics.

5. Turn Down the Temperature

If you’re unsure of what heat to iron a particular fabric at, always start with a lower heat setting… once you see its safe, you can always turn the heat up.

If you’ve been ironing items that use a higher temperature and then move to more delicate items, make sure you allow you iron time to cool down. Only start ironing again once the indicator light confirms that the iron has reached the correct temperature.

Material Temperature
Linen 445 °F (230 °C)
Cotton 400 °F (204 °C)
Viscose 370 °F (190 °C)
Polyester 300 °F (148 °C)
Wool 300 °F (148 °C)
Silk 300 °F (148 °C)
Acrylic 275 °F (135 °C)
Lycra 275 °F (135 °C)

6. Iron Clothing Inside Out

Iron clothing inside out. This way, even if you accidentally create a shine, people won’t be able to see it.

7. Use an Ironing or Pressing Cloth

Use an ironing cloth. What this does, is it forms a barrier between the clothing and the hot soleplate. It will absorb most of the heat and prevent the fabric from scorching.

You get different types of ironing clothes, I like the mesh type which is great because you can see through it and it also allows more steam to get through.

But, if you don’t have one of these, you can use a clean dishcloth or a pillowcase… any piece of cotton will work perfectly.

8. Vertical Steam Your Clothing

If you’re nervous about a particular piece of clothing, put it on a hanger and turn up the steam on your iron. Then, without letting the soleplate touch the fabric, run the steam of the iron along the material and let it steam out the wrinkles.

9. Iron Clothing While Slightly Damp

Iron your clothes while they’re still damp. Like with steaming, the damp fabric will de-wrinkle much faster without too much direct dry heat from the soleplate. If your clothing is already dry, use the spray feature on your iron or use a spray bottle to wet the material first.

10. Use a Padded Ironing Board

Using a padded ironing board is particularly helpful along the seams of trouser pants. Seams on trousers are often the most obvious areas to show shine, and this is because they are a little raised and get more pressure. A padded ironing board helps absorbs some of this pressure and prevent any scorching.

If you’ve created shine marks on clothing and want to learn how to remove them, check out this article.

Synthetic fabrics like polyester are more likely to shine compared to natural materials like cotton. Yes, there is science behind it all but that aside, we want to make sure you avoid damaging any clothes with a few easy tips.

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