How to iron
By Christina Woodger
When you're faced with a crumpled mountain of ironing, don’t despair. There are plenty of ways to make the whole experience less of a chore.
This video guide is packed with expert tips to help you save time on your ironing, from when to use continuous steam to how best to target really stubborn creases.
We also explain what you need to know to buy the best iron - our separate guide to choosing an iron or steam generator has more expert buying advice.
Of all the household tasks, ironing is the one many of us dread. It can be time consuming and, even worse, if you get it wrong you risk doing permanent damage to your favourite piece of clothing.
When it comes to the ironing itself, time is of the essence. For best results, get started while your garments are still a little damp. If they’re too wet, you’ll end up with an unmanageable, water-logged heap, and if you leave them too long, the fabric will develop deep creases as it dries.
Whatever you do, don't be tempted to spin the dial on your iron up too high for the fabric: anything synthetic will only suffer as a result. Ironing at the correct temperature is one thing you can't skimp on. Our video above reveals more ironing tips.
Choosing the best steam iron
But an ironer is only good as their iron, so you could benefit from finding a reliable, efficient model. If you think yours might be past its best, there are plenty of new irons to choose from in our irons reviews area.
A Best Buy steam iron will be fast, but a Best Buy steam generator iron will be even faster. The Lewis Hamiltons of the ironing world, steam generators can flatten the competition thanks to their superior steam production.
It's also worth taking a closer look at your ironing board. Does it have a lumpy cover that means you're ironing creases into your clothes when you should be smoothing them to perfection? Or is it set at an awkward height?
The best ironing boards are made of mesh and have thick padding, but even these vary considerably.
Some are better suited to sedentary ironers, others are long and wide enough for bulky bed covers or curtains, or helpfully angled to support the shoulders on shirts or blouses.
Make sure your ironing board suits your needs, or you could be spending longer than you need hunched uncomfortably or struggling to manoeuvre large items of laundry.