We've probably all been there before—we just spent a good portion of our morning ironing a button-down for work, only to still be left with wrinkles and creases once we put it on. The frustration sets in and time runs out, leaving us no other option but to wear the wrinkly shirt to work. As it turns out, however, there is a right and a wrong way to iron a dress shirt, and we enlisted cleaning expert Melissa Maker of Clean My Space to help us put together an easy step-by-step guide to follow to ensure a perfectly pressed button-down every single time and in just five minutes.
1. De-wrinkling starts with the washing and drying process.
According to Maker, getting a perfectly pressed and wrinkle-free shirt starts with the washing and drying process. "Shake your garments out between washing and drying and then after drying. That will help to loosen the fabric and release wrinkles," she explains. "Take it out of the machine as soon as it's completed drying to avoid wrinkles setting in. When removed, lay flat. Do not crumble into a basket."
2. Gather the proper supplies.
When ironing a dress shirt, there are a few essentials one should have on hand. As Maker tells us, you need an iron that preferably has a steam function, an ironing board, a spray bottle filled with clean water, and lastly, hangers or a rack on which to hang the shirt once ironed.
3. Select the correct heat setting for your fabric.
According to Maker, using the wrong temperature setting is one of the most common mistakes people make when ironing a shirt. She advises checking the care label to ensure you're setting the iron on the correct heat level. "Put [the shirts] in order of which requires the coolest setting to the hottest. Start with the coolest setting per the label," she explains.
4. Lay your shirt on the ironing board.
Now that all the prep work is done, it's time to iron! Start by using the pointed end of the board, positioning the collar, arms, or cuffs around it. Maker notes she typically starts with the larger pieces of fabric, such as the back and side panels, before moving on to the sleeves. Once that is complete, she folds down the collar and irons in the crease. Lastly, when going around the buttons, she suggests only using the nose of iron around them. Do not go over the actual buttons, as they could melt.
5. Steam or re-wet difficult spots.
If there are still creases and wrinkles in your dress shirt, re-wet the spot with your spray bottle (or use the steam function) and iron over it once again.
Now that you know how to correctly iron a dress shirt in five simple steps, why not invest in a few more white button-downs? It's a wardrobe staple you'll wear forever.
Next up, learn how to store your fur coats during the off-season.