Ironing Shirts: How To Look Crisp Every time

There’s an image of the classic slacker that comes to mind easily.  Ruffled hair, dirty jeans, bad breath, and usually, a wrinkled shirt.  This image isn’t one plucked from thin air, but a uniform most normally associated with those not concerned with their appearance.

Appearance matters and the devil is in the details.  One thing too many overlook, overthink, or just don’t know how to do is properly iron a shirt.

So, in this guide we are going to introduce you to the proper technique to ensure next time you are headed out, people are in awe of your accessories and not appalled at your shirt.

There are five things that matter when it comes to ironing.

  1. The quality of the materials.
  2. The heat output from your iron
  3. Moisture
  4. A good surface

Quality Of Materials

There’s a stark difference between ironing a $5 shirt and a $100 one.  Everything from the thread count to the type of material itself makes an impact on how you iron.

Certain fabrics ruin easy or require lower heat when being ironed. Just as you can’t wash all materials the same way and with the same detergent, ironing is no different.

Your Iron

A cheap iron has fewer control options than a higher quality one. A motel iron may be able to help when you’re in a time crunch, but having a quality iron can make the process quicker and easier by offering better heat control and moisture. Check out our review of the Black and Decker D2030 iron for example.


If your fabric is too dry, it won’t be as easy to iron. Depending on how new or old your iron is, it will give you the ability to add a bit of moisture to your clothing via steam release.  This makes the fabric more malleable.

A Good Surface

Having a heat resistant, flat surface will make a massive difference when trying to get rid of any wrinkles.  The creases themselves dissipate with applied pressure, a slight bit of moisture, and well-placed heat.  Any rough surfaces or ridges will lead to your iron getting caught or being hard to roll across the material itself.

The Simple Process Itself:

  1. Take the time to ensure there are no lumps or rough spots in your board or flat surface.
  2. Smooth out your shirt, folded on one side and lay it out as flat as possible.
  3. Heat up your iron to the medium to low heat setting for more delicate wear, and higher for more coarse fabrics.
  4. Running your once prepped alongside the arm’s length, lifting it up to get into more difficult to reach areas and along the torso.
  5. Flip, and do the same for the other side.
  6. It’s important to use a smooth gliding motion that doesn’t press too heavily, as that can lead to damage or creases.

In the end, if you follow the instructions we’ve provided, you’ll be looking stellar in no time. Ironing your clothes properly will keep your clothes in good shape and will become a habit that will pay dividends to those that pay attention.