Remember that antiquated instrument complete with the awkward, foldable board we hated to use? We called it an iron. During this economic turn-down you can save a ton of money at the dry-cleaner by redeploying your iron in fighting the high cost of clothes maintenance. Follow my tips below and put your iron to work to save money now.
It’s a Pressing Matter!
Revive a Steamy Relationship!
Reserve a quiet time each week to set up your ironing board. Get a new, colorful ironing-board cover from Walmart, a $15 expenditure that can motivate and also provide the proper support for fabrics to make your ironing perfect. Turn on the radio. Make your uniform corporate white blouses stand at attention with a little starch. Put that knife-like crease in your husband’s jeans. You may not believe it, but ironing can be therapeutic: you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing work well-done while saving a bundle of money.
Rediscover Your Dryer Cycles
Remember your mother’s washing instructions about “washing whites with whites, colored clothing all together, and blacks and dark colors separately”? Read and understand the settings on your dryer as well. And most importantly, don’t ignore that buzzer! It means “Take Me Out Now!” To avoid wrinkles, hang all candidates for ironing on hangers until you are ready to iron. An expensive Brooks Brothers business shirt returns to its dry-cleaned glory if taken out immediately and ironed lightly!
Tackle Your Tablecloths
Appalled by the cost of professional ironing for my best table-cloths, I actually washed and ironed my large antique-beige Madeira linen tablecloth without incident. Just watch the tip of the iron around that handmade embroidery and eyelets! I remember my mother sprinkling our tablecloths with water and wrapping them in bundles tightly before ironing “to set.” They always turned out beautifully.
Pleading With Pleats
Finally, here’s a simple method for dealing with sharply-pleated skirts.Instead of a trip to the cleaners for expensive custom pressing or wrestling down stubborn pleats with your iron, take them to the shower. With you. Leave the skirt hanging in the rear of the shower for about five minutes after you leave. Then take the skirt out and shake it sharply in the air once or twice. The pleats that were permanently pressed into the fabric will reappear as sharply as ever. This works especially well with stubborn fabrics such as sharkskin. Linens may need an additional touch-up with the iron but the pleats’ basic memory returns quickly!
* Keep a “Sprinkling Bottle” within reach. When she ironed, my mother used a small soda bottle with holes in the top to sprinkle clothes before steam irons became available. These can still be useful for stubborn, hard-to-reach places like gathered sleeves.
* Have a measuring cup with a spout and water handy when your steam iron runs out of steam!
* Inexpensive spray starches such as Niagara or Faultless add body and crispness and come in regular and heavy for that professional look!
* So you missed the sound of your dryer’s buzzer and your newly-cleaned clothes are all permanently pressed together! What to do? Simply dampen a clean towel and throw it in the dryer for about five minutes and your clothes will come out wrinkle-free. Works every time. Not that I’ve ever had to do this myself.
* When ironing, don’t try to do too much. Iron only what you’ll need for the next week. If you’re new to ironing, pace yourself to avoid backaches. Do three blouses and reward yourself with a little break.
* Test that iron! When starting to iron, pick a small area such as the inside back end of your favorite blouse. The “Cotton” setting really is for cottons! Sometimes applying a hot iron to a delicate fabric will create a lasting impression you don’t want!
Published in: Homemaking