Ironing Damp: Easier, Greener, Cheaper. Possibly Enjoyable? Not.

Damp Ironed Shirt.  So Perfect and Easy

Damp Ironed Shirt. So Perfect and Easy

How many of you hate ironing?  Maybe, I should start with how many of you send your clothes to the dry cleaner?  Well, I hate ironing too but figured out a way to iron to make it easier and cheaper.

“Oh, come on Anna.” Ironing is drudgery. Yes, I agree.  I eased into my “EZ-iron” method myself.  First, I made my own spray starch since I hate spending a half an hour on a shirt to find out that it wrinkled again while I was ironing.  Plus, it seemed like I was drinking the spray starch I bought at the store.  Basically, I was just throwing money out the window.  (This could explain why I banged into the walls at night.)

Well, the homemade spray starch worked like a charm.  But I have to confess that ironing was still hard and difficulty not enjoyable.

The Ez-Iron Method!

Not too often but someone the lady upstairs throws me a Tempeh bone and an idea shows up in my head.  Why not iron the shirts right out of the washing machine?  Check out my video below.  (Oh, come one.  You know I was going to shoot a video, right? I am dangerous with my new Droid.)

I remember when I was little the ironing lady sprinkled water on the sheets to iron them.  Back then there wasn’t Teflon all over our clothes to prevent wrinkles. I gather my mom hated ironing too.

The first time I damp ironed, I couldn’t believe how easy it was.  Seriously.  If you screwed up,  it is so easy to just iron right over the wrinkle.  Say good-bye to the wrinkle.

Note, I have a high efficiency washer so the shirt come out a little damp. Not wet.

The beauty of the method is 90% of the shirt is already dry when you are done ironing.  The only parts which are not dry are the collars and the cuffs due to the thickness of the fabric.  I simply put the shirt on a hanger and let it finish drying.

And whala. I have a perfectly ironed shirt.  (Well, almost. I still don’t like ironing sleeves. Nobody looks underneath the sleeve.  Just nod your head in agreement and let me live my fantasy.)

Time is not On Your Side

I know.   I was getting there.  I wait to iron when I can carve out time to iron them damp.  Usually I end up  washing the shirts twice because the cavemen create the “ultimate” ring around the collar.  Who knew teen /young adult boys could sweat so much?  I never seem to remove that darn ring around the collar in one wash.  (Got any easy, green suggestions?)

I turn the TV on and watch HGTV or some other show. And iron away.

Now truth be told.  I still don’t love ironing but it has gotten a whole lot easier.  Plus, I saving money by not taking the shirts to the dry cleaners.  Realize maybe in a given period I might have 4-8 shirts to iron, but this isn’t every week.

Join the Conversation:

  • Do you have any suggestions on how to make ironing easier?
  • Do you iron or take your clothes to the dry cleaner? Hate ironing? No time?
  • What is your hardest item to iron?  Mine is wool pants.
  • Any suggestion on how to deal with the ring around the collar?

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    It’s funny how the simplest things work. You can also put the shirt on a hanger right from the washer. Just give it a good snap right out of the washer (as soon as the washer stops–another catch to effeciency), smooth out the collar and cuffs with your fingers, and put it on a hanger. Most of the wrinkles will fall out as it dries, but it has to come out of the washer immediately, or this doesn’t work at all.

  2. 3

    FC says

    hello anna
    i have been ironing damp shirts for 25 years. My husbands 99 year old grandmother told me this is how SHE ironed my husbands shirts when he was growing up! The next step AFTER ironing damp shirts is to hang the shirt outside to finish drying. You will have a crisp and nicely scented shirt that your man will be proud to wear. So smart looking! I don’t think a professionally laundered shirt could look better!

    I have not been reading your posts too long, so this may be redundant, but those plastic hangers for pants, shirts, and even the really cheap lingerie hangers are a MUST in my laundry room. I hang EVERYTHING. Items bounced around in the dryer for a few minutes and then hung on hangers are an economical way of finishing a load. My outside clothes tree finally collapsed, so I had to find a way to finish my laundry economically. (I live in an HOA community and hanging clothing has some pretty strict limitations anyway) I’ve got clothes hanging everywhere on wash day! The moisture in the clothing benefits the dry air in the home and the home heat dries the clothes! My clothing looks nice and was not beaten up by the dryer! Putting things in the dryer for a few minutes just takes away the ‘hardness’ of air dryed clothing and gives it softness.

    good luck with your green talk! it is great


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