Wiki Tips and advice United Kingdom - English

Don't get hot under the collar, learn how to iron a shirt!

Learn how to iron a shirt properly with our step-by-step guide to iron settings and the right order.


By Wiki Tips English Team

A neat, white, ironed shirt

Key steps

  1. Check there aren’t any stains on the shirt before you begin ironing.

  2. Read the care label to choose the appropriate setting on the iron.

  3. Set your ironing board to a comfortable height.

  4. Iron your shirt collar first, then the cuffs, sleeves, back and front.

A smooth, well-ironed shirt is key to looking smart for work or a formal event. But how do you get that crisp, crease-free finish? We’ll show you how to transform a creased shirt with our tips on the best way to iron a shirt, from what setting to select on the iron to the order in which to iron.

Before you iron your creased shirt, double-check that there aren’t any stains on it, as ironing could set them in even more. If in doubt, give it a quick wash and dry.

How to iron a shirt: selecting the iron setting

To protect your shirt, check what material it’s made from by looking at the care label. This will then give you the info you need to choose the appropriate setting on your iron. Shirt materials can vary from cotton to silk to synthetic fibres, and each one requires a different heat setting on your iron. Shirt material checked, we can now move onto our step-by-step guide for how to iron a shirt properly.

How to iron a shirt: a step-by-step guide

Before you begin ironing, double-check that your ironing board is at a comfortable height for you. Put your iron on the correct setting for the material of your shirt, and then you’re ready to get ironing! Here’s best way to iron a shirt:

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  1. Start with the collar. Begin in the centre and work outwards. This will help push the creases towards the edge.

  2. Iron the sleeves. Once you know how to iron shirt sleeves, you’ll know the exact order to follow. First, press each cuff flat to the ironing board. Then place one sleeve across the ironing board, taking care to lay the seam flat. Smooth it out with your hand, and then you can take your iron to it. Begin by the cuff, using the narrow point of the iron, and work your way up the length of the arm, towards the shoulder. Repeat on the other sleeve.

  3. Iron the back. The pleats on the back of a shirt can cause concern, but this is where the pointy end of your iron comes into its own! Flatten out the shirt as best you can, and iron each section in turn. Gently slide the narrow part of the iron underneath the pleats, and carefully press on top of each one.

  4. Finish with the front. The button row can also be a challenge, but by using that narrow point of your iron again, you’ll be able to handle it with ease. Carefully slide the iron in between each button, working your way along the full length. Next, lay one half of the shirt across the ironing board, and work from the side seam towards the middle of the shirt. Repeat on the other side. Slow down as you iron around the pockets.

Now you know how to iron a shirt properly you’ll never be covered in creases again! Learning how to iron shirt sleeves and other challenging parts correctly — like the buttons and pleats — will help you achieve a crisp finish all over. Remember to keep your iron clean, too, as dirty marks will scupper all that hard work!

Originally published