To Iron or Not to Iron, That is the Question

a woman holding a black iron

The dilemma of whether you should iron or not has probably sprung up in your mind every time you have had to iron two loads of laundry before work, sleep, lunch, etc. Should we really iron every single piece of clothing? What about bed linen, pillowcases, towels, and other things that nobody in the world outside of your home would know or care whether it is ironed or not? Is ironing absolutely necessary, or is it a remnant of housecleaning times that are long gone? Read on if you want to find out what you should iron and the benefits of doing so.

Why do people iron clothes?

If you were to ask your friends and family members if they iron their clothes, you would probably get different answers – it depends; yes, absolutely; no, never… This shows that the conundrum is almost as existential as Hamlet’s famous ‘to be or not to be’ – some people prefer the tidiness and order that ironed clothes project. In contrast, others do not care about their appearances that much or perhaps think that you cannot tell whether something is ironed or not in the first place.

Of course, for important professional or family events, wrinkled clothing can leave a terrible impression. You probably wouldn’t trust a financial advisor with your money if he showed up to work wearing a sloppy, creased shirt and hanging trousers. Whether your shirt is ironed or wrinkled can move the scales toward you nailing or messing up your job interview. Particular social norms have to be adhered to on certain occasions, and ironing is, in those cases, mandatory.

Should I iron my Jacaranda Living sleepwear?to iron or not to iron jacaranda living sleepwear

Ok, so you might want your nightgowns and pajamas that you wear to be ironed. If you like your sleepwear to be crisp then yes iron it, it’s 100% cotton so will be wrinkled out the dryer. If you hang them when damp the wrinkling is minimized, and a quick smoothing with your hands when they come out of a warm dryer works wonders!

crisp white cotton ironed pajamas

But what about T-shirts, jeans, shorts, dresses, and other casual clothing? And what about bed linen, table linen, towels, pillowcases, bathrobes, and other such items?

The ‘to iron or not to iron’ dilemma usually pops up in times when you urgently have to iron your shirt right in the middle of something else that you have to do in your home.

a man in yellow PVC safety suit next to an ironing board and iron

The ‘non-ironing’ school of thought

People who dislike ironing note that ironing everyday clothes is unnecessary because you do not have to look spick and span every time you leave your home. You may not even know who your neighbors are, not to mention that you may not care whether they iron regularly or not. This kind of thinking is completely justified in this day and age, and luckily we live in a world where your personal appearances are becoming less and less important.

Proponents of the non-ironing approach to living further argue their case by saying that what one does not see, one does not know about. So, clothes such as socks, underwear, and other such garments and household items such as bed linen, bath towels, and others definitely fit into this worldview.

Some people avoid ironing clothes such as jeans or underwear because they feel it does not make a difference.

a green iron standing on a white jacket

In light of this, some ‘non-ironists’ swear by the following technique – leaving your clothes to dry on hangers. If you previously shake off the piece of clothing and put it properly on a hanger, it can flatten out the fabric and thus leave your shirts, pants, and dresses looking as if they were ironed.

Interestingly, there are products on the market that could eliminate even this ‘natural’ drying method. You might consider getting a wrinkle release spray or automatic ironer, a device that uses warm air to dry and iron your shirts and blouses. You just set the timer, and before you know it, you are ready for a new day at the office. The manufacturers of automatic ironers note that this appliance saves money, time (and sanity for some), and is also more gentle to the fabric.

The ironing school of thought

There are, of course, people for whom even unironed socks are anathema. Tidy people and people who have to keep up their appearances have integrated ironing into their daily lives, just like brushing your teeth or showering. However, there is more to ironed clothing than projecting you are self-disciplined and well ordered.

Organizing your personal space is not simply a matter of being meticulous with your personal belongings. It has a convenient purpose, as well. For instance, if you have to move out from your apartment, washing and ironing your clothing beforehand will make packing much easier since you will be able to stack your clothing without taking up too much space. You may even considerably shorten the process of packing if you decide to give away clothing that no longer fits or is too old and rugged.

Some people enjoy ironing because it gives them a feeling of control over their things.

a woman smiling while ironining

On the other hand, ironing is crucial if you want to make sure that your clothes and sleepwear do not carry any germs, mold, or skin parasites such as dust mites. As an example, steam irons kill bacteria and germs efficiently since they reach extremely high temperatures. Especially if you have little kids, it is necessary to iron bed linen, pillowcases, and any other thing they might reach, such as baby door hangers or tissue boxes. These things tend to soak up dust and other potentially dangerous substances fairly quickly, so ironing them provides extra protection against germs and bacteria.

ironing pillowcases and bed linen

Naturally, there are other benefits to ironing your clothing. Firstly, steam ironing softens the fabric and returns stretched clothes to its original state. This makes your clothing look as if it has just been bought. Not to mention how much money you would save on dry cleaning, especially if you have a white-collar job where crisp white shirts are mandatory. Additionally, dry cleaning services use chemicals to clean your clothes. That is why dry cleaning should be used only sparingly as it is meant for those items of clothing that cannot be washed and ironed at home.

Finally, we are not being ironic when we say that, no matter if you are an ironist or a non-ironist, it is crucial to know whether and under which circumstances to iron or not to iron.

 

 

Photos used

https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-coveralls-standing-by-ironing-board-3951358/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-green-coat-holding-white-and-black-nike-sneakers-4107231/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-in-white-long-sleeve-shirt-and-white-pants-holding-black-and-silver-clothes-iron-5202911/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-white-philips-iron-53422/

 

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