One way to save money is to iron your own clothes instead of sending them out to be pressed. Ironing clothes is easy to do and doesn’t require a lot of supplies or fancy equipment. If you are ironing for the first time, here’s the basic rundown of supplies you will need to iron shirts and pants.
1. Ironing board.
Iron boards are padded, metal boards which hold the clothes to be ironed. Some ironing boards are designed for table top use, some can be pulled down from the wall, while others are free standing. A free standing, collapsible ironing board is the best option since it’s large enough to iron garments such as dresses and slacks. The basic board starts at $15 and up; ironing boards with heat plates, storage racks, and cord holders start at $30.
If your new ironing board doesn’t come with a pad and cover, a new one can be purchased for $5 and up.
There are as many irons on the market today as there are coffee makers, and all of them have their good points. For myself, I prefer an iron with a little bit of heft to it which is why I always buy vintage 1960s GE irons at the thrift stores. These are usually priced at about $5 each and definitely worth grabbing if you see one.
As far as contemporary irons, it’s the features and the wattage that affects the price of these models. A higher wattage means faster ironing; as far as the features, most of us can get by with the basics. Basic must-have features should include
* Variable temperature settings
* Swivel cord (which prevents tangling)
* Stainless metal plate or plate made of a nonstick surface
* Automatic shut off
* Steam feature
Irons are priced between $20 – $100 which is why I do my shopping at the thrift store first.
3. Rack for hanging shirts.
If you are ironing lots of clothes at a time, an over-the-door hanger rack is another must-have item. These simple tools turn a door into a mini-storage area for hanging up shirts and slacks after they have been pressed. Over-the-door racks start at $6 and are a great solution for keeping clothes wrinkle free until they can be put away.
4. Miscellaneous ironing supplies.
So what more is there? Some supplies I use to iron the family laundry include
* Spray bottle for steam ironing. Instead of using the steam feature on an iron, I use a sprayer bottle instead. Spray bottles mist the clothes more uniformly than a steam iron, and can be filled with regular tap water instead of distilled water.
* Spray starch to stiffen up dress shirts and keep them looking crisp.
* Sleeve board for ironing dress shirt sleeves like a professional. These boards resemble miniature ironing boards but are designed for ironing sleeves. Priced at $9.99 and up, this tool makes ironing sleeves effortless.
If you are watching the budget, a thrift store iron and an inexpensive ironing board are really the only basic supplies you’ll need to start ironing. However, adding these other items as you can afford them will result in a more professional look and help eliminate some of the drudgery as well.