Prep: Check for grime on the bottom of the iron and clear the ironing board of debris.
Start wet: Cotton and linen items that require pressing should be removed from the dryer while still damp. If the items are dry, it helps to spray the area damp before pressing.
Heat: Adjust the iron temperature to match the fabric indicated on the tag. For an oxford cloth shirt, use “cotton/linen.” For synthetics, test a small area to ensure it’s safe to iron. Add a capful of Ironing Water to your iron for a fragrant finish and to ease ironing.
Starch: While ironing cotton, linen, and durable synthetics (such as polyester), spray with Stiffen Up from 6 inches away for a crisp finish. Never starch silk, silk-like fabrics, delicate synthetics, wool, cashmere, and wool-like fabrics.
Check for grime on the bottom of the iron. Also, clear the ironing board of debris. If it’s really dusty, throw the ironing board cover in the wash.
Skip the dryer, and iron straight from the washing machine. Not possible? Use a spray bottle of water to dampen the shirt. Add a capful of Ironing Water to your iron for a fragrant finish and to ease ironing.
Heat: Crank the iron to whatever temperature matches your shirt. Look for the itty-bitty words on the dial and on your shirt tag. For an oxford cloth shirt, use “cotton/linen.”
For a crisp finish, spray Stiffen Up from 6 inches away while pressing. Never starch silk, silk-like fabrics, or delicate synthetics. Do not starch wool and wool-like fabrics.
Sleeves & Yoke
Sleeves: Hold up and tug taut along the seam so you’ve got a crisp, straight fold from shoulder to cuff. Lay the sleeve on the board, and ensure both layers of the fabric are smooth. To easily correct any creases, do the back of the sleeve first and save the front for last.
In long sweeping strokes, iron a straight solid crease. Slide the armpit part of the sleeve over the tip of the ironing board, and iron flat the shoulder.
Yoke: Staying in that position, hit the yoke (the double-layer strip that connects the collar to the shirt body). Swing the iron from shoulder to mid-back. Switch shoulders and repeat.
Collar & Cuffs
Collar: Pop the collar and iron from the tips toward the middle. Iron the inside, flip, and do the outside. Don’t turn down the collar until the rest of the shirt is ironed. Be careful not to iron a crease into the collar.
Cuffs: Starting on the inside, iron from the bottom edge toward the sleeve. Flip the cuff and repeat. Also poke the tip of the iron into the pleat(s) just above the cuff.
Trunk, Back, Front, & Done
Front non-button side: In long strokes from the collar moving down, start with the placket (the front strip with the buttonholes).
Pocket: Iron from the bottom up.
Back: Iron below the yoke from top to bottom.
Front button-side: Maneuver the tip of the iron, weaving in and around the buttons.
Done: Hang it up so you don’t have to do it again (wooden or well-shaped hanger preferred).