If you care about stylish and well-ironed clothes, this guide is for you!
Today, I will be diving into a hot topic that can stir up a bit of controversy among those of you who seek impeccable elegance in your clothes. Yes, you guessed it, I’m talking about ironing wet clothes!
I presume you have a lot of questions about this topic… Is it safe? Will you end up with a blow-dryer-like disaster resembling an overinflated balloon? Does it put your clothes at risk? But don’t worry, let’s get right into it!
Wet And Iron – Is This A Risky Combo?
Alright, first things first – should you even consider ironing clothes that are so wet they seem to be crying after the last wash? The answer is: “Well, kinda, but with caution!” So, you can iron wet clothes, but there are some considerations you’ll need to keep in mind.
Here’s the deal. Ironing clothes that are so wet they could rival a stream gushing out of your washing machine isn’t the best idea. Moisture and the heat from the iron are a combination that might end up less than spectacular.
What can happen? Ironing items that are too wet can cause the water to react with the heat and imbalance the ironing process. This may potentially damage the clothing. You might encounter hissing sounds, billowing steam, and ultimately scorching the fabric you leave on the iron.
Also, when ironing wet clothes, it’s important to follow proper techniques to ensure smooth ironing. This may include using a lower heat setting, using steam instead, and applying gentle enough pressure. I will go into more detail below.
Overall, ironing wet clothes can be done, but you need to consider the fabric type, follow proper techniques, and ultimately, avoid ironing clothes that are far too wet.
What Are The Risks Of Ironing Items That Are Too Wet?
Ironing wet clothes can present certain safety hazards and potential issues. For this reason, it’s wise to be cautious and follow proper ironing techniques.
Some of the risks involve:
● Fabric damage
Ironing clothes that are not completely dry in an aggressive manner or using high heat can damage the fabric. Combining heat and water can cause the material to stretch, shrink, lose its strength, or even tear.
● Electrocution risk
Wet clothes are more conductive, which increases the risk of electrocution during ironing. It’s important to ensure that your iron and its cord are dry and in good condition to avoid any electrical hazards.
● Uneven ironing
Ironing wet clothes may result in uneven ironing or wrinkling. The excess moisture in the fabric can make the iron glide less smoothly, which leads to inferior results.
● Color transfer
Staining or discoloration of the ironed item can happen, as well. Ironing wet clothes can potentially cause color transfer, especially if the clothes are brightly colored or have dyes that are not colorfast.
● Steam burns
When ironing wet clothes, excess steam is produced. Thus, you must be cautious and avoid steam burns. Keep your hands and other body parts away from the steam vents of the iron.
How To Safely Iron Clothes After Washing?
Ironing wet fabrics can be tricky. There are a few things you need to do to avoid damaging your clothes when ironing them wet.
Here’s a quick lesson in ironing wet clothes:
1. Drain gently
Before you even think about firing up that iron, make sure your clothes aren’t so wet that they could give your washing machine’s waterfall a run for its money. It’s best to let clothes dry partially before ironing so give them a bit of time to air out or gently blot them with a towel.
2. Iron inside out
Ironing the garment inside out can additionally protect it from damage. This can help prevent the iron from coming into direct contact with the outer surface of the garment, reducing the risk of shrinkage.
3. Use the right heat setting
Lower heat settings are generally recommended to avoid damaging the wet material. Thus, opt for a low temperature on your iron. The “one dot” or “low” setting should suffice. High heat can also cause the fabric to shrink, so adjust the temperature accordingly.
4. Use a pressing cloth
Take a thin pressing cloth, such as a cotton or muslin fabric, and place it between the iron and the wet garment. This will provide an extra layer of protection from direct heat and minimize the risk of shrinkage, scorch marks, and other types of damage.
5. Avoid aggressive ironing
Ironing wet clothes aggressively can cause damage to the fabric. Instead, be gentle and don’t apply too much pressure or drag the iron forcefully across the fabric, as this can stretch or distort the garment.
6. Take baby steps
Iron small sections of your garment at a time, not large surfaces. This will ensure even ironing and prevent steam explosions.
7. Patience pays off
If the garment is heavily wrinkled, gently iron it from both sides. It’s better than cranking up the heat and putting it at risk.
8. Exceptions confirm the rule
Remember that not all materials tolerate ironing while wet. Delicate fabrics like silk or lace might respond to such treatment with sheer aversion. So, always check the labels on your clothes.
What Fabrics Should Not Be Ironed When Wet?
By all means, there are certain fabrics that should not be ironed when soaking wet. These fabrics are more delicate, and thus, more susceptible to damage.
Here are some fabrics that should not be ironed when wet:
– Silk – is a delicate fabric that should be handled with care. Ironing silk when wet can cause the fabric to become thin and torn.
– Rayon – is a semi-synthetic fabric that’s prone to shrinking and becoming deformed when exposed to high heat and moisture. It’s best to let rayon garments dry completely before starting to iron.
– Wool – is another fabric that should not be ironed when wet. The moisture and heat from the iron can cause the wool fibers to shrink and lose their shape.
These fabrics will require special care and attention when it comes to ironing. Refer to the fabric care instructions provided by the manufacturer to find out what are the appropriate ironing method for each specific fabric.
What Are Some Alternative Methods To Iron Clothes That Are Still Wet?
Ironing clothes that are still wet can be challenging, but there are some alternative methods that you can use to avoid damaging the fabric:
▹Hang clothes to dry
One way to handle wet clothes is to hang them out to dry and let them lose most of the water and become only slightly damp. Hanging clothes to dry will help remove creases and wrinkles, preserve the fabric, and prevent damage without the need for ironing.
▹Iron only damp clothes
It’s recommended to iron damp clothes rather than completely wet ones. Ironing clothes that are too wet can cause the water to react with the heat and imbalance the ironing process, potentially damaging the clothing.
▹Use a clothes steamer
Another alternative method to ironing wet clothes is to use a clothes steamer. Clothes steamers use hot steam to remove wrinkles and creases from materials. They are designed to be gentle on the fabric and can be used on a variety of materials, including delicate fabrics like silk, rayon, and wool.
In conclusion – You can iron wet clothes, but use common sense!
Turns out, ironing wet clothes is not as daunting as it might seem at first glance. Just make sure to exercise moderation and caution.
Gentle drainage, ironing inside out, using low temperatures and an added protective layer, ironing small sections, avoiding aggressive ironing – that’s the key to success in this realm.
So, don’t shy away from grabbing that iron when your clothes are still a little wet. However, avoid situations where your clothes look like they’ve just taken a dip in a fountain.
Remember that exceptions confirm the rule – if you’re dealing with ultra-delicate fabrics, it’s better to give them a break and let them air-dry naturally.
Well then, now that you know how to tackle it sensibly, get to work, wet clothes and iron await your care and attention!