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Overnight Expert: How to Iron Your Dress Shirt

A crisp shirt goes a long way. Our expert shows you what to do with your crumpled up button-down once you pick it up off the floor.

What You Need:

The Iron

Avoid irons under $20. “Invest in a high quality iron. It may mean spending a little more, but will be a sound investment for the future, and keep your clothes looking as good as new,” says Ottaway.

You also want to purchase an iron that has high heat capability. “I can't stress the importance of a heat monitor on a iron,” notes Ottaway. “This enables maximum results when wanting a crease-free and sharp looking shirt, and it will save time on ironing as well.”

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Choose an iron that has a quality steam delivery system. According to Ottaway, “a high-powered hot steam can sometimes be just as effective as ironing.” Look for the irons that have plenty of holes on the bottom—a  sign the appliance has a good steaming function. 

The Ironing Board

When choosing an ironing board, you don’t need an expensive one, but you should choose one that’s sturdy. “Price isn't an issue, but my biggest tip would be to put a very thick towel on the board and use it as a pad for the shirt,” suggests Ottaway.

The Water

Don’t forget to add water to the iron. A lot of people think they can iron without it, but adding water equals more steam.

If your iron doesn’t have a steam function (which ideally, it does) use a spray bottle to disperse water over your shirt while ironing.

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You can also use spray starch for an extra crisp look. “A can of spray starch can make a huge difference to the quality of the end product—and add a clean and fresh smell.” But be careful: Too much can make your shirt feel like a synthetic plastic bag.

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