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Posted by Bridget Reed
USEFUL TIPS

How To Iron Sheets: The Easiest Way

5 min read

One of life’s smallest luxuries is a perfectly made bed. This simple touch can take any room — from a five-star hotel to a college dorm — and make it feel relaxing and inviting. However, when life is hectic and you have a million things going on, taking care of your bed can feel like an annoying chore. 

But did you know that spending time cleaning and doing laundry can actually benefit your mental health? As it turns out, ironing your sheets and making your bed may be more helpful than you originally thought. 

But just how do you iron your sheets? Read on for some expert tips on how to take care of your sheets.

How Do You Wash Your Sheets?

Before you iron your sheets, you will definitely want to wash them. After all, your sheets and blankets should be washed at least once a week

To wash sheets, begin by reading the care instructions for your specific set. They may vary from the general instructions listed here. 

1. Pre-Treat Any Stains 

Accidents happen! The best way to get rid of a stray spill or mark is to treat the stain before it ever sees the washing machine. If you forget to treat the stain and then wash and dry your sheets, the stain might set. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to remove a stain once it sets. 

2. Use Warm Water and Mild Detergent 

You don’t need to scald your sheets in the hottest water possible. It’s likely that your washing machine has a temperature setting specifically for bedding, and that should be a safe option. Again, double-check the care instructions on your sheets before washing them.

A mild detergent or detergent sheet is a great way to keep your sheets clean. If you have sensitive skin, opt for a gentle detergent made without fragrances or dyes.

3. Dry on Low, and Don’t Over-Dry

If your goal is to use your sheets right out of the dryer, you’ll want to leave them in for the full cycle. However, if you’re planning to iron your sheets, take them out while they are still slightly damp. Don’t over-dry your sheets, as it can make it more difficult to iron later. 

Now that your sheets are washed, you’re ready to iron them!

How Do You Iron Your Sheets?

Ironing may seem like an intimidating task, but it’s actually fairly simple. Give yourself a bit of time to practice, and you’ll be a pro before you know it. When you’re ready to iron your sheets, follow these steps to ensure they turn out perfectly. 

1. Take Your Sheets Out of the Dryer Early

You don’t want to iron soaking wet sheets, so don’t skip the dryer entirely. The perfect time to iron is while they are still just a touch damp. It is much more difficult (but not impossible) to iron dry or over-dry sheets. 

2. Find (or Make) a Good Starch Spray

What in the world is starch spray? We’re glad you asked. 

Starch spray keeps your sheets looking crisp and fresh for a few extra days after you’ve ironed them. It is typically made from natural products like corn, rice, or wheat. You can find starch spray at most stores, but if you’re into DIYing products at home, you can also make it yourself. 

Once you’ve got it, spray a light amount over your sheets. Be careful not to add too much, or your sheets can become overly stiff. 

3. Heat Up Your Iron

A hot temperature is key to getting all the wrinkles out of your sheets. Allow your iron a few moments to heat up. Similar to pre-heating an oven, if you try to use an iron while it’s heating up, your end result may be uneven. 

There is always a small risk of scorching the item you’re ironing, so it is important to test on a small area before ironing the entire sheet. You’ll likely need to use one of the highest settings on your iron, but be sure to look at the recommendations on both your sheets and iron to find the perfect temperature. 

4. Use a Spray Bottle on Tricky Spots 

Fill up a spray bottle with water and keep it nearby when ironing. It will come in handy when dealing with particularly wrinkly areas or creases that just won’t come out. 

Spray a little bit of water on the problem area and then use your hands to spread it out, starting in the middle and working toward the outside. You don’t want to soak the area; just lightly spray it until it’s slightly damp. 

When you’re finished spraying, run your iron over the area using smooth movements until the wrinkles are gone.

5. Strategize With Sections

Bedsheets are a much larger commitment than the average ironing task. Don’t try to wing it by just starting somewhere and hoping for the best. 

Think through the best way to iron the whole sheet. It may be best to fold it into smaller sections so you can be sure you’ve finished the whole sheet. 

Congratulations! You’re now in the club of the three percent of Americans who take the time to iron their sheets. It feels nice, doesn’t it? 

What Are Some Alternatives to Ironing Your Sheets?

If your sheets are wrinkled but you don’t have access to an iron, or you just don’t like the idea of ironing, there are a few alternatives you can try in order to smooth out the wrinkles. 

Reduce Wrinkles Before Washing Your Sheets

Believe it or not, there are a few tricks you can use to help reduce the number of wrinkles you’re dealing with in the first place. All it takes is a quick switch in your washing habits. 

  1. Limit the number of sheets you put in the washing machine. It can be tempting to put as many sheets and blankets in as possible, but crowding the washer can create strain on the fibers of the sheet, causing more wrinkles.
  1. Don’t ball up your sheets when you put them in the washing machine. Try to set them inside as loosely as possible. Do the same when you switch them over to your dryer. 

Taking these two steps can help reduce wrinkles to a tolerable level. 

Let Tension Work its Magic

While your sheets are still damp, put them back on your bed one layer at a time, starting with your fitted sheet. Be sure that they aren’t too wet, as this will cause a very uncomfortable night of rest later on! The tension of being pulled back onto your bed may help smooth out some of the wrinkles as the sheets air dry. 

For tougher spots with more wrinkles, grab a spray bottle full of water and get to work one section at a time. Pull the sheet until it is taught, spritz some water on your sheet, and watch the wrinkles disappear. Repeat these steps all over your sheets until they are wrinkle-free. 

Try the Old-Fashioned Way

If you have the space to hang a clothesline outside, this can be another great alternative to ironing your sheets. It’s basically another way to use tension to remove wrinkles. This works best if you can hang your sheets somewhere sunny that gets a little bit of natural airflow.

The Bottom Line

Ironing your sheets isn’t necessary, but if you love a clean and organized space, it can take your room to a whole new level. When ironing your sheets, the key things to keep in mind are your dryer settings, the dampness of your sheets, and the heat of your iron.

Or, if you like the look of wrinkle-free sheets but don’t have the time to iron, you can try alternatives like line-drying or using your mattress to smooth them out. Check out our blog for more laundry tips and tricks.

Sources: 

Decluttering Your Life: How Cleaning and Mental Health Are Connected With Dr. Dawn Potter | Cleveland Clinic

Starch | Definition, Formula, Uses, & Facts | Britannica

Laundry Being Ironed in the U.S. 2018 | Statista

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