Updated 26 March 2013

What's wrong with a wrinkle?

Irons are energy-hungry appliances, so it's worth knowing these tips for spending less time on one of the most tedious chores of all time. So tedious some people have freed themselves of it entirely.

This year, the Monopoly iron token got voted off the board forever - perhaps a sign that ironing is going out of fashion in the real world too?

In terms of energy-saving, this would be an excellent trend, as the average iron uses about as much energy as ten to eighteen 100-watt light bulbs. Unfortunately, as long as wrinkled clothes are associated with looking down-at-heel, some of us are still going to be chained to the ironing board.

But if you do have to iron, make it as energy-efficient as possible, as follows:

  • Before you switch the iron on, sort your laundry into three piles: low, medium and high temperature ironing. Begin with the  low-temperature fabrics while the iron is warming up, and then move on to your medium and high-temperature piles.
  • Iron one big load of laundry instead of reheating the iron for smaller batches.
  • Switch the iron off before you’re finished so the remaining heat doesn’t go to waste.
  • Use a reflective ironing board cover to reflect the heat, or put a piece of tn foil under the ironing board cover. This allows you to iron both sides almost at once, and thus cuts your ironing time.
And really, it’s not necessary to iron every item of laundry. Take a hard look at yours and see if more items can’t be allowed the odd wrinkle. Some fabrics look fine if hung up to dry straight from the washing machine and then put on a hanger or folded neatly.

Other items, like underwear, sleep and sportswear, or those old clothes you use for DIY and gardening don’t need to be perfectly pressed at all…surely?

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