2WTK: Benefits of Ironing vs. Washing

Ironing Vs Washing

If there’s one good reason to do the sniff test, it’s this: washing and drying your clothing after each wear is one of the quickest ways to wear those outfits out. Yes, there are ways to improve your laundry skills, but you’re still shoving your favorite duds into a machine to get agitated—yes, that’s what it’s called—and then into a different machine to get blasted with heat.

You do know what all that lint you pull out of the dryer actually is, right? Bits of fabric fibers from your clothes. Even if your shirts didn’t shrink in the wash, they still literally got smaller.

But I get it. You want to wash that outfit not necessarily because it is dirty, but because it looks dirty. Or, more accurately, like you spent a whole day wearing it. Big ol’ creases at the elbows and the hip joints, with a nice wrinkle across the front from all those hours sitting at a desk.

And yeah, you don’t want to wear that again without addressing those issues. But washing isn’t always the answer. Now that the weather is cooling down again, it’s time to return to one of my favorite fashion-preserving habits: ironing clothes instead of washing them.

Yes, you can do some serious damage to your clothing with an iron. However, as long as you keep your iron at the appropriate temperature for the fabric and don’t, like, leave the iron resting against your clothing as you go check Twitter, your clothes should leave the ironing board wrinkle-free, refreshed, and ready to wear.

Which is the same result you’re trying to achieve with the washer/dryer, only without the agitation—or the “high efficiency spin cycle,” if you’ve got a newer machine—and the lint. There’s a reason there’s no such thing as “iron lint,” after all.

(I’d make a joke about ironing being your own personal “dry cleaning,” but you do use the steam and spray functions on your iron, right?)

So before you toss that shirt into the hamper, check to see if it’s really dirty. Did you spill coffee on it? Was it a particularly sweaty day? DOES IT SMELL? Give it a wash.

But if your clothing just looks rumpled or wrinkled, give it an iron instead. Those fabric fibers will get to cling to life for a little bit longer, and you’ll get clothes that look like they’ve never been worn.

Copyright Lifehacker


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