Getting rid of wrinkles… and we don’t mean face cream

When I was young I watched my mother and grandmother iron clothes. They would take out the glass Coke bottle with the sprinkle top, fill it with water and work away. One of my grandmothers even ironed pillow cases.

She did. Amazing.

I remember begging my mom to show me how to iron because it would make me feel important – all grown up and contributing to the household.

What was I thinking?

People who know me know that I live in turtlenecks from September to April. It’s not because they disguise my double chin, though that’s an added benefit.

It’s because they’re warm and if I fold them right out of the dryer, I don’t need to iron them. If they get wrinkled, I just sprinkle some water on them and go.

I do iron, though. When I quilt. You have to press each seam before you move on, and I do. That’s for fun, not a job, so I’m OK with that.

When my son David lived at home, he used to run the dryer to work out the wrinkles in his clothes. Drove me crazy. Then he got married and got his first electric bill. Ha! That was the end of that.

Who still irons clothes? James Arnold of Tobyhanna does. “I don’t believe anything replaces a freshly pressed shirt and slacks. Tobyhanna,” he says.

Louise Reinhardt of Tobyhanna says it does seem to be a dying trend, but she does drag out the iron and ironing board.

“I myself iron all the time. With my children in uniforms I wash their clothes and let them hang dry, then when they are dry I iron them, same with all their other clothes and my husband’s pants and sweatshirts,” she said.

When I was growing up, my mom either hung clothes outside to dry or strung them in the basement. (We called it a cellar in those days).

I still have racks where I hang things that shouldn’t go in the dryer.

Louise who grew up in the country without a clothes dryer, says, “The dryer fades the clothes and shrinks them. And the stains become permanent.”

Lisa Diaz is a woman I admire. “I never, ever, ever iron clothes. I buy Family Dollar/ Dollar General’s wrinkle release.  I spray my clothes, shake them and hang them on a chair for the next day.  It is a miracle, must have item in our home,” the Pocono Summit woman said.

Here’s another idea: Use a hair dryer to iron your clothes. A plastic focusing tip really helps. Just hang your shirt or whatever on a hanger, and blow dry it. Hold the blow dryer an inch or two from the item, and be careful not to burn anything!! This works best for cotton items. If your hairdryer has a button that turns off the heat, you can use that to help set the clothes so wrinkles don’t come back so quickly.

Another secret? Take clothes out of the dryer while it’s still running. They won’t have time to get creases in the wrong places.

Of course, you’ve got to fold them or hang them up right away…Sometimes that detail escapes me.

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