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Lynsey Queen Of Clean’s top ironing tips: Blitz through that pile with these hints and hacks

A smiling woman holds up a laundry basket full of clothes in a kitchen

This Morning’s resident cleaning expert reveals her ironing tips and folding hacks

While there will always be a few people who actually enjoy pressing a fresh pile of laundry, the vast majority will do anything to get out of it. Even if we do own the best steam generator iron money can buy.

Step forward Lynsey Crombie, best-selling author and TV cleaning expert – aka The Queen of Clean. Below, she shares her top ironing tips – and with her hacks under your belt, you’ll be able to reclaim hours of your life and, perhaps, even grow to love your pile of ironing. 

Lynsey Queen of Clean’s top ironing tips

We spoke to Lynsey, who offered these exclusive tips based on her battles with her own pile of ironing. From the correct set up to corners you can cut without anyone noticing, these hints and hacks promise to help seasoned and rookie ironers alike.

1. Set up your ironing station properly

“Before you start ironing, ensure that your ironing board is set up correctly”, says Lynsey. “If you’re standing, ensure it’s in line with your belly button for the perfect position. Make sure you have hangers to hand, the board is clear and clean, and you have a good film to watch for company.”

“It’s also important that you’re ironing in a well-lit room to ensure you can see what you’re doing, and that it has good ventilation”, she adds. That last tip is especially important: with all that hot steam in the air, you could quickly become flustered.

READ NEXT: Best steam irons 

2. Sort your clothes before you start

According to Lynsey, having 10 lightbulbs on in your house for half an hour will cost less than running your steam iron for the same amount of time. So it’s wise to do everything to minimise that “appliance on time” by prepping your laundry for ironing before you start.

A woman sorts through fabrics from a laundry basket

“When you take out that full laundry basket, sort it into colours, sort it into fabric types and start with the materials that require the hottest setting first”, says Lynsey. “Then you can just adjust your iron down in temperature as you go along.”

Lydsey also adds that you should turn any dark fabrics inside out to prevent shine, do up zips and pull out any pockets – all of which will speed up the process.

3. A steam generator or garment steamer is worth the investment

“The better the iron, the quicker you’ll get through that pile”, says Lynsey. “Steam generators are great – they produce a powerful steam that makes all the difference and offer a range of fabric settings”, she says.

Tower garment steamer being used on a black shirt

Lynsey recommends that you consider spending at least £100 on an iron if you want it to do a half-decent job, and get through your ironing pile quickly. “Always pick an iron with a big water tank, since that will again speed things up as there’s no stopping to fill it up”, she says. “And always look for a ceramic soleplate, which will glide through fabrics.”

You could also invest in a garment steamer – Lynsey and the This Morning fashion team have previously recommended the K9 Express Clothes Steamer (£159) from Morplan. It’s a super-quick way to get through a smaller pile of garments and you won’t have to waste time getting the ironing board out. For a more affordable option, try Tower’s Ceraglide Portable/Travel Garment Steamer (£30) from Amazon.

Tower garment steamer resting on top of clothes in a suitcase

Lynsey recommends a model with a proper boiler system that will produce a lot of steam. “They’re great for giving school uniforms a quick refresh in the morning”, says Lynsey, “and they’re much easier on shirts, too, since you don’t have to touch the fabric with direct heat.” Discover more in our steam irons versus garment steamers article.

READ NEXT: Best clothes steamer

4. Never iron a stain

“Keep your eyes peeled for stains. If you spot a stain, the worst thing you can do is iron over it; the heat from the iron will set the stain even further into the fabric”, warns Lynsey. “Give the item a cold soak with some white vinegar and then wash again with a full load.”

5. Iron on only one side

If you religiously iron both sides of everything from socks to tea towels to duvets, you could be wasting both time and costly energy. “Only ever iron one side of anything”, says Lynsey. “Obviously, this will cut your ironing time in half.” 

Aside from saving time and money on energy bills, this tip can potentially save your wardrobe, too. “Over ironing can ruin your clothes”, Lynsey points out.

“Some awkward items may require a starch spray, so always keep some to hand in the bottom of your basket”, says Lynsey. You could also try Lenor’s crease release (£3) from Asda, of which Lynsey is a big fan. “Two or three sprays, a good pull and Bob’s your uncle – you’ll hardly need to iron the garment at all”, she says.

Lynsey says you can also make your own at home by half-filling a spray bottle with cold water, topping it with rubbing alcohol and finally adding 20 drops of your favourite essential oils. Shake it well before each use. “That will last about three months in your cupboard”, she says. “And it won’t leave a film on your clothes as fabric conditioner or hair conditioner can.”

A woman sits on a laundry room work surface folding jeans from a laundry basket

“Or you can use corn starch, since it’s a stiffener”, adds Lynsey. “Add a heaped tablespoon to 200ml of cold water, to which you add in 50ml of boiled water and stir really well until the corn-starch has dissolved. Then add 20 drops of essential oils for fragrance.

“Pour into an empty spray bottle and shake well before each use”, she concludes.

6. Have a plan for folding and storage

So, you’re cutting through that ironing pile more efficiently – but don’t undo your hard work now. “You should hang or fold items properly as you go and put them away once finished”, says Lynsey. Otherwise, those creases will quickly return.

If you’re not confident of putting things away immediately, you could hang ironed items on a freestanding rail next to your ironing setup. But, ideally, just put them away – you’ll have to do it eventually anyway.

7. Store your iron properly

One last ironing mistake to avoid is storing your appliance incorrectly. “Make sure your iron has fully cooled down before putting it away”, says Lynsey. “Empty out the water tank to ensure that limescale doesn’t build up and give the plate a wipe over with a damp cloth. You don’t want all that brown scale shooting onto your white shirt as you’re ironing.”

A woman crouches next to an open washing machine

And Lydsey’s top tip for keeping limescale at bay? “Use Calstop, a drop of white vinegar and distilled water and ensure you maintain your iron on a regular basis.”

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