Most non-iron shirts are generally worn for the convenience of not having to iron them each time. Since most of these shirts are dressy or professional, being non-iron helps save time in the morning. However, there are some circumstances in which non-iron shirts can wrinkle. So can you iron non-iron shirts?
In general and with proper care, non-iron shirts should not require that much ironing since they are designed not to wrinkle easily. But if they do wrinkle, you can iron no-iron shirts as long as you use a low-temperature setting on your iron.
Using too much heat can damage non-iron shirts due to what they are made of and how they are made. In this article, I’ll discuss the ins and outs of what non-iron shirts are, as well as how to care for them. That way, you can make sure that your non-iron shirt will live up to its name.
What Is a Non-Iron Shirt?
Non-iron shirts are typically dress shirts that button up and have a collar, and they are usually made from 100% cotton fibers. But, cotton is notoriously prone to wrinkling and needs to be ironed, so how can a shirt made with cotton fibers be non-iron?
It all has to do with how the cotton fibers are processed. During the manufacturing of the shirt, the cotton fibers undergo a chemical treatment containing formaldehyde. When formaldehyde is released, it coats the cotton fibers and creates a stronger bond.
The fibers being more strongly bonded together creates a stiffer fabric. The stiffness of the fabric makes it less likely to wrinkle, or if it does wrinkle, the wrinkles aren’t as deep or are more easily released.
Since the fabric doesn’t wrinkle easily, the shirts are called non-iron shirts since there is usually no need to iron them. However, non-iron shirts aren’t completely resistant to wrinkling and they can sometimes wrinkle when worn or if they aren’t hung up after laundering them.
The difference between non-iron shirts and regular shirts is that if they do wrinkle, the wrinkles can still be released without ironing. Sometimes, removing wrinkles from a non-iron shirt is as simple as smoothing the fabric with your hands or tossing it into the dryer for a few minutes.
Can You Iron A Non-Iron Shirt?
Non-iron shirts shouldn’t require ironing provided that you care for them properly. However, they can sometimes develop small or even deeper wrinkles if they aren’t hung up immediately after washing.
Small wrinkles usually occur due to having the shirt tucked in a while wearing it, but these wrinkles can be removed by washing and drying the shirt. Large wrinkles can occur from being crumpled up in the dryer or clothes basket if they aren’t hung up immediately.
But let’s be honest, how many of us actually fold or hang up our clothes when they are done washing? Unless you need the shirt immediately, it will likely end up sitting in the dryer or clothes basket for a few hours (being optimistic) or even a few days before being put away. This can lead to deeper creases that can’t be removed easily.
Of course, you can wash the shirt again to remove the wrinkles. But you don’t always have time for that, so the good news is that even though they are called non-iron shirts, you can iron them if necessary to remove wrinkles.
The key to ironing a non-iron shirt is to use a low or medium-heat setting appropriate for cotton fabric. Using the right temperature will prevent damage from occurring to the shirt. But if you’re still concerned about ironing a non-iron shirt, you can also put the shirt in the dryer for a few minutes to remove wrinkles.
What Happens If You Iron A Non-Iron Shirt?
As long as you use the right iron setting, nothing will happen to the shirt other than the wrinkles being removed. It is perfectly safe to iron a non-iron shirt. They are simply called that because they often don’t need to be ironed.
However, if you iron the shirt using a too hot temperature, you could burn or damage the shirt. This is true with ironing regular cotton fabrics as well. Still, since non-iron cotton fabrics are chemically treated, there’s always a greater potential for damage to occur due to using too much heat.
When ironing any type of clothing, whether non-iron shirts or something else, it’s always a good idea to check the care label first to ensure what iron settings are safe to use. If nothing else, the care label will tell you what the fabric is made of so that you can be sure to set your iron to the appropriate heat setting.
How to Iron a Non-Iron Shirt
If your non-iron shirt does become wrinkled, they are very easy to iron. When ironing a non-iron shirt, it is only necessary to iron the wrinkled areas instead of ironing over the whole shirt. You also don’t need to apply a lot of pressure. Usually, gentle pressure is enough to remove wrinkles.
First of all, since non-iron shirts are typically made from cotton, you will want to use a low to the medium-heat temperature setting anyway. But, the good news is that even low heat is enough to remove wrinkles from a non-iron shirt since the wrinkles that form won’t be especially deep.
Depending on the iron you have, some of them have different heat settings such as low, medium, and high. Others have numbered heat settings, such as 1-5. And some irons have heat settings that are labeled depending on the type of fabric you’re ironing.
If your iron has low, medium, and high-temperature settings, then it’s as simple as turning the dial to low. Numbers 1 and 2 usually correspond to low heat, or if your iron has temperature settings depending on the type of fabric you have, you’ll need to turn the dial to the cotton setting.
It’s always best to start out using low heat, and then you can increase the temperature to medium if the wrinkles aren’t being removed. But it’s never a good idea to use the high heat setting on non-iron shirts, so if the wrinkles still aren’t being removed, then you may have to try an alternative method to remove wrinkles.
Some people also prefer their shirts to be crisper, so if this is the case for you, you can iron your non-iron shirt even if it isn’t wrinkled. Just be sure that, again, you use a low-temperature setting on the iron to prevent damage from occurring to the shirt.
Can You Dry Clean Non-Iron Shirts?
Non-iron shirts should never be dry-cleaned, either to clean them or as a way to remove wrinkles. This is the case because dry cleaning relies on high temperatures and the use of chemical solvents instead of water to get clothes clean.
Not only can the high temperatures damage a non-iron shirt, but the chemical solvents used are strong enough to break down the chemicals that play a role in keeping the shirt wrinkle-free. If those chemicals break down, the bonds between the fibers will weaken and the shirt will wrinkle more easily.
No Iron vs Wrinkle Free
You may be wondering what the difference is between a non-iron shirt and a wrinkle-free shirt. They are usually made from cotton fabric, but the main difference is that while non-iron shirts are treated with chemicals to reduce wrinkles, wrinkle-free shirts are treated with chemicals that resist wrinkles.
They’ll both come out of the dryer looking crisp and without wrinkles, but non-iron shirts may still wrinkle as you wear them, while wrinkle-free shirts won’t. Essentially, a high-quality wrinkle-free shirt should look just as crisp after wearing it as it does when it comes out of the dryer.
How to Unwrinkle Non-Iron Shirt?
One of the easiest ways to unwrinkle a non-iron shirt is to just iron it. Remember that this won’t hurt the shirt as long as you use the right temperature. But, another easy way is to put the shirt in the dryer for about 5 to 10 minutes on a medium heat setting. The heat combined with the tumbling action should be enough to release the wrinkles.
For best results without using an iron, toss a damp towel into the dryer with the shirt before drying it. This will help create steam, and again, the wrinkles will be released. In a pinch, you can also dampen a washcloth and run it over the wrinkled areas, then use a hairdryer to dry and smooth them out.
How to Care For a Non-Iron Clothes
If you follow the right steps for caring for your non-iron clothes, especially when washing and drying them, they shouldn’t wrinkle. With that being said, the best way to wash them is to put them in a large mesh bag by themselves, making sure that the shirts are buttoned up. They are less likely to wrinkle when washed inside the bag.
Use cool or cold water to wash the clothes, then remove them from the bag and straighten them out before drying. Dry them in the dryer at a low temperature since they are likely made from cotton and can still shrink. The heat from the dryer is what is going to remove the wrinkles.
Even if you don’t remove any other clothes, remove the non-iron clothes from the dryer as soon as possible after they dry and hang them up, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles as you hang them. The longer you leave them in the dryer, the more likely they will wrinkle.
And remember that you should never dry clean a non-iron shirt. The chemicals and temperatures used can break down the chemicals that help to keep non-iron clothing stiff and wrinkle-resistant.
Non-iron shirts and other clothes were designed to be convenient since, ideally, you could just put them on without ironing them. But, in some cases, they can wrinkle and need to be ironed, so I hope this guide helped teach you how to do so correctly and without damaging the clothing. If you did find this article helpful, share it with others. Thanks for reading!