Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

How To Iron Pants 101

Adriana Aziz
January 1, 2023
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how to iron pants custom graphic

With so many modern fabrics for clothing today, you can get yourself wrinkle-resistant variants which, as the name suggests, are designed to prevent creases from forming on the fabric. While this is actually quite genius, there is still a substantial amount of pants in the market that don't come with the perk of wrinkle resistance. Thanks to this, knowing how to iron pants is still an important skill to have for a lot of people. 

Today, we will address how to properly iron one's trousers at home, starting with the preparation that helps to achieve the best results. Read on.

How to Prepare Pants for Ironing

black pants that are unironed on a white background

Before you iron any fabrics you own, it is important to check the care instructions on the label. This is because you do not want to inadvertently cause damage to your clothing but instead, follow their instructions to help you prolong the life of the fabric. 

Along with the washing instructions, you should find the ironing instructions, though not all labels provide the latter. If, however, they do, the instructions should indicate whether the cloth is safe to iron, and at what particular temperature is suitable for the  material. Under no circumstance should you exceed the recommended temperature when ironing because you could severely burn the cloth and ruin your pants in the process.

After you have established the correct way to approach ironing your pants, follow the preparations below:

  • Prepare the surface you will be using to iron on. As much as possible, try to get your hands on an ironing board if you do not already have one. Ironing boards are designed for their purpose and make the process far easier than other types of flat surfaces. 

If you don't have access to an ironing board, consider using any flat, hard, and stable surface to iron on. While slightly more difficult, it can still get the job done well enough. It's best to try this on low heat-conducting surfaces like a table with a cloth that has increased fire resistance.

  • Next up, you need to prep your iron. In the event that you are using a steam-based iron, you should top up the little water tank contained in it. It's best to follow the user manual when trying to do this to ensure that it is done correctly. The water is to steam the clothing you are ironing so that it can get rid of wrinkles and creases far easier than dry heat alone. 
  • Lastly, depending on what is mentioned on the pant's care instruction label, adjust the temperature of the iron. Usually, the dial for the temperature will mention the type of cloth you can iron for the temperature that has been selected. You will see fabrics like wool mentioned on the lower end of the dial and options like cotton at the higher end. 

Steps to Iron Your Pants

black dress pants hung over an ironing board with a blue and white iron in the background

By following three simple steps, you can iron your trousers seamlessly and rather quickly, as well. Here’s how:

  • Before you begin ironing, you want to first address the pockets on your pants. Pockets usually tend to get wrinkled and creased rather easily so it's a good idea to iron them out first, or else, they will show on the outside of the pants as well. The best approach is to pull the pockets inside out and, upon flattening them out on the ironing board, iron the wrinkles away with a quick press down. 
  • Next, you will want to flatten out the waistband and the top section. Placing your iron on a section of the waistband, allow it to sit for up to 5 seconds, and then lift the iron off. Follow this process along the entire length of the waistband. The point here is not to slide the iron across the waistband because you could end up creating more creases. Once done, put the pockets back inside the pants. 
  • Moving on from there, you must then place the pants facing up, and lengthwise on the ironing board so that you can iron the legs. You will want to do this one leg at a time to ensure no wrinkles are hidden. Move your iron slowly across the entire leg by going back and forth; once done, flip the pants over and do the same for the other side of the leg. Repeat this process for the other leg as well. 

Storing Ironed Pants

ironed black dress pants ready to be hung on a white background

At this point, your pants should be completely ironed and ready for you to wear. However, if you choose to iron and store your pants away, this will involve a fair amount of care. For starters, you shouldn't fold or hang your pants until they've cooled off completely. It is recommended to let them sit on the board for a few minutes until all the warmth has left the fabric.

Thereafter, you can follow the tips below to store your ironed pants properly. 

Hanging Them Up

  • Hanging ironed pants will help you prevent wrinkles from forming again. If you have a pants hanger, there should be two clips on the end of the hanger to secure the waistband. 
  • If you only have shirt hangers in your closet, you should drape the pants flat across the bottom of the hanger. The key here is to ensure that the pants are folded in half on the bottom of the hanger so that they do not fall off the hanger. 

Folding Them

  • While hanging is the best way to store a pair of ironed pants, you can also fold them well enough to keep creases to a minimum. Start with folding the pants in half along the middle so that the legs are flat across each other. Then take the bottom hem of the pants and bring them to the crotch (creating a fold a third of the way down the pants). From there, bring the waistband to the point you've just folded to make a 3 layer fold that you can now put away. 

Whether you need to iron and wear a pair of pants or trousers right away, or simply want to have them neatly pressed and stored for future use, the tips above will help you get either of the tasks done to your satisfaction!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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