Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ironing Day

Does no one iron anymore? No one I know does on a regular basis. Folks seem shocked when I mention ironing something. Even my mother. Actually, especially my mother. Growing up, we didn’t even own an ironing board. If something absolutely had to be ironed, she would put a towel on a kitchen counter and iron there. I don’t believe that Momma owned an ironing board until she and Ted lived in Chicago and the maid demanded that she get one.

I don’t like ironing, but some things need to be ironed – table linens, the khakis that I wear to work every day and I iron Mr. Kim’s dress shirts. I just don’t see wasting the money on sending them to the laundry when they take just over a minute each. It ends up taking maybe 10 minutes a week to do 5 shirts. And even figuring in the cost of water, electricity, starch, etc., I can’t believe that it doesn’t save money. Most things that used to need ironing don’t anymore. I remember going with my grandmother to drop off multiple baskets of clean laundry every week. She had a lady near her office that would iron everything in the baskets and then Grandma Jean would pick them up after work. It seemed like she put all of her laundry in those baskets – clothing, Granddaddy’s coveralls, towels, sheets. I am NOT a sheet ironer (those people really are whackaloons).

Of course, everyone has different priorities. I don’t count the pennies when I’m grocery shopping and we eat out at good restaurants a lot more than most people we know. I could care less what kind of car I drive, as long as it is dependable and cheap to drive. There is a whole other blog in the idea of what is the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’ for folks.

So – does anyone but me iron anymore? And if not, what do they do about wrinkly stuff in their homes? Someone is buying irons. After all, you can still find an array of irons in any Target or Walmart. They aren’t exactly in the category of a wringer:

I actually remember wringer washers. My babysitter had one. If I had to deal with one of those, I'd send everything to the laundry.


  1. I have a lovely iron. It steams, it sprays, it has several settings in ranges which should encompass any fabric needs. I get it out only for a couple of things like Chris' favorite black outfit---slacks and shirt, which he wears for some special occasions.

    The new dryer came equipped with the "steam" function, so even if my cotton shorts and T's happen to wrinkle a bit in the drying, the fifteen-minute cycle makes them smooth as smooth.

    I LIKE to iron; there's a satisfaction in the whisssssssp of the steam-float as the hot metal coasts across a rough patch, leaving it slick and almost shining. I like the maneuvering around buttons and belt-loops, the intricacies of collar, cuffs, plackets, pleats.

    So I don't know WHY I don't iron much any more. I didn't CHOOSE the steam thingie on the dryer---we chose the heavy-duty for the best price/brand/settings. Perhaps it's because I spend so much of my days with a tiny dart-about person whose well-being is paramount, or perhaps I'd just rather be OUTSIDE with her than in here with the handy-dandy Black&Decker.

    So, I guess I DON'T iron. Though I used to spend eight-hour days with endless hampers of sunsuits, skirts, pants, six-white-shirts and the slacks-to-go-with, and dresses and aprons and in my teens, when I did our family ironing, I ironed even my Dad's Boxers, cause he liked them ironed.

    It's a long time since the great stacks of little Carter's and the Fruits, but I'll bet that with a coupla Jane Austen DVD's and a big pitcher of tea---I could make a living takin' in Arnin'.

  2. Such good timing with this post! I just pulled out our iron and board for the first time in almost a year, to iron some linens to sell, and a blouse of my Kiddle's that has been languishing in a drawer for FAR too long. It's lovely that she chooses classic clothing, else this piece would be out of style by now! Don't you just adore the smell of freshly ironed linens? I do. The truth is that in our new home there is very little space, and to pull out the ironing supplies is a hassle not worth the effort.

  3. I don't think I could make a living Arinin'. I iron to my own level of perfection - far short of anyone else's, I'm sure.

    I love the smell of freshly ironed linens, too. I, too, have no place to iron. I'd love to have a house with an actual laundry room - a place to iron and fold laundry. New houses are missing rooms, I think. I'd love a good basement, a walk in attic, a pantry. When I iron I have to set up iron-camp in the family room or living room, toting the board and iron and various sprays and the old sheet to protect the floor/furniture from the starch. It's quite an endeavor for a half hour of ironing.