Tips to Remove Iron Marks from Clothes

Shiny marks might seem to be the end of the world when you discover them on some of your best clothes. However, there is no need to panic, in fact, most shiny iron marks are easily removable depending on the material and specific area of fabric that is affected.

You must be careful when attempting some of these recommendations though as there are some fabrics such as polyesters, sheer, and silk that cannot stand excess heat when exposed to an extremely hot soleplate for an extended period of time.

The excessive heat can cause the fabric to melt, resulting in a visible sheen that will likely be difficult to get rid of. The same thing is likely to happen when you compress the fiber of any fabric for too long.

Remember that if the iron soleplate is too hot, the textures of the fabrics change due to the meltdown of the material. If the texture has been flattened after ironing, you can repair the scotch with some DIY ideas. On the contrary, if the fabric has been completely melted down, you may need to replace it and move on, unfortunately.

Why Ironed Clothes Become Shiny?

Your ironed clothes will become shiny if you fail to adjust the iron temperature when you are partaking in a long ironing session. Sometimes this will happen due to the task being so strenuous that you literally are too tired to remember to reduce the heat.

Often what people do is purchase an iron with a one-temperature setting, this means that the temperature fluctuates itself, making the user’s life that little bit easier. Nowadays, there are plenty of modern-day irons that come with multiple temperature settings that allow you to choose the correct temperature for the fabrics you wish to press.

Clothes become shiny when you are ironing at an extremely high temperature, this is because exposure to an extremely hot soleplate will melt the fibers within the material of whatever you are ironing, changing the texture for good.

Scorch patches on wool, cotton, and canvas’ are a little different as they can be repaired and aren’t irreversible. However, if you scorch burnt chiffon, silk, and organza, you could be in huge trouble and will likely not be able to reverse the damage. This is because the material doesn’t only melt, it will become a lot stiffer and eventually rip apart.

Clothes will get shiny for many different reasons. But these are certainly the most common reasons why a patch appears on your clothes after ironing them:

  • The temperature of the iron is not set accordingly to the fabric or materials requirements. Some materials such as leather and PVC are not designed to be ironed. The iron may cause irreparable damage to the fabric. However, if you wish to smooth out the stray wrinkles on the surface of the leather, you need to set the iron down to the lowest setting before exposing it to the heat of the soleplate.
  • Never bring any fabric in contact with an extremely hot soleplate. If you have been ironing at the highest temperature setting, turn it off. You have to put it aside for a few minutes before you iron cotton or sheer fabric. A hot soleplate always melts down the bond of the fibers regardless of how stiff the fabric is. 
  • Another reason why your clothes get too shiny is ironing them for far too long than what is required to remove the wrinkles and creases out, it is not good for your clothes to be exposed to severe heat for long periods of time.

Analyzing Fabric and Material

For you to find out the most cost-effective solution for removing the annoying shiny iron marks from your clothes, you will need to assess the type of fabric and material first.

You can determine the type of fabric by merely touching it with your hands. You may already be well-acquainted with what a silk gown feels like and the rigid texture of denim pants.

Fabrics containing natural and synthetic fibers are more likely to get burned for having a delicate texture, whereas knitted, woven, and wool fabrics have stiff fibers that can tolerate heat easily.

Water Test:

In order to determine the type of fabric, you may have to execute the famous water test. Cotton and canvas will hold their crease if you damp the fabrics in water for up to 5 minutes. On the other hand, chiffon, sheer, organza, and polyester will not. If you can’t figure out whether the fabric is cotton or polyester or synthetic canvas with waterproof cotton, you need to perform the burn test. 

Burn test:

The burn test is a more risky way of solving the problem, however, if you get it right it is highly effective. Now, you will want to cut down a small patch of fabric, after this try burning the cotton. It will take a bit of time to get it onto the flames – burning cotton will result in ash and if you burn polyester it will cause sticky ashes.

After slowly burning the fabric you should get a small amount of soft, somewhat fluffy ash, that is cotton. Now if it burns and melts at the same time the orange flame and black smoke do, you will see hardened black ash – this is polyester.

When the fabric burns quicker, and black smoke begins to curl and melt, giving you black sticky plastic, it is poly cotton.

How to remove Shiny Iron Marks from Natural Fibers?

Well, there are some good, more trusted ways to remove shiny iron marks from fabrics made with natural fibers, such as cotton, polyester, wool, chenille, and crepe.

Soak in water:

When you see shiny iron marks appear on your clothes, soak the fabric in cold water for a day or two, depending on the condition of the scorched patch, you can then remove the patch after drying out the fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions after this. 

Vinegar technique: 

It is certainly no secret that vinegar dissolves shiny marks with relative ease without having to burn or freeze your clothes. However, if the vinegar is too highly concentrated, then it will potentially be detrimental to your fabrics, therefore, you will want to mix it with water to dilute it.

You definitely do not want to end up with the same stain, and an additional stain of apple cider vinegar on your garments! Using diluted vinegar on your fabrics if they are white is a good idea too, regardless of the concentration. So, apply the vinegar over the shiny marks and leave it for a couple of seconds, try again multiple times until the mark has vanished.

Detergent wash:

You can wash the fabric by adding detergent with a very small amount of vinegar. Give it a few swirls in the washing machine and let it dry, if this method fails, simply try it again.

Simple steam:

The steam itself can help you get rid of those annoying shiny marks that appear after ironing. Hold the iron steadily over the fabric for less than a minute and release the steam onto the marks, make sure the iron does not touch the fabric, and this will surely work. 

Hydrogen Peroxide: 

This trick is quite effective for removing stains and scorch marks from the clothes. First off, find a spare piece of clean cloth and soak it into the hydrogen peroxide solution you acquired. Now take this cloth and put it right over the shiny marks, then iron over the piece of cloth a few times until the marks vanish.

Note: In most cases, you can use a combo of vinegar and detergent to remove the scorch marks from any fabric, regardless of how delicate or stiff it is.

If the fabric is man-made with an unfamiliar mixture of different fibers, you can use a different method. Here are some additional methods on how to remove the marks from such materials:

  • Soak a neat piece of cloth into the vinegar without diluting it. 
  • Squeeze out the excessive vinegar.
  • Spread the fabric you want to remove the marks from an ironing board face down from the wrong side. 
  • Now put the white cloth that you have saturated with vinegar over the fabric. 
  • Hold the iron over the cloth steadily without bringing the fabric in contact with the soleplate.
  • Let the steam penetrate into the fabric. 
  • Turn the fabric in the right position and rub the shiny marks a bit to revamp the texture. 
  • Hydrogen peroxide wipe: alternatively, you can use hydrogen peroxide wipes. Soak the cloth into the solution of Hydrogen peroxide, put it over the scratched path and rub gently. Wash the fabric to see the shine marks completely gone without much of a struggle. 

An Ounce of Prevention to Avoid the Shiny Marks

There’s a famous quote that “prevention is better than cure”, it’s better to select the right temperature for the fabric when ironing to avoid any of these ironing mistakes in the first place. Never forget to turn the temperature to the lowest setting when ironing synthetic fabrics with polyester, cotton, organza, and silk blend. 

​In addition, the knowledge of steam iron vs dry iron is fundamental to have for ironing such sensitive fabrics. Furthermore, following up on these measurements will save you time and trouble.

While ironing polycotton material, keep the temperature of the iron moderate. The soleplate should never be too hot to touch. For the most part, the toughest wrinkles are removable at medium temperature, so why take the risk?

It is recommended that you keep changing the temperature using the control over the iron. Many irons now come with adjustable temp to help those who tend to forget to change the temperature when multitasking, for example watching television during ironing sessions. 

Mix some vinegar with water into a water spray bottle and spray on the fabric before ironing to remove wrinkles.  A moist pressing cloth is good too, to avoid sheen and remove creases of the fabric.

Avoid using starch for polyester and poly-based fabrics as it causes the iron to stick and sheen the fabric.

I think as a homeowner, or perhaps just somebody who enjoys ironing, or even partakes in it as a chore, this happens or at least has happened once. So, the key thing is not to panic and just assume your clothes are destined for the rubbish bin, you can salvage pretty much any fabric by following these advisories and being careful!