Of all the parts of a suit, the suit jacket is the part many people do not think they can launder at home. This actually isn’t the case. In fact, even if your suit jacket’s label reads “dry clean only,” you can use something like Dryel, an at-home dry cleaning product, to put the jacket in your traditional dryer to achieve the same results as paying a dry cleaner to do the work.
The one drawback to skipping a trip to your dry cleaner and opting to use your home dryer is that you often end up with a lot of wrinkles. You will need to iron any suit jacket you clean in this fashion, but thankfully even that isn’t a complicated process assuming you own an iron and follow these steps.
Step 1 – Determine if Your Jacket is Iron Safe
Depending on what kind of material your jacket is made from, different iron settings will be required.
Linen suit jackets can be ironed at hot temperatures and can withstand a lot of steam. Suits made from a wool blend behave best under an iron that is simply warm, not hot, and can also be ironed using steam. The biggest exception is synthetic suit jackets, which should only be ironed using cool water without steam.
TIP: Assuming your jacket’s material type can withstand it, techniques that involve steam give the best results in terms of getting rid of wrinkles.
Step 2 – Dampen the Suit Jacket
In order to get the best results when ironing a business suit, you want the cloth to be slightly damp. You can accomplish this by hanging the suit in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. Another alternative is to run an iron in front of the suit while steam is pouring out of it. This will help to loosen up the fibers in the suit, preparing them to be flattened.
Step 3 – The Ironing Board
Grab your iron and ironing board. If you don’t have access to an ironing board, use a folded towel or thick cloth and place it on a flat surface. The towel itself should be able to take the heat of the iron and protect whatever flat surface you’re working on safe from iron being hurt.
Step 4 – Prepare the Iron
After ensuring that the appliance is clean, plug in the iron and turn it on. Set the iron to the desired level of heat and wait until it has reached that temperature.
WARNING: Do not start ironing right away. The iron can leak water if you do and leave marks on the jacket. Use a rag for the first few seconds to make sure no water is leaking.
Step 5 – Flip Suit Jacket Inside Out
The best way to iron a suit jacket is to flip it inside out. Ironing a suit from the outside can sear the fabric and also cause it to appear unnaturally shiny.
Iron the inside out jacket the same as you would as a shirt. Try to keep the suit slightly damp while ironing. You are not looking to iron dry material.
Step 6 – Ironing Jacket Sleeves
Sleeves are an interesting challenge when ironing. Obviously you want to get your suit wrinkle free, but you also don’t want a stiff line going down the length of the sleeve. One way to avoid this is to stuff a shirt or other cloth item inside the sleeve to give it a rounded shape and some bulk when you iron it, or to open the sleeve and blow steam from the iron through it.
WARNING: Both the underside of the iron and the steam will be hot. If you opt to prop the sleeve open to use the steam-blowing method, keep your hand out of the way of the steam.
Step 7 – Hang the Suit
Hang up your jacket immediately when all wrinkles are gone to ensure it stays wrinkle-free.