A pair of red and white striped socks poking out of a chest of drawers.

How to Iron, Fold and Pack Laundry for Travel

Have you ever arrived on holiday with clothes that are crumpled and have lost their shape, despite your best efforts to pack them carefully? It happens to the best of us! Finding a suitcase full of wrinkled clothes means having to iron them on arrival, which nobody wants to do when they’re on holiday. The good news is that – with the right travel washing and packing techniques – you can arrive with laundry-fresh clothes that are ready to wear straight away.

Knowing how to iron and how to fold laundry properly will help keep clothes neat and tidy in your suitcase until you arrive at your destination. Follow these tips for careful packing to find out how.

How to iron and fold a shirt

To iron a shirt, start by spritzing it with water, before ironing the cuffs, the sleeves and the collar. Fasten the top button, and work your way around the front and back of the shirt with the iron. Hang the shirt on a clothes hanger to air out and dry before you fold it – this will minimise the creases made by folding. Once the shirt has cooled and is completely dry, it’s time to fold it. Fasten the shirt buttons, before turning it on its front, folding the arms behind it. Fold over each side of the shirt lengthways, before folding it from the bottom until it forms a neat square with the collar on top.

How to pack for travel

Although there’s always likely to be the odd crease that forms during travel, the way you pack your travel laundry can improve the way your clothes turn out on the other side.

  • Use a hard suitcase if possible, as your clothes will be less likely to move around or get squashed.
  • Avoid over-cramming your suitcase, as this will further set any creases.
  • Folding clothes into individual dry cleaner’s bags will reduce friction and, therefore, the amount of wrinkles.
  • Fold a flat layer of less easily creased clothes at the bottom of the case, like jumpers, followed by a flat layer of easily creased clothes, like shirts. Next, lay out trousers and skirts, before adding a final layer of less easily creased items, like towels or coats. The layers either side of your easily creased clothes should protect them from being nudged and crumpled.
  • Roll up t-shirts and fill any gaps in the contents of your suitcase, to avoid items moving around.
  • If there is an elasticated strap inside your suitcase, fasten it over your clothes to help keep them in place.
  • Fill your shoes with socks, so that they keep their shape, and place them, along with any other heavy items, at the bottom of your suitcase (the side where the wheels are!).

Now you know how to iron and how to fold laundry in preparation for holiday packing, you’ll arrive laundry-fresh and crease free!

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