Iron a Short-Sleeved Polo

Edited by Olivia, Anonymous, Christine Cruz, Eng and 3 others

Short-sleeved polo shirts are a popular staple of work and school uniforms, as well as part of a casual but put-together wardrobe. They're typically lower maintenance than button-down dress shirts, but they do benefit from ironing. If you're not careful about folding or hanging your polo shirts immediately after removing them from the dryer, it will cause them wrinkle and crease, resulting in a messy appearance. In some cases, the collar will start to curl after a few washes. You can easily restore the neat, wrinkle-free appearance of your polo shirts by ironing them after each wash, and this usually takes less than 10 minutes.

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Steps to Iron a Polo Shirt

  1. 1
    Prepare the iron.
    If you own a steam iron, fill it with distilled water. If you have a dry iron, fill a spray bottle with water. If your collar is curled, you'll need starch or sizing to restore a crisp finish that holds itself in place.
    Flat iron, Ironing Board and Fabric spray.jpg
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  2. 2
    Set up the ironing board.
    Plug the iron into an electrical outlet. Then, adjust the iron temperature setting to the highest heat setting, or the "cotton" setting.
    Ironing board.jpg
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  3. 3
    Place the inside part of the collar flat on the ironing board.
    Spray it lightly and evenly with the water bottle, but do not saturate the material. A squeeze or two on the sprayer will do. Test the iron's heat on the ironing board first. Though you've set the temperature for cotton, it may be too hot for the polo you're going to iron. Check the tag to find out what type of material your shirt is made out of and adjust the heat setting if necessary. Run the iron repeatedly over the collar. If your iron has a steam button, press it to release the steam, then do a dry run over the collar to evaporate the water. Usually, all wrinkles will easily disappear after one to three runs of the iron. As the water evaporates because of the heat, the wrinkles go, too. If the collar has a tendency to curl up, lightly spray it with starch or sizing and iron over it a few more times. Flip it over, then spray and iron the other side, too.
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  4. 4
    Position the right shoulder of the shirt at the edge of the ironing board as shown below.
    Then spray with the water or steam and iron it out. Afterwards, place the front half flat on the board. Spray with the water or steam again and iron it out.
    Front shoulder.jpg
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  5. 5
    Position the back right shoulder section by inserting the sleeve at the edge of the ironing board as shown below.
    Spray with the water or steam and run the iron against it. Do this again with the back left shoulder section of the shirt.
    Shoulder back.jpg
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  6. 6
    As you will notice, you are moving from the left part of the polo toward the right.
    When you're done ironing the back shoulder portion of the polo shirt, lay out the rest of the back part flat on the ironing board. Dampen with the water or steam, and apply the iron to remove the creases.
    Back part.jpg
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  7. 7
    The front left shoulder section of the shirt will be ironed, the same way you did with the front right shoulder section.
    Slip the sleeve onto the edge of the ironing board, spray with the water or steam and iron it out. Lay out the front and follow the same procedure - spray and iron.
    Upper front.jpg
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  8. 8
    Hold of the tip of the sleeve and lay it flat on the ironing board as shown below.
    Spray with the water or steam and iron it out. Do the same with the back part of the sleeve. Repeat this procedure with the other sleeve. This is also the same procedure you will use to iron a long- sleeved shirt. Use a clothes hanger to hang the shirt immediately so that it won't get wrinkled again.
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  • It is best to use fabric softener on the shirt before ironing. When the fabric is softer, it's easier to iron.
  • Ironing clothes while they are still slightly damp cuts out the need for steam or a spray bottle, and it can even help extend the life of the clothing since it's spending less time in the dryer.

How to Care for a Polo Shirt

If you've purchased a new polo shirt, you have to care for it properly to keep it looking new. The way you wash, dry, iron, fold, hang and store your shirt will make a difference in the amount of fading, shrinking and wear that takes place. Follow the tips below to keep your polo shirt looking its best for as long as possible.

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  1. 1
    Wash it in cold water.
    Shelley Branch cold water.jpeg
    Wash your polo shirt inside out, in cold water with like-colored items. For example, don't wash a white shirt with dark clothing or you'll risk color run and dinginess. Don't use more than the manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent or fabric softener. Use bleach or oxygen cleaner, if necessary, to brighten a white polo shirt. Remove the shirt from the washing machine as soon as the cycle finishes.
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  2. 2
    Air dry your polo shirt.
    Shelley Branch hanging shirt.jpg
    Air drying your polo shirt can help prevent wear and shrinkage. Hang it on a clothes line or drying rack, or hang in on a plastic or wooden hanger. Smooth out any wrinkles with your hands. If you must use a dryer, dry the shirt on the low heat setting, and immediately remove the shirt when it's dry.
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  3. 3
    Iron your shirt.
    Shelley Branch ironing shirt.jpg
    If you choose to iron your shirt, you can do so when it's dry or still damp.
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  4. 4
    Fold or hang the shirt when storing.
    Shelley Branch folded shirt.jpg
    Slide a plastic or wooden hanger into the collar and button it, folding down the collar. If you choose to fold the shirt, button the collar and fold it down smoothly. Place the shirt face down on a clean surface. Fold the sleeves toward the back center of the shirt. Fold up the bottom of the shirt toward the back. Fold the top part of the shirt down over the back bottom.
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  • Using wire hangers can snag fabric or stretch out the fabric at the shoulders, so it's best to stick with wooden or plastic ones.
  • Store your polo shirts in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

Questions and Answers

What if you will iron a school polo?

I usually wear a school polo when going to school but I don't know how to iron it.

In addition to the steps on how to iron a polo shirt from this VisiHow article, there is a Youtube Video which you can follow step by step to iron your school uniform polo. To keep from having to iron your uniforms all the time, immediately take them out of the dryer and hang them. Shake out the shirt before you hang it up and keep from crowding several shirts together. Give the hung shirt space before you hand up the next shirt. To freshen the shirt, hang it on the bathroom door while taking a shower and smooth out any small wrinkles that occurred after you hung it up the first time. Consider using a light spray starch when you iron your polo shirts to keep the collar from curling up.

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Recent edits by: Shelley, Lynn, Eng

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