7 Reasons We Don't Use The Clothes Iron Anymore

by Christie Drozdowski

When's the last time you decided to iron your clothes? It's likely you haven't brought out that old thing in forever. That is, if you even own one anymore. The last time I used an iron, which was a year ago for a graduation ceremony, I had to borrow one from my neighbor. She's 67.

I'm pretty sure most of us Millennials don't use the clothes iron. Maybe ever. But I wonder when that happened? I remember my grandmother had a whole day set aside for ironing. I mean, she still does. She irons everything from my grandfather's dress shirts to their bed sheets to her curtains. That is incredible. There are a few dress shirts in my husband's side of the closet, but I never iron them, and neither does he. So I couldn't imagine ironing my sheets! How does one even accomplish such a task?!

My mother still uses an iron. Not as diligently as my grandmother, but the equipment is still there, sitting on the ironing board in her laundry room. And then there's me. No iron to my name. Within two generations, the iron has disappeared pretty much entirely.

There are some practical reasons why this epidemic has befallen our generation and there are some not so practical reasons, but nevertheless, here's what I think is going on:

1. Most Fabrics Don't Need It

It's true that most of the fabrics of our clothes these days don't require ironing. Rayon, viscose, and spandex are found in many clothes, and while items made of these fibers will get wrinkles if they sit in a laundry basket, putting them away after laundering them pretty much solves that problem.

2. Isn't That What The Dryer Is For?

Usually, if you fold or hang up your clothes as soon as they are done in the dryer, wrinkles don't have time to set it. And even if you leave them in the dryer or that basket overnight, popping the particular piece of clothing back into the dryer for a few minutes takes care of it. I mean, there is a setting on most modern dryers for "wrinkle release" for a reason!

3. There's Just NO Time

The above reasons basically eliminate the need for ironing anyway, but even if I wanted to iron my clothes, how am I supposed to fit that into my schedule? And getting up 20 minutes earlier? Not a valid answer.

4. Burning Your Clothes Is A Real Fear

Or burning yourself. That thing is hot. A slab of hot iron reaching up to 400 degrees in your hands? And when you're not even awake yet? No, thanks.

Heck, it wouldn't matter if I really prepared and decided to iron my clothes the night before. (Or on Granny's designated ironing day.) Not happening on my watch.

5. My Life Doesn't Call For It

I'm willing to bet that most of us Millennials lead casual lifestyles. It sort of comes with the territory. Our colleges and universities, places of entertainment, even our work places, are casual. I mean, all of us want to work in an uber trendy environment that embraces our cultural nonchalance and low-maintenance, and many work environments are incorporating that laid back vibe of Internet start ups á la Facebook. Duh, look how successful it can be!

6. Shower Steam Works Just As Well

OK, maybe not quite. But enough for us. I know I'm not the only one who simply hangs the desired piece of clothing in the bathroom while I shower. And if you haven't tried this before? Well, here's your freebie for the day.

7. These Wrinkles Aren't That Bad

Maybe it's our penchant for not paying attention to details or the fact that it truly doesn't matter to any of us because our peers have a few wrinkles in their clothes, too. Or the fact that we hate wasting time, because we all know the deal. As soon as you sit or walk or even move in your clothes, those wrinkles are just going to come back anyway. So why bother?

Images: Fotolia, Giphy