How to Iron Clothes When Traveling - A Travel Iron Guide

By: Annabel Love

Have you ever had to iron clothes when traveling? If so, then this article is for you. There are many of us who have had to wash our clothes while on the road at one point or another. But what about when they need a little more help - like pressing out wrinkles and creases? For some travelers, it's just not possible to find an ironing board in their hotel room or apartment rental. The good news is that there are ways around this problem! We'll go over five different methods for how to get your wrinkled clothes looking fresh again with or without having access to an ironing board.

Do You Really Need a Travel Iron?

A travel iron is a must-have when traveling because they help you get your clothes looking fresh with a few quick strokes of the iron. Quality travel irons are made of lightweight and durable materials and are easy to clean.

A quality travel iron should be lightweight so it doesn't add too much weight to your luggage as well as being compact for storage in small spaces. It's also helpful if the handle is comfortable so that you can have a secure grip. The new Nori iron is durable and under 2 lbs and is comfortable to use.

You'll want to double-check that the power cord is long enough to reach an outlet easily and there's some sort of safety feature in case someone trips over it by accident! Check for an auto shut-off option. You'll also want to check and make sure the travel iron comes with a carry bag so it's protected while you're traveling.

The most common fabric type used for travel irons is cotton since it's light and breathable. However, other materials such as silk and linen can be pressed or steamed with a travel iron but may require special care during ironing. Silk requires extra attention due to its delicate nature. Linen needs to be handled carefully as it may require more heat. A travel iron that offers different fabric/temperature settings is a must!

Some travel irons come with a host of features. Be sure to consider what's important when shopping online. 

- Auto shut off - Prevent accidents by automatically shutting off after a few minutes. This feature is perfect for those who forget to turn the iron off before leaving it!

- Cordless design - No longer do you have to worry about tripping over cords while ironing! These models don't even include any wires whatsoever. Consider if its charge will last long enough.

- Travel case or cover - Keeps water away from the heating element and helps prevent rust build-up. a heat-resistant travel case is a plus when. you're in a hurry to pack after ironing.

- Dual voltage - Great if you plan on traveling outside of North America and need an iron that can handle a variety of voltages.

- Temperature settings. Different types of clothing need different temperatures - especially when it comes to how hot your iron should be! It's best if you can find an option that allows you to choose from several different heat settings so you can be sure to get the best results.

- Cord Storage. This is an important feature if you're planning on taking your iron with you when traveling! Look for one that has a cord wrapped up near the handle which will ensure it doesn't slip off and cause any damage while moving about - or worse, get in the way of your clothes while you're ironing.

- Protection plate. Make sure that the iron has a protective metal or ceramic surface to keep it from getting too hot for delicate fabrics! This will help protect both your clothing and the unit itself.

- Steam function. Some people prefer steam because it makes the process easier than regular ironing. Others say that it leaves a residue.  A well-made travel iron won't leave any water spots or residue.. Either way, it's something worth considering when buying a new travel iron.

There are plenty of options available today when it comes to choosing a travel iron. Take time to research each model thoroughly before purchasing so you know exactly what you're getting into.

Travel irons are becoming more popular because they're small enough so as not to take up too much space in your luggage. . Travel irons also make great gifts for those who love to travel for leisure or business!

What are some different types of travel irons available?

There are a number of options when it comes to buying a travel iron. You can choose from:

  • The Nori Press - The Nori Press is a new type of "Handheld" Travel Iron that is small, light, and ergonomically designed. The Nori iron has a unique new design that is not your Grandma's iron,  It's a premier wrinkle-removal product designed to press, steam, and refresh your clothes with ease. It has a Fabric Facial product that can be used in the steam reservoir or can be sprayed directly on your garment.  No one wants to travel with a steam iron, iron, and ironing board. Therefore, you typically choose to spend the money on hotel laundering. However, with Nori, you don't have to. From pressing your clothes to sanitizing your pillows to refreshing your clothes, this revolutionary iron is a game-changer for travelers. And, its sleek design fits seamlessly into your suitcase. If you're not sure about using a steam iron for travel, please be sure to check out our Guide to Steaming Clothes.
  • Handheld - This type of travel iron consists of an attached handle and retractable cord that allows you to steam your clothes right on their hanger, wherever you may be. Handheld travel irons are perfect for pressed collars, table linens, and clothes that need a bit of steam.
  • Compact Steam - This type consists of an attached handle but not usually a retractable cord. It's best to use this type of fabric that can withstand direct heat (such as cotton) or heavier fabrics like jeans. They're perfect for adding a few quick steam shots to your clothes while on the road. 
  • Home and Travel Iron Station - This type is great because it may feature an easy to store cords, a larger water tank, and stronger steam.  Perfect for those who want an all-in-one solution but may not be the best solution for travel due to its size.

How to Iron Clothes When Traveling With The Nori Press

The Nori Press couldn't be simpler to use. It's also small and lightweight. Therefore it is a perfect traveling companion.

  • Turn it On - Once plugged in, you will see a thin line of light at the bottom of your LED screen. Lightly tap the power button and watch your device scroll through six fabric-specific heat settings.
  • Choose your Fabric - Check your garment’s tag to see what fabric you are working with and then tap the fabric-setting button on the side of the device until you land on your desired setting.
  • Take a Moment - Your desired fabric setting will blink until it has reached the appropriate temperature and you are ready to Nori. While you wait, we recommend dampening your garment with a few sprays of our fabric facial. This will help with removing those more stubborn wrinkles.
  • Now, you Nori ("Nori" is "Iron" spelled backward). Position your garment on a hanger or lay it on a flat surface. Place your garment in between the two heated plates, apply pressure and drag slowly. The slower you press, the fewer swipes your garment will require. Before you know it, you have one less wrinkle to worry about.
  • Oh, You Want Steam, The Nori Can Do That Too
  1. Open the fill hole on the back of the device and fill it with our fabric facial or tap water.
  2. Tap the steam button on the side of the device and wait for the icon to stop blinking.
  3. Point the tip of the device to the sky and begin steaming or pressing with steam.
  4. When a water droplet icon appears on the LED screen, you need to refill.
  • Nori Fabric Facial - Meet the Nori Press’ Partner in crime. This 8 oz. steam solution can be used as a spray or fill agent to improve your iron’s performance. This aerosol spray is perfectly paired with The Nori Press. It’s a fabric-friendly mist that refreshes your clothes so you can take them from wrinkly to wearable in no time! The fine mist will refresh and rehydrate all of your fabrics while removing wrinkles, odors, bacteria, and other not-so-pleasant smells.
  • How does my NORI Press work? The Nori Press travel iron harnesses the same technology as a traditional handheld iron or steamer, but in a new form factor that prioritizes efficiency. The device applies direct heat and pressure to remove unwanted wrinkles on both sides of your garment simultaneously. A garment should be placed between the device’s two heated plates at which point the user should clamp firmly and drag slowly to press out wrinkles in its path. For exact instructions on how to press and/or steam, visit the Nori Press How to Use Page.

Considerations for Ironing With a Traditional Travel Iron

If your travel iron doesn't have a steam function then the first thing you'll want to do is get some water ready - but not too much! You don't need a lot of water because the fabric only needs a small amount to get the wrinkles out.

If available use distilled water or bottled water instead of tap water for softer feeling clothes. And if there isn't any clean running water available at all? You'll have to wring dry a wet towel or two so they are damp instead of soaking wet. You can place the damp towels under your garment while ironing.

 If you don't have an ironing board then either a table or your hotel room bed will provide a surface large enough to iron on.

When using your travel iron, there are a number of things you should keep in mind:

  • Always unplug the unit and let it cool down before putting it away or packing up!. It's also very dangerous to pack a hot iron. 
  • Always make sure your clothes are dry before pressing them. This ensures that you won't damage the fabric. You can always lay an absorbent cloth on top of the areas you want to be pressed if there's any excess moisture on your clothing.
  • Always make sure your ironing board is free of debris before you try to use it. Debris can cause the unit to overheat and become damaged while in use. It's important that both units (the travel iron and the board) are cleaned regularly for safe usage and to avoid any spots from the debris on your garments.
  • If your clothes are extremely wrinkled from travel then it's best to get them out of your suitcase as soon as possible and hang them up to help relax deep wrinkles.  You can also try hanging them in the bathroom when you run a hot shower or bath.  The steam from the shower or bath will also help to relax some of the wrinkles. 
  • Be sure you have enough water in the steam reservoir of your unit before pressing any garments. If there is not enough water, it can create spotty results and damage fabrics with spots.
  • Only use the appropriate amount of pressure for your specific fabric type! If you're using too much pressure, it could damage fabrics. It's best to start out light until you figure out how much pressure works for your specific needs and until you become more familiar with your travel iron.!

In addition to the considerations listed above, there are other considerations that are specific to the type of travel iron that you intend to purchase. 

  • Handheld Travel Irons - With some handheld travel irons, you get the benefit of steam and heat right at your fingertips! Simply fill with water and begin steaming away wrinkles and odors while enjoying full control over where you position the nozzle. This is a good solution for travelers who need steam to remove wrinkles from delicate fabrics that require a lighter touch.
  • Compact Travel Irons - These compact models come equipped with a built-in handle which makes carrying easier as well as provides additional stability during ironing. They usually feature a smaller footprint compared to traditional stationary irons.

    Stationary Irons - Stationary irons tend to be heavier-duty versions of regular home irons. They often feature larger reservoirs than portable models and provide greater capacity for holding water. Many models allow you to adjust the temperature settings depending on the fabric. A great option for those who don't mind lugging heavy equipment along with them wherever they go. Maybe not the best choice for travel. 

  • Travel Steamer - You simply plug them in and let them do all the work for you! Some units come with multiple nozzles allowing you to choose between various levels of steam intensity. 

What are the benefits of owning a travel iron?

There are a number of benefits to owning a travel iron, including:

- They're easy to transport! Whether you want to bring it with you on your next trip or simply keep one in the closet at home for quick touch-ups, these units are incredibly portable. Some models even have retractable cords that allow them to be stored away easily without taking up too much space.

- They're easy to store! Some models feature retractable cords so they can be stored in small spaces when not in use - perfect for those with limited storage options.

- Travel irons are safe and effective at removing wrinkles from your clothes, saving you time while on the go! You'll no longer have to worry about pulling out a wrinkled shirt at the last minute or sending clothes to be pressed by an expensive hotel dry cleaner.

- Travel irons are surprisingly affordable, with many models costing under $50!  Keep in mind that you get what you pay for and so if you're a frequent traveler or just want an easier solution to the old iron and ironing board at home, it could be well worth it to spend more on a long-term solution.  It's an inexpensive solution for those on a budget as well as frequent travelers who need something that is easy to transport and quick to set up.

- Travel irons are powerful enough to smooth out even the most stubborn wrinkles in just a few minutes! 

What are the drawbacks of using a portable iron when traveling?

There are some drawbacks to using a travel iron, including:

- You may need an additional power source. Most units will work with any normal electrical outlet but there are some models that require you only certain types of outlets (such as those found in cars). Make sure your unit can be used where you'll be traveling before bringing it along!

- Some fabrics may be too thick or heavy for the unit to press effectively. It's important that you check your iron manual before you buy it.!

- Portable irons are typically designed specifically for travel purposes. This means that they might not hold up very well with daily use. Check the manufacturer's website or manual for warranties if you want this travel iron to be used at home and while traveling.

- Warm climates. If I'm going somewhere warm, should I still use my travel iron? While heat isn't necessarily bad for fabric, it can affect its ability to absorb moisture.  So if you plan on staying somewhere warm and humid, you may not need to use your travel iron, as humid weather can oftentimes take care of wrinkles!   

What are Common Misconceptions About Travel Irons?

There are many misconceptions surrounding travel irons that just aren't true! Some examples include:

- These units may damage your clothing. Many people think that travel irons are only used for casual clothes or items with a low thread count, but this simply isn't the case! Travel irons can be safely used on almost any type of fabric - it's just important to find one that works best for you and your needs.

- These units will only work if you have an ironing board. You don't actually need an ironing board.  You just need a flat heat-resistant surface to use one of these irons! They can be used on almost any heat resistant otherwise empty and flat space - important that the area is wide enough for you to maneuver around

- These units won't get hot enough to remove wrinkles. The truth is that even the smallest travel irons are surprisingly hot. Simply make sure to check your unit's specifications before using it for any type of clothing.

- Many people think these types of irons aren't as powerful as a regular iron, but that's simply not true! They work just fine when the water reservoir is filled and the unit is plugged in.

While most units work just fine when the water reservoir is filled and plugged in before use, there can be problems depending on how often they're used. Some of the most common issues with travel irons include:

- Weak water reservoirs. If you can't get enough steam to remove wrinkles from your clothes, then there may be an issue with the unit's water reservoir! 

- Weak heating elements. If the iron takes forever to heat up or doesn't seem as hot as it should be, then there may be an issue with the unit's heating element! 

- Worse yet, the heating element may melt if it overheats and can ruin your garment! This can happen with fabrics like silk or synthetic blends - especially when you're using a low setting that shouldn't cause any problems. Be sure to keep an eye on how hot your unit is getting while in use, and take a break if you notice any smoke or discoloration on your clothing.

Additional FQAs About Travel Irons

What are some common uses for travel irons?

Travel irons can be used to remove wrinkles from almost any type of fabric, but they're often best for removing light clothing creases. This includes:

- Dress pants and long skirts

- Suits and jackets

- Dresses and blouses

- Tops and sweaters

- Shirts and undershirts

Are there any types of travel irons that I should avoid?

Some units are simply too cheap to trust, especially when it comes to getting something like an iron! When you're shopping for a new unit, be sure to look out for these common warning signs:

- Cheap plastic construction. If the plastic feels flimsy or lightweight then it's unlikely to be a good iron. You need something that will stay cool to the user's touch while it's in use and will still remove wrinkles from your clothes. 

- Low price compared to similar units. If you see an "amazing" deal on what looks like a decent travel iron, take the time to do some research before buying - especially if there are no reviews online! These cheap units can often have problems with the heating element or weak water reservoirs which can leave you in a bind when traveling.

- No warranty policy. This is especially important if you're planning on buying your travel iron from an unknown seller - and even more so if they don't allow returns in case your unit stops working while you're traveling! You need to know that you'll be covered if anything goes wrong - and a good warranty policy will ensure exactly that.

How can I avoid damaging my travel iron?

Just like any other piece of equipment that gets plugged in before use, there are a few steps to take when using a new unit for the first time:

- Fill up the water reservoir completely.  It also helps to fill the tank until it reaches the top line. Be certain not to overfill.

- Plug it in properly. Most models require two prongs to connect them to the wall outlet. Check the manual to confirm.  Also, make sure that the cord is unwrapped and completely untangled.  .

- Turn off the power switch. Many newer models feature a safety mechanism that automatically turns off the power once the water has run dry and others simply have an automatic shut off when not in use for several minutes. However, if you've got an old model, check the instructions to see if it does the same thing. Otherwise, unplug the unit when you're done.  

  • Use caution. While we'd love to say "just leave it alone" and let it do its job, sometimes things aren't quite that simple. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations.  Unplug the unit when you're done, fill the water reservoir only when the unit is unplugged are both good rules to follow.  

What are some important reminders when using a travel iron?

In addition to following all of these guidelines, you may also want to consider the following tips for using your travel iron:

- Avoid leaving your unit on or plugged in when it's not being used. This is both a safety hazard and an unnecessary waste of energy! Simply unplug it after use, clean up any excess water droplets from the bottom, store away until next time - you won't regret it!

- If you're planning on taking your unit with you when traveling, be sure to pack it in its own small pouch or case. This will ensure that the cord is safely wrapped around the base of the iron and prevent any damage while moving about.

- If traveling somewhere without running water, don't forget to bring along some water for refilling! If you're traveling somewhere where there isn't any running water, do you really need your clothes to be pressed?  

Can I use my regular iron during my trip?

If you don't want to invest in a separate travel iron, but still want to save money, then you might consider buying a second-hand iron instead. The only negative to this is of course the weight and size of a regular home iron.  Neither is a plus for traveling.

What kind of fabric will damage my travel iron?

There are certain types of materials that can potentially harm your travel iron. 

- Synthetic fibers. Some synthetic fibers can actually melt onto the surface of your iron. They can also become tangled within the coils themselves, causing serious damage. Follow the. manufacturers guidelines.

- Leather tends to hold heat and typically does not ned ironing so keep it away from any iron.. Unfortunately, it can also burn easily. So keep any iron away from leather clothing and accessories 

How to Pack Clothes to Avoid Wrinkles

When packing for your next vacation, try taking extra care to avoid wrinkling your clothes. Here are three tips to ensure that your clothes stay wrinkle-free throughout your travels:

1) Bring along a garment bag. This way, you can pack everything neatly and quickly. Plus, you're less likely to forget something important. You can find small packing bags for your clothes that will keep them relatively wrinkle-free.  Wrapping garments in tissue paper or plastic also works.

2) Layer items. By layering pieces together, you create pockets of space that allow each item to remain flat. Try a sheet of tissue paper between folds and garments.

3) Fold shirts carefully. Instead of folding them lengthwise, fold them crossways. 

Ironing Clothes When Traveling Summary

So now that you know all about how to iron clothes when traveling, here's a summary of the most useful information covered above:

- Keep your travel iron clean. Make sure that you thoroughly clean it after every use. Also, make sure that you remove any residue left behind before storing it properly.

- Check the temperature settings. Before starting to press anything, check the temperatures first. Then adjust accordingly.

- Be patient. Even though you've been told that your iron has enough power to handle your entire wardrobe.

- Follow directions. Always read through the manual provided by your iron manufacture before beginning to use it. Otherwise, you risk damaging your machine or clothing permanently.

- Use steam irons wisely. Steam irons tend to produce large amounts of hot steam. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and do a lot of testing in the beginning. 

- Take advantage of the sun. While we recommend using a travel iron whenever possible, sometimes you simply cannot do so. Fortunately, the sun and a little humidity in the air can provide all that you need to release wrinkles from clothing.  Sometimes all you need to do is hang your clothes outside to dry and release wrinkles.

- Store your iron safely. Never store your hot iron near other objects that could be damaged by its high heat levels. Likewise, never place it directly onto a surface where it might accidentally fall off. Finally, keep it away from children and pets. They shouldn't come anywhere close to your iron.

- Turn off the power switch. Many newer models feature a safety mechanism that automatically turns off the power once the water has run dry. However, if you've got an old model, check the instructions to see if it does the same thing. Otherwise, unplug your iron when you're done and empty the water reservoir.

- Know when to stop. Once you've finished ironing your clothing, let it cool down completely before storing it. 

- Have fun!

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