Ask LH: How Can I Persuade My Partner To Stop Ironing?

Ask LH: How Can I Persuade My Partner To Stop Ironing?

Dear Lifehacker, I hate ironing, and my wife insists on ironing my work shirts for me. She does a great job, but it can sometimes take ages for her to get around to it, so I have to iron the odd one here or there to get through. I really want to start taking my shirts to a dry cleaner and get them laundered and pressed, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings. What should I do? Thanks, Iron This One Out

Ironing picture from Shutterstock

Dear ITOO,

There are innumerable ways to approach this without hurting your wife’s feelings. (In fact, I’d argue that pretty much any conversation that results in her having to do less housework is going to go swimmingly.)

Instead of mentioning her tardy ironing schedule, make the focus about lessening her workload: you know she does a lot around the house and have decided you want to help out more. Insist on it. By following this tact, you’re basically getting brownie points for nothing.

Assuming you can afford it, going to a dry cleaner makes perfect sense — your shirts will look like new and always be ready. Plus, your wife will have less ironing to worry about, so everybody wins!

Alternatively, you could stop being chauvinistic and actually iron your shirts yourself. To get started, check out our complete guide for people who hate ironing. Good luck!


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  • Surely this is a joke question? Pretty insulting to the community that you answered this.

    Too lazy to iron own shirts yet finds the wife incompetent/lazy enough to want her to stop.

    • I disagree. Just because you don’t want to do something doesn’t mean you’ll accept a particularly sub-par job. He wants to get his shirts dry cleaned so he never has to iron or worry about them being late, he also doesn’t want to hurt his wife’s feelings.

      I feel the real problem here is he isn’t comfortable discussing something so trivial with his wife.

      • … so maybe she’s also frustrated that he doesn’t iron very well? lol…

        I think the big argument here is going to be about how much money is going to be wasted on dry cleaning… and that the wife is more likely to either suggest a) he does it more often himself or b) they just pay someone to do the ironing…

  • No one likes ironing, but you do it anyway. Laundry and ironing should be basic life skills, like grocery shopping, vacuuming the floor and taking out the trash. It’s not rocket science – 2 minutes and your shirt is ironed. I’m amazed with anyone below the age of 30 I’ve met who tell me that ironing is too hard – they can navigate through their smartphone and organise group chats but can’t press a hot metal plate on a fabric. Parents need to kick their kids out of home at 21 so that they learn how to do it themselves.

    • I’m not sure what it has to do with when you left home. I moved out at 17 and have been supporting myself for over a decade, but I’ve never really found that I needed to iron much. The majority of my clothes don’t need it, and the clothes that do need it can easily be taken across the road to the dry cleaners.

  • Pretty sure this is a joke question for that MTG competition a while back. IIRC it was the most outrageous question would win…

  • It’s a little rich to assume the person asking the question is a chauvinist. You don’t have any idea what their living arrangements are, nor what kind of arrangements they have regarding household chores.

  • I iron better and quicker than my wife, and therefore always try to do it rather than her (unless im running late and she has the time and is willing to do it). I also prefer my ironing to her, because I know how I like my shirt ironed.

  • “Alternatively, you could stop being chauvinistic and actually iron your shirts yourself.”

    “Alternatively, you could stop making illogical jumps in logic but you are a writer for giz so unlikely.”

    Outrageous statements aren’t very nice are they. The arrangement could just be division of labor or the question a *joke*. Nontheless, just because the concept lines up (implicitly and clearly) with your cartoonish idea of the 50s doesn’t make the questioner a chauvinist.

  • What the. First, who irons anything or has time to these days? Nobody.

    Secondly, wear clothes that don’t require ironing.

  • I wanted to iron my partner’s shirts because he was struggling for cash and I thought the money he spent on getting shirts dry cleaned could be spent much better elsewhere.

    I did it for one week and realised that the amount of time it took for me to do it properly was really not worth the savings.

  • I’m sure our fearless (senseless) leader Mr Abbott would have something to say on this topic… though I’m kind of hoping we never hear it! lol

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