1) Use too much heat on delicate fabrics: With delicate items, if the heat is too high, there is a risk of melting fabric. Start with polyester, silk and other delicate fabrics and use the lowest setting.

2) Iron fabrics that are too dry: If a fabric is really dry and wrinkled, it’s important to mist it before you iron, to help relax the fabric. Then when you run a hot iron over it, the wrinkles will smooth out.

3) Steam fabrics without holding them taut. When using a handheld steamer, hold garments from the bottom and pull gently. For heavier fabrics that steam might not penetrate, turn the garment inside out and steam both sides.

4) Use high heat for creases: Heat isn’t always the answer to removing creases and wrinkles. In fact, if the shirt or jacket is a blended fabric, it’s better to use a lower setting and lightly mist the garment with water.

5) Fill the iron with tap water: Always check the instruction booklet that comes with your iron. While many irons can use regular tap water, some still need distilled or a blend of tap water and distilled. Follow instructions for the best results.

6) Assume heat will clean the iron: Always clean your iron before turning it on. If the iron is really dirty, use a paste of baking soda and water, and apply it when the iron is cold. Let it sit for a bit, then wipe clean with a damp cloth. There are commercial cleaning products that will do the trick too, if needed.

7) Store the iron with water in it: Empty the water tank before putting the iron away. This will keep excess water from damaging the internal parts and leaking through.