If you like repurposing old furniture or upgrading cheaper buys, you’ve probably encountered pieces that sport a stubborn veneer covering. To remove most types of veneer, place an old towel over the surface of the furniture. Run an iron over the towel in a back and forth motion, making sure it's on its highest setting with full steam. This trick should allow the covering to eventually peel off, leaving you with a blank canvas ready for your own DIY touch.
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It’s a common problem—you decide to move the coffee table, and now you're stuck with annoyingly obvious dents in the carpet. One of the most effective ways to remedy the situation is to place a damp cloth over the dents, then run an iron set to the steam setting over the affected area. After thirty seconds or so, set the iron aside and lift the fibers with your fingers or a stiff brush.
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You can even remove dents in wood floors or furniture using a similar technique. Wet the dent, and then place a dampened paper towel over it. Set the iron on the hot setting, and make a circular motion over the dent for a couple of minutes, checking every so often to see if the dent has decreased. Remember that not all finishes react the same way to steam; be sure to test this method in an inconspicuous area first.
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Wax On, Iron Off
If you're a fan of candlelit dinners, then you've probably spilled a little hot wax onto your carpets or tablecloths a time or two. Luckily, an iron can provide an easy fix. First, let the wax dry completely, then scrape as much off as possible with a dull butter knife. Lay a paper towel over the wax area, and simply run an iron on low heat to gently coax the wax from the fabric and onto the paper towel.
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Did you make the mistake of setting a hot cup of tea on your beloved wooden coffee table? Odds are, it left behind an ugly white heat stain. Believe it or not, irons can be used to remove heat stains from these surfaces. Place a thin towel over the area in question. Then, set the iron to medium heat, with the steam function on, and apply light pressure to the spot for 10-15 seconds. Check for results, and if necessary, continue applying heat until the stain disappears.
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Preserve flowers from a cherished bouquet or a piece of beautiful fall foliage with an iron and wax paper. First, sandwich the flowers between two sheets of wax paper, and then place a heavy book on top to flatten. While you wait, empty the water from the iron—you don't want any steam involved in this process. Replace the book with a paper towel, then press the iron over the material to seal. This process will act as a lamination for the flowers, allowing you to use them as decor or crafts for years to come.
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Prevent sweat stains and foul odors in shirts by incorporating baby powder into your ironing routine. Simply dust the inside armpit area of any shirt with the pleasant smelling powder and then iron as usual. This will create a barrier between the skin and the fibers of the shirt, lessening any offensive sweat marks. This method works particularly well on white shirts, where discoloration is the most obvious.
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To hem curtains or a pair of pants when you're in a pinch, buy fusible hem tape at your local fabric store. Apply the tape to the fabric at your desired height, and follow the instructions on the package to iron the fabric together. This is great for last-minute accidents or if you're not well-versed with a needle and thread, as it makes short work of adjusting the length of any garment.
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If you must do laundry (and you must), you might as well make the chore as easy as possible. We've rounded up the best buys to make your laundry room safer, cleaner, and more productive. Even better? They can all be had for a bargain. Go now!