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Jul 26

How to make money ironing

Reading Time: 6 mins

So, you want to spend your spare time ironing?

Let’s just say, better you than us!

Since that’s what most people think, there’s an extremely high demand for efficient ironing services that do quality work. People will rather pay extra to outsource their laundry than iron it themselves and that’s where you come in.

If you can get your hands on some coat hangers and know your way round an ironing board, this may well be the money-maker you’ve been looking for.

Read MoneyMagpie’s quick guide to starting your own ironing business below:


What’s involved in an ironing business?

Electric iron next to pile of folded laundry

In order to offer a high quality ironing service, you will need the essentials: a good iron and ironing board. It’s worth investing in good quality tools – it’ll make the labour easier and there’ll be less of a chance they damage your customers’ clothes. You should also have experience ironing, even if it’s just your own garments, and know the basics, for example, different heat settings for various types of fabrics. You’ll probably want to offer your clients higher ironing standards than you do for your own clothes.

There may already be an ironing service in your vicinity with plenty of customers, so delivering the best possible results is of the utmost importance. Do some market research to check what others offer in terms of pricing, services and delivery options. Then have a think about how you can top their offer.

Starting out ironing for cash

You basically have two options:

  1. Sign up with an agency,
  2. Or start your own ironing business.
ironing agencies

With the first option, it’s as simple as finding the closest agency and convincing them that you’re good at ironing. You can find it online through a quick search for iron agency and the name of your area.

Different agencies provide different services – some include alterations and repairs – so find one that best suits your skills.

When you sign up with an agency, they deal with administrative aspects such as insurance, however, if you must be registered as self-employed (and the agency should tell you this), you will have to consider some income tax issues which you can read about in this article on paying tax on your extra income.

Some agencies simply put you in touch with a local customer and leave you to arrange payments yourself.

Others have clients who typically need housekeeping, cleaning and ironing work. So, they match an ironer to their client’s needs and allow the two parties to agree a price.

If you decide to  collaborate with an agency, the work is normally part-time and often flexible.

Payment ranges from hourly rates to a fee per item or a fee per pound.

In general, you can expect to earn between:

  • £8 and £12 per hour
  • 50p and £1 per item
  • 50p and £1 per pound

Although some agencies won’t require you to drive, having wheels definitely makes your job easier. If you don’t already have a vehicle, read our article on car leasing.

starting your own business

The big advantage of running your own operation is that you get to keep all of the money! You also get to work whenever you want and pick your clients.

The downside is that you have to do all the work of advertising, invoicing, dealing with customers and so on.

However, if this doesn’t put you off, read on to see how you can get all of this going.


How do I start my own ironing service?

Woman ironing in the living room/lounge


Start by scouring your local paper and in-shop windows to find out how stiff the competition is. Have a quick search online too and check any local Facebook sites – people often advertise on community or neighbourhood pages.

If there’re lots of ironing services available already, there probably won’t be room for any more.

If, however, you don’t notice any, great start. There may actually be demand for your services. A good way to get your business off the ground is to start small and gradually build it as you gain more clients.

For tax purposes, it’s important that you register as self-employed within three months of working for yourself. Visit to find out more.


Start by offering a simple ironing service and then take things from there. You can also offer seasonal services, such as special offers for school uniforms in September or polishing up people’s outfits for the wedding season.

And you can branch out. If you’re a confident sewer, for instance, your talents will definitely come in handy. You can offer mending and even washing services too.

But it’s not just about getting stuff ironed. Remember – presentation is everything. It’s common practice to return a customer’s ironing in a clear plastic bag or on hangers, so be sure to have a constant supply of these. You can ask your clients to include their own hangers when you pick up their order but make sure you have some extras on hand.

A major service that most customers appreciate, is collection and delivery. It’s acceptable to charge a small fee for this, based on the cost of fuel and time spent driving.

On the plus side, when you register as self-employed, you can claim the tax back for the costs incurred when driving to and from the customer – so keep all your petrol receipts.


The starting-out cost of an ironing gig is low but setting up a budget is an essential part of any business – and it shouldn’t take too long.

All you have to do is draw up a list of expenses – including supplies, fuel, advertising, rent etc – and work out their total. When you quote customers, ensure that you cover all these bases and also add an amount for labour. It’s a good idea to compare your prices with other businesses offering ironing services. Many people in the ironing business admit they started out charging way too little and found it hard to increase their prices later as it posed the risk of losing good clients. Make sure you’re confident your fees reflect the work you put into your business.


There’s lots of different ways in which you can advertise your ironing business but word of mouth remains the best. So, let all your friends, family and work colleagues know that you do this and ask them to help you spread the word.

It will also help to set up a Facebook page for your business. You  can use it to post regular updates and it’s a place where your customers can share their reviews. If they’re positive, it’ll encourage others to use your services.

You can also consider advertising in shop windows, libraries, your local paper, the Yellow Pages and, eventually, even setting up your own website.


Top tips for making money with ironing

Folded clothes on ironing board

Running an ironing business doesn’t have to be complicated but there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Get some business cards printed cheaply with Vistaprint and hand them out at every opportunity. You could also design some simple leaflets and deliver them to houses in your neighbourhood.
  • Smokers need not apply. If your customers get a whiff of cigarette smoke on their clothes you won’t be expecting any repeat business. It’s also a good idea to work away from strong cooking smells and pets (allergies).
  • Ironing in the summer can be hot work so pick up a cheap fan to keep you cool while you’re working.
  • Good professional indemnity insurance is a must in case you iron a hole in anyone’s designer suit. Accidents happen!
  • Advertise your services on free local sites like Facebook groups, local supermarket notice boards and cheaper places like Gumtree.
  • Websites such as Indeed or Totaljobs also post ironing jobs every so often so make sure you set up job alerts. Freelance sites like PeoplePerHour could also be a good way to find new clients.

Hopefully you now know everything you need to start ironing to ramp up your income. The beauty of this money making strategy is how easy and flexible it is to set up. Your ironing gig can be as small as only doing a few shirts for someone you know or it could be a proper full-time job. You can iron when kids are in bed or while watching TV. Happy ironing!


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Claire Wilcox
Claire Wilcox
8 years ago

Hi. I started my own ironing service with my website and things took off faster than I could have hoped. We tried the usual leaflet dropping and things like that, but at the end of the day most of our business came from Google using their Adwords service, and taking bookings through our website. Our site was produced by and they did a great job for us. Might not be for everyone, but well worth a look.

Angie Swingler
Angie Swingler
5 years ago
Reply to  Claire Wilcox

Hi Claire, I hope you don’t mind me contacting you but I wondered how you’re ironing business is going? I see you started with startyourownironingbuisness which is the route I have chosen! They are currently designing my website and it should be up and running in a day or two! I’m getting excited lol! I just wanted to pick you’re brains really and wondered if you could pass on some tips/advice? Are you still going strong? I do hope so! Thank you for you’re time!
Angie Swingler
The Steam Station!

Organic Vegetable Seeds
Organic Vegetable Seeds
8 years ago

Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found
a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

Abhay Sharma
Abhay Sharma
6 years ago

That’s really funny…….god one might

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freshwater aquarium blogs
8 years ago

I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic. I need to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for the magnificent information I was looking for this information for my mission.

Interesting stuff
Interesting stuff
8 years ago

Thanks much for your informative blog post. I actually also really like how you have your blog organized.
It is certainly well organized..

Ruth Darrell
Ruth Darrell
10 years ago

I would like to run my own ironing business, but do not know what to call it and how much to charge, friend say charge by the hour, charge by the basket or charge so much per item, also how much would advertising be?

Fayrues rejal
Fayrues rejal
9 years ago
Reply to  Ruth Darrell

I wil charge by basket.50rnd half bskt and 100 for full basket

Evonne Devany
Evonne Devany
11 years ago

Thanks for this information. My sister has been wondering about this topic for a while.

Yvone Hibbets
Yvone Hibbets
11 years ago

I posted your article to my myspace profile.

11 years ago

Good point. If you really won’t be earning much then it’s likely you won’t have to pay either of those. We all have an earnings threshold under which we don’t have to pay any tax. For this tax year it’s £6,035. If you earn less than that in this tax year (April to April) then you won’t have to pay. However, it’s still worth keeping a note of what you make and, importantly, anything you have to spend on your business (like a new iron, ironing board, petrol to pick up someone’s laundry etc).

jackie powell
jackie powell
11 years ago


I am thinking of doing this for myself, but would i have to pay tax and NI? I wont be earning much at all…


9 years ago
Reply to  jackie powell

i have set up my own and i do not pay tax or NI as you dont earn enough for it.

11 years ago

I would like to do this job what do i do

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