Tips to Clean Your Iron Like a Pro

Want to protect your clothes from burn marks? Ensure that your iron is clean and there is no build up of plastic or some fabric on the soleplate.


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How often you clean your iron depends on how frequently you use it. As a thumb rule, you must clean your iron every time the soleplate begins to appear dull. You can also maintain a cleaning schedule like once in 15 days. Doing so will keep your clothes protected. Burn marks from a hot press can cause irreversible damage to your garment. There are many simple ways to clean your iron. Given below are some of the simplest yet effective tips on how to clean an iron.

How to Clean an Iron

1) Using Baking Soda

Make a paste with baking soda and water. Baking soda acts as a cleaning agent because it contains mild alkali and helps dissolve dirt and grease in water effectively. Spread it over the cool soleplate of your iron. Use a cotton swab to clean the steam holes of your iron. Wait for 15 minutes. Now, wipe off the soleplate with a damp cloth. Ensure that there is no baking soda residue.

2) Using Vinegar and Salt

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Mix 2 parts of hot vinegar with 1 part salt. Vinegar is acidic, it helps dissolves dirt and stains. Since salt is mildly abrasive in nature, when combined with vinegar, the solution works as an effective stain remover. Allow the mixture to cool down. Soak a soft sponge in the vinegar solution and rub the bottom of your iron with it. Ensure that the iron hasn’t been recently used. Rinse off the vinegar solution with a damp cloth.

3) Using Toothpaste

Spread a layer of toothpaste on the cool bottom plate of your iron. Wipe it off using a damp cloth. Toothpaste is mildly abrasive and often contains baking soda which helps remove dental plaque. It acts similarly to remove stains on multiple surfaces including your iron.

4) Using Newspaper

Turn on the lowest heat setting on your iron and press a newspaper. Turn off the steam function and increase the heat. Sticky built up on your iron plate will disappear. Newspaper will absorb the grime and dirt on your iron plate. If the stickiness persists, sprinkle some salt on the newspaper and press it again. The sticky residue will be gone in minutes.

5) Using Dryer Sheet

Dryer sheet helps pick up dirt from your iron when it is hot. Turn on the lowest heat setting on your iron and gently wipe the bottom plate with a dryer sheet. Once you’re done, turn on the heat and press an old kitchen towel to remove residue gunk from your iron plate.

6) Using Acetone

Acetone is a good solvent with ability to dissolve stains. Dip a cotton swab in an acetone or nail polish remover solution. Wipe the bottom of your hot iron with this swab to dissolve any type of residue on the surface. Wear oven mitts to keep your hands protected while cleaning the iron soleplate.     

How to Clean Steam Vents

Yes, your steam vents need a good cleaning too. Mineral and salt deposits in the steam clogs can lead to rusty water stains on your clothes. That’s why, it is important to clean the steam vents regularly.

Mix vinegar and distilled water in equal parts and pour this solution in a cool, unplugged iron. Keep your iron in an upright position. Inspect the steam vents for solid gunk build up. You can clean the gunk using cotton swabs or toothpick. Ensure that you do not scratch the iron soleplate. Now, plug your iron in a socket and turn on the steam function. Leave it on for 5 minutes. Turn off the steam and hold your iron for 30 to 40 seconds to let the steam flow freely. Repeat this procedure 3 to 4 times.

To clean the grime build up inside the steam vents, you can also add a drop of dishwashing soap to the vinegar-water solution.

How to Prevent Future Burn Marks

1) Use Distilled Bottle Water for the Steam Function of Your Iron.

Normal filtered water in our homes contains some minerals and salts. They may be good for your body but these salt deposits can hamper your iron’s performance. So, avoid using kitchen water.

2) Empty the Iron

Fill up your iron reservoir just before you are planning to steam press your clothes. Empty the tank after usage. Wipe off the excess moisture from the exteriors using a clean towel.

3) Keep Your Iron Upright

Prevent your iron soleplate from scratches and corrosion by keeping it in an upright position. It also prevents water seepage from the reservoir into the soleplate.

4) Iron on Reverse Side of Garments

Do not use your iron directly on metal or plastic zippers. Turn printed T-shirts and tops inside out to protect your iron soleplate from any kind of damage.

Safety Tips:  

1) Unplug the Iron

It is very important to ensure that your iron is not connected to the power source while you are cleaning the soleplate.

2) Keep It Away From Children

While you are cleaning your iron, ensure that your children or pets are at a safe distance.

3) Wear Protective Gear

Keep your hands protected or you could end up being scalded.

4) Read Manufacturer’s Instructions

Always read the manufacturer’s instructions to know the right way to clean your iron.

To keep your iron working in top-notch condition, it is essential to keep it clean. Use the cleaning tips given here to restore the shine on your iron soleplate.

To remove melted plastic from your iron’s soleplate, place it in the freezer. In time, the plastic will harden and you can easily break it apart using a blunt knife.

For more information on home care, visit Get Set Clean.

Originally published