Let’s face it – ironing is not the most exciting chore in the world. But when you finally tackle that pile of laundry, the last thing you want is a dirty, spotty iron that leaves stains on your clothes.
That’s where knowing how to clean an electric iron comes in.
Not only will a clean iron make your clothes look better, but it will also make the ironing process more efficient and less frustrating.
And with a little bit of know-how, cleaning your iron doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
In this article post, we’ll walk you through some of the best methods for cleaning your iron, from using household items to commercial cleaning products.
So please put on your ironing music playlist, grab your iron, and let’s get to work!
DIY Solutions: How to Clean An Electric Iron with Household Items
Iron is essential for keeping your clothes looking sharp and presentable.
However, over time, the iron’s soleplate can become dirty, which can cause it to stick to your clothes or even damage them.
In this article, we will discuss how to clean an iron so that it continues to function correctly and does not leave any marks on your clothes.
We will provide easy-to-follow instructions to help you maintain your iron and keep it in good condition.
What Causes Irons to Become Dirty?
Before we get into how to clean an iron, it is essential to understand what causes the iron to become dirty in the first place. Here are some of the common causes of dirt and stains on the soleplate of your iron:
- Mineral Buildup – The water you use to fill your iron may contain minerals that can build up on the soleplate over time, causing it to become discoloured or dirty.
- Fabric Stains – If you iron clothes with stains, the residue from the stain can transfer to the soleplate, causing it to become dirty.
- Heat Damage – If you use your iron on high heat settings, the soleplate may become damaged, which can cause it to become discoloured and dirty.
Cleaning an iron is a simple process that can be done at home with a few common household items.
Here are the steps to follow in cleaning your iron:
Step 1: Unplug the Electric Iron and Let it Cool Down
Before you start cleaning your iron, it is important to unplug it and let it cool down completely. This will prevent any accidents from occurring while you are cleaning the iron.
Step 2: Mix a Solution of Vinegar and Water
Next, mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and water in a small bowl or container.
You can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar if you prefer.
Step 3: Apply the Solution to the Soleplate
Dip a clean cloth into the solution and wring out any excess liquid.
Gently rub the cloth over the iron’s soleplate, focusing on any areas with buildup or stains.
Be careful not to apply too much pressure, which can damage the soleplate.
Step 4: Use Baking Soda or Salt for Stubborn Stains
If there are any stubborn stains on the soleplate, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda or salt onto the damp cloth and rub it onto the affected area.
This will help to loosen the stain and make it easier to remove.
Step 5: Wipe Down the Soleplate
Once you have finished cleaning the soleplate, wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue from the vinegar solution or baking soda/salt.
Step 6: Clean the Water Reservoir
To clean the water reservoir, fill it with equal parts water and vinegar and let it sit for an hour. Then, pour the solution and rinse the reservoir thoroughly with clean water.
Step 7: Steam the Iron
Finally, fill the iron with clean water and turn it on to the steam setting.
Hold the iron over a sink or a towel and press the steam button to release steam, which will help clear any remaining residue from the iron.
Step 8: Let the Iron Cool Down
Once you have finished steaming the iron, empty the remaining water from the reservoir and let the iron cool down completely before storing it away.
Ultimate Guide on How to Clean an Electric Steam Iron
Cleaning a steam iron is important in maintaining its effectiveness and prolonging its lifespan.
Here are some steps you can follow in cleaning a steam iron:
- Start by unplugging the iron and allowing it to cool down completely.
- Fill the water reservoir of the iron with a mixture of equal parts distilled water and white vinegar. This solution will help dissolve any mineral deposits clogging the steam vents.
- Turn on the iron and set it to the highest temperature and steam setting.
- Hold the iron over a sink or a bowl, and press the steam button to release the steam and vinegar mixture. Continue this process until the reservoir is empty.
- Refill the reservoir with distilled water and repeat the steaming process to rinse any remaining vinegar residue.
- Mix baking soda with water to create a paste if your iron’s soleplate has stains or buildup. Rub the paste onto the soleplate with a soft cloth and then clean it with a damp cloth.
- You can use a commercial iron cleaning product for tough stains or buildup.
- Finally, wipe down the exterior of the iron with a damp cloth, being careful not to get any water inside the iron.
These steps will help keep your steam iron in good working condition and prevent any buildup or stains from affecting your clothes.
Read More about How to Clean Shower Head Without Vinegar
How to Clean the Bottom of An Electic Iron
Cleaning the bottom of the iron is important to ensure it glides smoothly over your clothes and doesn’t leave any stains or residue behind.
Here are some steps you can follow to clean the bottom of an iron:
- Start by unplugging the iron and allowing it to cool down completely.
- Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a bowl or container.
- Dip a soft cloth into the vinegar solution and wring it out so it is damp but not soaking wet.
- Place the damp cloth on an ironing board or another heat-resistant surface.
- Turn the iron to its lowest heat setting and run the soleplate over the damp cloth. Be sure to avoid any steam or water during this process.
- If the stains or buildup are stubborn, you can use a commercial iron cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the soleplate with a soft cloth and rub gently, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- You can use a cotton swab dipped in the vinegar solution to clean out any debris or buildup for the steam vents or other small areas.
- Once you have finished cleaning the bottom of the iron, wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth.
These steps will help you keep the bottom of your iron clean and in good working condition.
Additionally, avoid abrasive cleaners or steel wool, which can scratch the soleplate and damage your iron.
How To Clean An Iron That Has Burnt Fabric
If you’ve accidentally burned a piece of fabric with your iron, it can be frustrating and leave unsightly stains on your iron
However, with patience and the right cleaning methods, you can remove the burnt fabric and return your iron to its former glory.
- Unplug the Iron and Let it Cool Down. The first step is to unplug your iron and let it cool down completely. This is important to avoid any risk of injury and prevent the burnt fabric from becoming more stuck on the iron.
- Prepare a Cleaning Solution. Next, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl. Dip a clean cloth in the solution and wring out the excess liquid. You can add a few drops of dish soap to the solution to help break down the burnt fabric.
- Apply the Solution to the Burnt Area. Apply the cleaning solution to the burnt area on the iron. Make sure that the cloth is damp but not soaking wet. Gently rub the cloth over the burnt area, using a circular motion to lift off the burnt fabric.
- Scrub with a Toothbrush. If the burnt fabric is stubborn and won’t come off with just a cloth, use a toothbrush to scrub the affected area gently. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid scratching the iron’s soleplate.
- Wipe the Soleplate. Once you’ve removed the burnt fabric, wipe the soleplate with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
- Use a Magic Eraser. For more stubborn stains, you can use a Magic Eraser. Wet the eraser and gently rub the affected area, careful not to apply too much pressure. Once the burnt fabric has been lifted, wipe the soleplate with a clean, damp cloth.
- Dry the Iron. Finally, dry the soleplate with a dry cloth and let the iron air dry for at least an hour before using it again.
Tips for Maintaining Your Electric Clothes Iron
- Use distilled water – Using distilled water instead of tap water can help prevent mineral deposits from clogging the steam vents and damaging the iron.
- Empty the water reservoir – After each use, empty the reservoir to prevent any remaining water from evaporating and leaving behind mineral deposits.
- Store the iron properly – Store the iron in an upright position, and avoid wrapping the cord around the iron, which can damage the cord.
- Clean the iron regularly – Regularly cleaning the iron’s soleplate and steam vents can prevent buildup and stains and keep the iron gliding smoothly over your clothes.
- Be careful with the temperature settings – Be sure to adjust the iron’s temperature settings based on the fabric you are ironing to avoid scorching or damaging your clothes.
- Don’t overload the iron – Overloading the iron with too much water can cause leaks, while overloading the iron with clothes can cause it to work harder than it should, leading to damage or wear and tear.
DIY Solutions: How to Clean Your Iron with Household Items
Baking soda is a natural and effective cleaner with many uses, including cleaning the soleplate of your clothes iron. It is only slightly abrasive, so it won’t damage the surface of your iron as it breaks down the buildup.
- Mix two tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of water to make a cleaning paste.
- Gently scrub the soleplate with the paste, avoiding the steam vents, and wipe away the buildup and paste with a damp cloth.
Distilled white vinegar is another natural and versatile cleaner that can clean the bottom and inside of your iron.
- Soak a clean cloth in vinegar and place your iron on it facing down. After waiting for 30 minutes, wipe away the vinegar and grime with a damp cloth.
- For tougher buildup, you can use a vinegar and salt mixture. Mix equal parts salt and water in a saucepan, heat the solution until the salt dissolves, and use a microfiber cloth to scrub the bottom of your iron gently.
The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a modern sponge scrubber that can remove dirt, scuff marks, paint, and buildup on your iron.
- Wet the magic eraser and squeeze out most of the water.
- Rub the iron’s soleplate gently to remove the buildup and dampen your cleaning eraser.
Newspaper and salt
Newspaper and salt can also be used to clean your iron’s soleplate.
- Set your iron to a warm setting and lay a newspaper on an ironing board. Sprinkle salt over the newspaper and iron in circles until most of the salt is removed.
- Unplug your iron, let it cool, and wipe away the salt and loosened grime with a damp cloth.
Dryer sheets can be used to loosen buildup on your iron’s soleplate.
- Set your iron to the lowest setting, grab an oven mitt, ball up a dryer sheet, and start rubbing. When one gets too warm, reach for another dryer sheet.
- Repeat until your iron’s soleplate shines. These are simple and effective ways to keep your clothes ironed and in good working condition.
Toothpaste can be an effective cleaning solution for removing dirt and buildup from the soleplate of an iron.
- Make sure the iron is unplugged and completely cool before you start.
- Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto the soleplate of the iron. Make sure to use non-gel toothpaste, as gels won’t also work for this task.
- Use a soft, damp cloth to rub the toothpaste over the soleplate. Rub gently in a circular motion until the soleplate is clean.
- Once the soleplate is clean, wipe it with a clean, damp cloth to remove any excess toothpaste.
- Plug in the iron and turn it on to the highest setting. Let it heat up for a few minutes to help remove any remaining toothpaste residue.
- Turn off the iron, unplug it once it has cooled, and wipe the soleplate down with a clean, damp cloth.
Ironing Dos and Don’ts: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting It Right
Selecting the Right Iron
Before you start ironing, it’s crucial to have the right equipment. Here are some things to consider when selecting an iron:
- Wattage: Look for an iron with a wattage of at least 1200 for faster and more efficient ironing.
- Soleplate: Choose an iron with ceramic, stainless steel, or titanium soleplate for durability and easy gliding over fabrics.
- Steam: Select an iron with a steam function to help remove wrinkles and ensure that fabrics lie flat. A steam burst option can be particularly helpful for stubborn wrinkles.
- Temperature Control: Choose an iron with temperature control to adjust the heat based on the fabric type you are ironing.
Once you have selected the right iron, it’s time to start ironing. Here are some dos to keep in mind to ensure a perfect result:
- Start with the lowest temperature setting and work up as needed for the fabric type.
- Use a pressing cloth when ironing delicate fabrics such as silk to protect them from heat damage.
- Do iron clothes inside out to avoid leaving any marks on the right side of the fabric.
- Do use steam to help remove wrinkles and ensure that fabrics lie flat.
- Do iron in a well-lit room to avoid missing any wrinkles or creases.
- Use a spray bottle to dampen fabrics that are difficult to iron, such as linen or cotton.
To avoid damaging your clothes or the iron, here are some things to avoid when ironing:
- Don’t iron over zippers, buttons, or other metal embellishments; they can scratch the soleplate and damage your iron.
- Don’t leave the iron on the same spot for too long, as it can cause scorching or burning.
- Don’t iron over seams or hems, as it can cause puckering or stretching of the fabric.
- Avoid too much pressure when ironing; it can stretch or distort the fabric.
- Don’t iron dirty or stained clothes, as the heat can set the stain and make it more difficult to remove.
Takeaway on How to Clean An Electric Iron
After reading through this comprehensive article, it’s clear that keeping your electric iron clean is essential to maintaining the life of your favourite clothes. From baking soda to removing the burnt fabric, we’ve covered all the ins and outs of iron cleaning.
Take preventative measures, such as using distilled water and avoiding setting the heat too high, to prevent unnecessary buildup.
And if you do encounter buildup, don’t hesitate to use one of the many cleaning methods we’ve covered, from vinegar and salt to toothpaste.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to ironing, keeping your iron in tip-top shape will make all the difference in the world regarding the appearance and longevity of your clothes.
So, go ahead and give your iron some much-needed TLC and enjoy crisp, fresh, and well-pressed clothes every time.