Ironing is not a household task that many like. Even so, we need to do it to remove creases from our clothes and make them look snazzy! But what to do to keep your iron functioning at its best? People tend to forget that an iron is a household tool, just like other tools, and requires maintenance.
You can improve your ironing experience by adopting regular simple maintenance practices. How frequently you should clean your iron will depend on usage, but it’s best to address any problems as they arise. Continue reading to discover some essential iron maintenance methods that even the best irons can benefit from!
Table of Contents
- The Importance of Cleaning Your Iron
- How to Remove Burn Marks From Your Iron
- How to Remove Plastic from Your Iron
- How to Clean Clogged Steam Vents
- How to Clean General Stains & Grunge Off Your Iron
- Keep Your Iron in Use Longer
The Importance of Cleaning Your Iron
There are several reasons to keep your iron clean and well-maintained. First, it increases the efficiency of your iron. Have you noticed ironing takes more time and effort to smooth creases than before? It is because of poor maintenance practices. Removing any stains or stickiness from your iron will restore its efficiency and make your work easier.
Keeping your iron clean also avoids any danger of staining your clothes. Nothing is as annoying as having your favorite outfits ruined by an unexpected stain and having to waste time trying to remove it — especially if you’re ironing them at the last minute! If you do not clean your iron over time, the bottom may turn brown or black, leading to cloth staining when you iron.
Cleaning also helps maintain consistent steam from your iron. If you’ve noticed your iron producing less steam than it used to, your steam vents may be blocked due to infrequent cleaning. Dust that accumulates may also cause the iron to burn, which you definitely want to avoid.
How to Remove Burn Marks From Your Iron
Does your iron have some burn marks? All is not lost. You just need this simple technique. While there may be numerous methods, the most recognized method to remove burn marks is the use of Tylenol (acetaminophen) tablets. How can you use a tablet to clean your iron? Melt it onto a hot iron soleplate and wait.
You need to turn on your iron until it is on the hottest setting. After getting it heated, take a kitchen paper towel and wet it with plain water. Since you’re dealing with a scorching-hot iron, be sure to wear a heat-resistant glove or oven mitt to protect your hand. Hold the tablet carefully with the wet towel and scrub the black patches in a circular motion. The tablet will melt into gel, dissolving the burnt spot.
Wipe off the residue with a damp cloth. If necessary, you can repeat the procedure until all the black spots are gone.
How to Remove Plastic from Your Iron
Despite your best efforts, you may sometimes end up with plastic material melted onto your iron. To remove it, you’ll need ice cubes, vinegar, a cloth, and a plastic knife.
As soon as you can after the iron comes into contact with plastic, turn off the electric power and cool it. If this is soon enough that the plastic hasn’t cooled yet, take a metallic bowl large enough to fit the iron horizontally and fill it with ice cubes. Place the iron on top to speed the cooling of the plastic material.
Once the plastic has hardened, use your plastic knife to scrub it off. Make sure you’re using plastic to avoid scratching the surface with a metallic knife. When you’ve removed as much of the plastic as you can with your knife, dampen a cloth with vinegar to wipe off the remaining plastic particles. Get rid of every trace of plastic you can before using the iron again to avoid melting anything onto your garments.
How to Clean Clogged Steam Vents
Have you noticed your iron is not producing steam as well as it used to? Most likely, the steam vents have been blocked by dust particles or mineral deposits. There are two common effective methods to clean your clogged vents: using vinegar and a cotton ball or using vinegar in your water reservoir.
Using Cotton Swabs and Vinegar
Using cotton swabs and vinegar to clean the inside of the steam vents effectively is the perfect option. Before using this method, ensure that your iron is cool as you do not want cotton fur sticking to it. Make a solution of equal parts distilled water and vinegar to clean with. Dip the cotton swabs into the vinegar solution and rub the inside of each steam vent. This method is effective in removing even heavy build-ups, though you may need to use several cotton swabs. Repeat the process with a new clean cotton swab until you notice the swab is no longer changing color.
Cotton swabs are gentle enough to avoid damaging your iron while also being strong enough to help remove buildup. Avoid using a paper clip or other tough metal items that could damage your iron steam vents. In general, you shouldn’t be using metal to clean your iron.
Using Vinegar in the Water Reservoir
Another method that you can use to clean your iron’s steam vents is adding a solution made with vinegar into the water reservoir. You will need distilled water, vinegar, your iron, and an old cloth or towel. Mix the two liquids first to form a solution with equal parts vinegar and water. With the iron still cool and unplugged, pour your vinegar solution into the reservoir until it is full. Then, turn on the power and set your iron to steam. Let it steam until the reservoir empties.
Next, refill the reservoir with plain distilled water. Iron and steam your old cloth or towel. As you do, any remaining residue should come out along with the last of the vinegar. Once you are done steaming, let the iron cool and wipe the soleplate with a clean cloth to remove any remaining residue.
How to Clean Corrosion Off Your Iron
Does your soleplate have corrosion spots? If you are planning on replacing your iron, it’s not time yet! While there may be many methods being recommended to you by family and friends, there’s one clear solution meant to remove corrosion from your iron’s plate. A cloth soaked in vinegar will remove corrosion effectively without requiring any specialized products or tools.
Take a clean towel and soak it in vinegar. Then place the iron with its plate lying down on the top of the cloth. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes then wipe it down. The result will be fantastic.
This method is very effective in removing corrosion. Besides, it is not labor-intensive and does not consume much of your time. It is possible to clean your iron using this method and then use the iron immediately, and the ingredients are readily available!
How to Clean General Stains & Grunge Off Your Iron
Stains on your iron can be from many sources. Whatever the cause, you should carefully clean the soleplate. If it is made of stainless steel, Teflon, or another material that is easily scratched, select a method that does not involve surface scrubbing. Make iron marks a thing of the past by regularly cleaning your iron with one of these strategies!
Using Salt & Newspaper
Salt and newspaper are excellent cleaning materials for your iron. For the best outcome, turn on your iron to the hottest setting. Then take a newspaper and lay it on the ironing board. Sprinkle enough salt to coat the newspaper well. Take your hot iron and start ironing the salted paper in circular motions until the stain disappears. If you don’t have a newspaper handy, you can substitute a brown paper grocery bag.
After the stain has been removed, you should wipe the soleplate with a clean wet cloth. This will remove any salt particles to avoid transferring them to your clothes.
If the stain is not too stubborn, you may be able to clean it off with just newspaper, following the steps above without using the salt. Alternatively, you can form a ball with a newspaper and use it to scrub the iron’s soleplate. If you decide to use this method, you should wear heat-resistant gloves to avoid your figures getting burnt.
Using Nail Polish Remover
If salt and newspaper isn’t an option, you can also use other household products to clean your iron. For effective results using nail polish remover to remove stains, you just need to follow some simple steps. This method is best done outside or in a very well-ventilated area, since some chemical fumes will be emitted. Avoid breathing these chemicals, as they may be harmful to your health.
First, turn on your iron to the hottest setting and allow it to heat up. As you wait for it to heat up, put on your heat-resistant gloves and dip a cotton ball into acetone nail polish remover. After the iron is sufficiently hot, pass the cotton ball over the soleplate. The nail polish will dissolve the stain residual very fast. After the dirt is removed, use a clean wet cloth to wipe off the remaining nail polish remover.
Using Baking Soda & Water
A homemade mix of baking soda and water can work miracles in cleaning stains off your iron. Start with two teaspoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of water. Mix them together thoroughly until you have made a uniform paste. If the stained area of your iron is particularly large or if you’re cleaning multiple irons, you can of course make more paste than this. Just make sure you are keeping the ratio two parts baking soda to one part water so your paste is saturated and thick enough.
After forming your baking soda paste, rub it in a circular motion on the iron soleplate to dissolve any gunk. Keep scrubbing the solution in with your fingers until the dirt or stain is gone. Wipe any excess paste off the iron, and then wipe it down with a clean damp cloth. Now your iron should be free of stains.
Keep Your Iron In Use Longer
Numerous methods can be used to clean an iron. Whether you have problems with a specific type of stain or need more general solutions, the methods we’ve discussed can work wonders to maintain the cleanliness and effectiveness of your iron. If you were frustrated by stains and planning on tossing your iron in the bin, try these ideas first. With the above strategies, you can effectively clean your iron and keep it free of stains for years to come. After reading this article, we trust that you have an excellent foundation of ideas to care for your iron.