This is How to Clean an Iron All by Yourself Safely

For you who keep maintaining your look on a daily basis, ironing is one of the mandatory things to do. Just like the other appliances, the more you use your iron, the more it requires some regular maintenance. You can’t expect to have an iron that you can use smoothly without some regular care.

How to Clean an Iron
Photo by
Andrey Matveev
on Unsplash

Regular cleaning is necessary to prevent difficult stains, sticky substances, and mineral build-ups. Of course, you cannot iron your favorite garments with a dirty iron.

Luckily, you can use some easy home supplies to clean up your iron so it can work smoothly to bring your garments at their best. Check out our simple DIY tutorial on how to clean an iron that you can add to your home care list right away.

How to Clean an Iron

How to Clean an Iron 1
Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

Prepare these supplies:

  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • Natural cleaner
  • Salt
  • Clean washcloths
  • Cotton swabs
  • Pot
  • Ice cubes, optional
  • Plastic scraper, optional

Follow these steps:

Make your own cleaning solution

First, you can use baking soda to clean up your dirty iron. Just follow the steps below:

  • Make sure that you have cooled down your iron completely before you start.
  • Mix one part of water with two parts of baking soda until you get a paste consistency.
  • Spread the cleaning paste over the soleplate with a clean cloth. Don’t skip the steam holes.
  • Leave the baking soda paste for around 10 minutes.
  • Wipe the paste with a damp cloth completely.

Alternatively, you can also use your regular dish soap to replace the baking soda but it’s only applicable for the non-stick soleplate.

Treat the stubborn stains

The baking soda or dish soap may not really handle the stubborn stains like the scorch marks. No worries, you can use other easy home supplies to deal with them.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Prepare a pot, mix one part of salt and two parts of white vinegar, and heat it up until the salt is dissolved completely. Don’t let the white vinegar reaches boiling point.
  • Leave the cleaning mixture cooled down and apply it to a microfiber cloth.
  • Scrub the dampened cloth to the stained areas of your iron.

Clean up the reservoir

Before you start, read your care manual to determine whether it’s safe or not to use white vinegar to clean up the iron’s reservoir. If so, then continue to the steps below:

  • Mix your regular natural cleaner, one part of distilled white vinegar, and three parts of distilled water.
  • Fill one-third of your iron’s reservoir with the cleaning mixture.
  • Turn your iron on and set it to the highest setting then iron an old clean rag or towel with steam for around 5 to 10 minutes. The fabric may get dirty and don’t worry about it, that’s why you need to use old stuff rather than your favorite garment.
  • Once the time is up, turn the iron off and let it cool completely.
  • Use some cotton swabs to clean the steam holes.
  • Drain the cleaning mixture from the reservoir and refill it as you wish.

If it’s not safe for you to use distilled white vinegar for this step, you can eliminate it and just use distilled water instead.

How to Remove Sticky Substances from Your Iron

The cleaning steps above may not really clean sticky substances like melted plastic and rubber. They will create smudges that are so hard to get cleaned, so you need to do further steps to deal with them.

Luckily, you can simply grab some ice cubes straight from your freezer to clean sticky substances which can’t get away from your iron. Why ice cubes? They work by hardening the sticky substances so you can easily remove them.

Prepare these supplies:

  • Ice cubes
  • Baking pan
  • Plastic scraper
  • Washcloth

Follow these steps:

Soak only the soleplate

Fill your banking pan with some ice cubes and place the iron onto the surface of the ice. Keep in mind to only treat the stained area of the soleplate and don’t submerge the whole iron.

Scrape the sticky substances

Once you are sure that the sticky substances get hardened, you can scrape them off with a plastic scraper gently. You can also use your fingernails if you don’t have a scraper in hand.

After you have removed them completely, wipe the surface of the soleplate with a washcloth.

(You may also like: How to Care for Leather Decor Items Safely All by Yourself)

When do you need to clean your iron?

There’s no specific rule, actually. You need to clean your iron once you notice any stains or discoloration on its soleplate. You can also check your garments after each ironing to determine whether you need to clean the iron or not.

However, if you don’t frequently use your iron, you can clean it every two or three months. For those who use the iron on a daily basis, you may need to clean it at least once a month. It’s to ensure that your iron provides good convenience for you.

How to keep your iron clean longer

There are some tips that you can do to ensure the soleplate of your iron and steam holes works great over time.

  • Always use fresh water – After each ironing, make sure that you empty the reservoir and use fresh distilled water to refill it before your next ironing.
  • Wipe regularly – Wiping down your iron may sound simple, but it’s a good way to keep the soleplate smooth. Do this once per week if you use the iron on a daily basis.
  • Use a magic eraser – You don’t really have to always deep-clean your iron when you find some smudges. For the small smudges, you can use a magic eraser that can deal with them with simple wipes.
  • Use dryer sheets – When you feel that your iron doesn’t glide smoothly, you can use dryer sheets to solve the problem. Set your iron to the lowest heat, then gently wipe the surface carefully.

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