The surface of the pressing iron is also called the sole plate and it is the part of the iron susceptible to stains, burns or rust. If the sole plate of your iron is starting to look less than fresh or burnt, you’d be probably wondering how to clean an iron. A dirty iron can cause a huge lot of problems especially when you have a large amount of cloth to iron or clothes that can get stained like white coloured ones. Also, over time, water can leave behind mineral deposits especially if you make use of spray starch or other products, it can leave gunk behind on the plate of the iron.
Signs that your iron needs cleaning can appear gradually. One thing is certain: while pressing, you notice a stain on your clothes. Common warning indications include discoloured soleplate or foot, sticky residue on iron or clothes, chalky mineral deposits on textiles (common with steam irons), and uneven iron gliding.
Chemicals designed specifically to clean and preserve the surface of your iron are known as iron cleansers. If you don’t have that at home or can’t find it at the store, this article also includes other tried-and-true tips for cleaning an iron. Continue reading to learn 10 simple DIY ways for cleaning the discoloured surface of your pressing iron.
Even if it sounds strange, using toothpaste directly to the surface of your iron will remove the sticky appearance. Apply white toothpaste (of any brand) with care to the stained areas of the iron and let it sit for a while. Put the iron on steam after wiping the toothpaste away with a clean cloth. After five minutes of steaming, the sticky surface will be spotless.
Old newspaper is a great cleaner because it’s very absorbent. Newspapers are particularly good at removing sticky residue. Heat the iron to the highest temperature. Put a clean, dry cloth on the ironing board and cover it with a piece of newspaper. Iron the paper with the heated iron. Go through the paper a few times and the firm, burn fabric pieces left on the metal plate will fall. You can also use a paper handkerchief. Then use a soft cloth to wipe the surface of the iron, job done !
This hack is incredibly easy to use and does a great job. On a dry towel, sprinkle some table salt; alternatively, you might dampen the towel. Turn the iron’s temperature down to a low setting and press it hotly against the towel containing the salt for a few minutes. When you are finished, the surface would be spotless.
Preheat the iron slightly and then turn it off. It should be so warm that you can touch it without burning yourself. Take a piece of cotton cloth, soak it in white vinegar, and scrub onto the stained surface.
Another way to use vinegar to clean along the iron plate is to soak a towel in vinegar and then set the iron onto the towel with the iron plate facing down. Let it sit for 30 minutes and wipe it down. This method is particularly useful if your iron has corrosion.
The iron should be turned off after a brief period of modest heating. You should be able to touch it without getting burned. Take a piece of cotton cloth, soak it in white vinegar, and clean the soiled area with it.
Another method for cleaning the iron plate’s edges with vinegar is to first soak a towel in the liquid, then place the iron on the towel with the iron plate facing down. After 30 minutes, wipe it down. If your iron has corrosion, this procedure is quite helpful.
Use white vinegar as a cleaning if your iron has greasy spots. To remove stains, soak paper towels in vinegar, then flatten them out with a cool iron for 30 minutes. Next, rinse with clean water and pat dry.
For many domestic surfaces, including the iron, baking soda is a superb all-purpose cleaning, especially for incredibly difficult stains. With just two tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of water, you can make a stain-removing paste. Rub it gently on the iron plate, taking care to avoid getting baking soda in the steam holes. Make sure to clear out the steam holes if you do manage to get the paste in there.
Using nail polish remover, which contains acetone, is another simple method for cleaning stained iron. Get a cotton ball and dunk it in nail polish remover. Swipe the cotton ball across the hot iron’s surface while wearing an oven mitt or a heat-protective glove. In no time, the residue will dissolve. You should avoid using this iron-cleaning approach in an enclosed space to prevent you (or your family or pets) from breathing in the chemical vapours.
Use this procedure if you’re hesitant to use abrasives like salt or baking soda. Put some detergent in the water, add an old towel or cloth, let it soak, and then place it in a plastic bowl. Place your iron on the damp cloth and leave it there for a few hours. Using a sponge, gently scrub the remains off the metal plate.
Another method for doing this is to soak a portion of a towel or piece of cloth in water, then rub the wet area with soap or detergent. Rinse the towel in clean water to wash off the soap, after which you rub the iron, which will make it very clean.
For this to work, you must take a white, uncoated paracetamol pill or a pill containing acetaminophen, such as Tylenol or Panadol. After preheating the iron and laying out paper towels on your ironing board, apply paracetamol to the stained area while using tweezers to hold the tablets. Depending on how badly the staining is, you’ll probably need about half a dozen to cover a complete soleplate. The heat will cause the tablets to turn into a gel. Cover the stain with this gel, then iron the paper towels while ensuring that you always iron a clean area. On the paper, you ought to notice the buildup eroding. Repeat until the stain has gone, and then wipe the iron with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue.
The iron needs some time to heat up. Then you rub some candle wax over the surface. Use a dry cloth, preferably a towel, to scrub the surface. By doing this, the dirt will be removed, leaving the iron surface incredibly clean.
The only drawback to this approach is the possibility that adding candle wax to the surface would produce smelly smoke. Also, it is not suggested that anyone with respiratory issues like asthma use it.
On occasion, if your iron touches something plastic, dirt might come out. When this occurs, unplug the iron and let it cool. To quickly harden the plastic, set the iron plate on top of some ice cubes in a metal bowl or pan (you can skip this step if the plastic is already hardened on a cool iron).
First remove the plastic with a plastic knife, then use vinegar spray or a moist rag to clean the area. When using the iron again, make sure all plastic is removed since if you don’t, it will wind up melting into your clothing.
Being in possession of clean, smoothly pressed fabric makes one pleased. Irons need to be cleaned and maintained since their soleplates can accumulate oil, dust, and other contaminants. Hence, it’s time for a cleaning as soon as you realise that your iron is no longer gliding smoothly or that your fabric has stains.
When using this method, it’s especially crucial to safeguard your fingertips, so put on some heat-resistant gloves. You should be fine if you just wear something to protect your hands. Also, you might be tempted to clean your iron with harsh objects like paper clips. This is risky since doing so can result in unintended scratches on your iron’s soleplates and steam holes, harming the iron and causing it to start burning your clothes after some time.