Ironing is an essential part of our daily routine, helping us look polished and presentable. However, maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of your clothing iron is crucial to achieving perfectly pressed clothes. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to clean and maintain your steam iron, ensuring that it remains in top condition for years to come.
Before Getting Started
Before cleaning an iron, ensure that the device is unplugged and cool to the touch, and the water reservoir is empty. Check the manual of your device to determine the material of your iron’s soleplate (ceramic, stainless steel, non-stick, etc.) and any recommended care instructions.
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools:
- Old toothbrush
- Cotton swabs
- Pipe cleaners
- Liquid dish detergent
- Paper towel or soft rag
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Coarse salt
Instructions :How to Clean an Iron
Learn how to clean an iron, both inside and out, to rescue your appliance from burn marks, hard water stains, and clogged steam vents.
Step 1: Prep the Soleplate
The metal base of an iron is called a soleplate. Scrub the soleplate with an old toothbrush to loosen and remove residue, or use it to clean deposits (or remaining baking soda or salt) from the vents. Cotton swabs and pipe cleaners work well for removing deposits from steam vents.
Step 2: Wash with Dish Detergent
For nonstick soleplates, avoid harsh chemicals. Mix a few drops of liquid dish detergent in a bowl of warm water until suds appear. Use a paper towel or soft rag dipped in the sudsy water to wipe away residue. Wipe away any remaining suds or moisture with a clean towel.
Step 3: Clean with Distilled White Vinegar
Dampen a paper towel or soft rag with distilled white vinegar and wipe the soleplate to remove gunk. If residue remains, soak the cool iron soleplate on a vinegar-dampened towel for 15-30 minutes. Wipe clean with a fresh towel.
Step 4: Tackle Tough Stains
For hard water, rust, melted plastic, or craft residue, dampen a paper towel or rag with water or vinegar and dip a corner in baking soda or coarse salt. Baking soda is gentler than salt. Buff the soleplate clean and wipe with a damp rag or paper towel.
Step 5: Clean the Steam Vents
Empty and refill the iron’s reservoir with distilled water. Set the iron on high heat and full steam, standing it upright. Allow it to emit steam and clear the vents. Optionally, iron an old towel for several minutes to flush debris onto the towel.
Step 6: Remove Deposits from the Vents
Once cool, empty remaining water from the reservoir. Use a cotton swab or toothbrush to gently dislodge deposits from the steam vents. Avoid putting vinegar in the water reservoir.
- Clean your iron at least twice a year or as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Only fill the water tank when the iron is off, unplugged, and cool.
- Empty the water tank after each use before storing the iron.
- If plastic melts onto the iron’s base plate, cool it in ice water and use a plastic knife or credit card to remove the residue.
- Descale your iron regularly to prevent clogging of the steam holes.
- Inspect the power cord periodically and avoid using the iron if the cord is damaged. Have the cord repaired or replaced if necessary.
Cleaning and maintaining your steam iron is essential for ensuring its optimal performance and longevity. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can keep your iron in excellent condition and continue to enjoy perfectly pressed clothes. Remember that a well-maintained iron not only enhances the appearance of your clothing but also contributes to better hygiene by effectively eliminating bacteria and pathogens from fabrics. With natural, readily available ingredients, you can easily refresh your iron and keep it working smoothly for years to come.
Maddie is a home appliance specialist, blogger in Australia. She enjoys researching, testing and writing about home appliances , improvements hacks and tips.