How to Clean an Iron: A Non-Ironic Guide to Keep it Fresh and Long-Lasting
Ironing clothes is one of those chores that we all dread, but it's something that we all have to do. If you don't have the time to do it, you can also let a professional cleaning service fold your laundry for you.
And while you may be an ironing pro, how often do you think about cleaning your iron? Isn't it iron-ic how we spend so much time ironing our clothes, but we hardly ever think about cleaning the iron itself?
Don't worry. Cleaning your iron is easier than it sounds. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the importance of cleaning your iron, the benefits of maintaining a clean iron, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to clean an iron using common household materials.
The maintenance of household appliances is often overlooked, but it is a crucial step in ensuring their longevity and optimal performance. One such appliance that requires regular maintenance is the iron.
With frequent use, the iron can have clogged steam vents with debris, affecting its performance and potentially damaging clothes. Thus, regular iron cleaning is essential for the upkeep and ensuring effective garment ironing.
The benefits of maintaining a clean iron are numerous. A clean iron glides smoothly over fabrics, preventing snags and pulls and reducing the risk of scorching or burning.
It also prevents the build-up of mineral deposits on the steam vents, which can cause discoloration and damage to clothes. A clean iron also maintains a consistent temperature, ensuring that clothes are ironed effectively, and prolongs the life of the iron.
Follow our non-ironic guide on how to clean an iron for perfectly pressed clothes and linens.
What You'll Need:
1. Unplug the iron and let it cool down completely
Before cleaning the hot iron, it is essential to unplug it from the outlet and let it cool completely. Letting the iron cool avoids any burns or injury from the appliance's heat. Cleaning a hot iron can be dangerous and can also cause damage to the iron.
2. Remove any excess fabric or debris from the iron plate
Remove any extra fabric or debris from the warm iron soleplate using a clean microfiber cloth or paper towel. It will make cleaning more efficient and prevent other dirt or debris build-up.
Removing any excess fabric or debris before cleaning will make cleaning the unplugged iron easier and more effective.
3. Mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle
Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle to create a cleaning solution. White vinegar is an effective cleaning agent for removing mineral build-up and stains on the cool iron soleplate.
The equal parts vinegar and water solution will break down any mineral build-up or stains on the steam holes, leaving it clean and smooth.
While distilled white vinegar and water are effective cleaning solutions, you can also use a mixture of water and lemon juice or water and baking soda.
4. Spray the solution onto the iron soleplate and wipe it clean with a clean cloth
Spray the cleaning solution onto the iron soleplate and wipe it with a damp microfiber cloth. Use a circular motion to clean the soleplate, paying extra attention to the corners and edges of the soleplate, as these areas are prone to build-up.
If you use a steam iron, you can use distilled white vinegar and distilled water to fill the water reservoir and clean up the steam vents to maintain your iron's steam function.
Then take a used towel or cloth and iron and steam it. The residue, remaining water, and vinegar will leave the steam vents as you steam.
5. Use a clean toothbrush to scrub any tough stains or scorch marks on the soleplate
If there are any tough stains or scorch marks on the burnt iron, use a clean toothbrush to scrub them off.
Be sure to pay extra attention to the corners and edges of the iron soleplate, as these areas are prone to build-up. A toothbrush is great for getting into tight spaces and scrubbing off hard-to-remove dirt or scorch marks.
6. Use acetone nail polish remover to remove residue
To rid gunk from the bottom of the iron, dip a cotton ball, cotton swab, or a scrap of cotton fabric in an acetone nail polish remover.
Once the iron is heated, plug it in, turn it off, and immediately dab the cotton on the hot surface. Again, please be cautious when getting your fingers close to that scorching surface.
Because acetone evaporates so fast, you will need to clean a tiny area at a time, but it is effective at removing stuck-on debris and scrubbing the surface.
7. Repeat the process until the soleplate is completely clean
Repeat the cleaning process until the soleplate is completely clean. Removing all the dirt and debris may take a few rounds of cleaning.
This step is essential because if the iron is not thoroughly cleaned, the dirt and debris will be transferred to the clothes during ironing, causing damage or discoloration.
8. Wipe the iron's exterior with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue
Using a damp cloth, wipe down the iron's exterior to remove any remaining residue from the cleaning process. It will ensure that the iron is completely clean and ready for use.
9. Plug in the iron and turn it on to its lowest setting
Once the iron is clean, plug it in and turn it on to its lowest setting. While the iron is set to its lowest setting, wipe the soleplate with dryer sheets. When a dryer sheet becomes too hot, throw it away and grab another one.
Let it heat up for a few minutes before turning it off. It will help to remove any remaining moisture from the iron and prepare it for use. Allowing the iron to heat up also helps to ensure that the iron is completely dry before use.
10. Use a clean towel to wipe the iron soleplate one final time
Use a dry cloth or clean towel to wipe the iron's soleplate to remove any remaining moisture. It will ensure the iron is completely dry before use and prevent any damage or discoloration to clothes during ironing.
It's Important to Keep Your Iron Clean!
Iron must be cleaned regularly to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.
Using common household materials and following the steps outlined in this guide, the mineral build-up caused by hard water and dirt on the iron's soleplate can be effectively removed, and the iron can be maintained clean and functional.
Remember to unplug the iron and let it cool before cleaning, and repeat the process until the soleplate is completely clean.
Regular cleaning of your iron will prolong its lifespan, improve its performance, and ensure that clothes are ironed effectively, keeping them looking fresh and wrinkle-free.
You can check our ultimate laundry cleaning guide for more tips on how to clean and organize your washing area.
How often should I clean my iron?
It is recommended to clean your iron at least once a month or more frequently if you use it often.
Can I clean my iron while it is still hot?
No, it is essential to unplug the iron and let it cool down completely before cleaning tit o avoid any burns or injury from the heat of the iron.
Can I use the iron immediately after cleaning?
Yes, once you have finished cleaning the iron, plug it in and turn it on to its lowest setting, letting it heat up for a few minutes before turning it off. It will help to remove any remaining moisture from the iron and prepare it for use.