Cleaning a Clothes Iron

Starch and other laundry products can build up on your iron. It is important to remove any build up to prevent it from transferring to your clothing. This is a guide about cleaning a clothes iron.

October 7, 2010 Flag
10 found this helpful

To remove burned on starch from the iron place a towel dampened with vinegar on the ironing board and sprinkle generously with table salt. Set iron on warm dry setting and run over a towel until the stain is removed.

Clean gunk off the surface of an iron by polishing gently with 0000 grade steel wool. Don't try this with a non-stick iron. If iron surface is dull, polish with Pearl Drops or other toothpaste.

To clean mineral deposits from a steam iron, fill it with a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Allow it to steam for several minutes, disconnect, and let stand for an hour. Empty the reservoir, rinse well, and repeat if necessary.


By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO

October 29, 20110 found this helpful

Great advice. I absolutely love the many uses of vinegar!

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November 1, 20110 found this helpful

August 6, 2012 Flag
1 found this helpful

If you have built up gunk on your iron and absolute foolproof method to clean it is a Magic Eraser. I have tried lots of things through the years but this works amazingly well.

Source: A blog on the internet

By Elaine S. from Near Cedar Rapids, IA

January 1, 20150 found this helpful

The magic eraser worked great! Thank you for this fantastic suggestion, I never would have thought of it! Saved me so much time. I appreciate it! :D

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August 29, 20150 found this helpful

November 2, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

In the 40's, mom rubbed aluminum foil on the iron to clean it.

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March 2, 2013 Flag
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My Black & Decker iron is spitting white stuff. I can't find the booklet that tells me how to fix this problem. Help.

By betes51

March 4, 20130 found this helpful

I agree with the previous poster - mineral deposit. You can also get a special solution (just another sort of acid, like vinegar) to run through your iron. I'd go with the vinegar, as suggested, although I might use a stronger solution - 1/2 and 1/2? Do the job faster. I think you will find that most steam irons are supposed to use distilled water all the time. Any amount of tap water will eventually build up a deposit. Alternating distilled with tap will only delay the accumulation, not prevent it.

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March 28, 2005 Flag
0 found this helpful

Good afternoon. I iron and starch my clothes every day. Recently, I got burnt starch on my iron, and I cannot use it. Does anyone know how to get that burnt starch of the iron? Please Help. Thank you.

JD from Atlanta

June 23, 20080 found this helpful

A Mr Clean Magic Eraser did the job for me!

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October 22, 20080 found this helpful

July 15, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

We have a steam iron that we haven't used for about a year. Before putting it away, we emptied the water from the reservoir. Now we are trying to get it to steam, but it won't. Any tips for cleaning it? We have only used this iron a couple of times.

By Kathy from Columbus, OH

July 17, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes the sprayer gets a calcified buildup; you might try either a needle or a thin, bent-straight paper clip to see if it clears it.

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April 16, 2014 Flag
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Recently I have been getting bad rust, or whatever, deposits on the bottom of my iron. I've used distilled water all of my ironing career and never had this problem. It ruined my last iron and I bought another one.

The very first time I used the new iron, the deposits returned. I was able to clean most of it off this time. This should not happen with a brand new iron.

I am beginning to believe that the cause of this problem is not a water/dirt issue, but rather something in the Tide detergent, or Downy fabric softener I use. I know they will not want to hear this, but if I'm right, they have a problem. I am doing some tests by using other detergent brands to see what happens.


By Brenda

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December 2, 20140 found this helpful

Downy and tide does leave behind residue which will deposit on the iron, however if your new iron get deposits so fast, you must be using too much detergent and downy. Good to ruse them sparingly.

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March 18, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

Where can I find more Rowenta paste to clean my iron? Or can I mix up my own paste? What are the ingredients?

By Angela

March 19, 20100 found this helpful

Clean the Soleplate with Baking Soda

You can clean your iron without the cleaning kit. Combine a tablespoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of salt and enough white vinegar to make a paste. Apply it to a cool iron. Place an old bath towel over the ironing board. Turn the iron on the highest setting and rub it over the towel so the baking soda scrubs the soleplate of the iron as it heats up. Turn on the steam so the vents get cleaned. Scrape the iron against the edge of the ironing board for extra-tough deposits. Cool the iron and use as usual. Good luck.

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

December 8, 2013 Flag
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I accidentally ironed the sticky side of some fabric interfacing with my iron. It melted to the iron and left a mess. I have cleaned with salt, vinegar, steel wool, and Barkeepers Friend. Each of these removed the spot, the bottom was shiny and smooth. However, when I heat up the iron, then the sticky brown spot reappears. Is my iron ruined?

By Sarah

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December 9, 20130 found this helpful

Have you ironed anything since this happened? You might try getting an old towel and getting it damp, have your iron on the highest setting and keep running the iron over the towel. I have done that myself and after tearing up a few irons, using steel wool and other cleaners, have found this trick to be most useful. It could be the spot your seeing is from the cleaners removing the protective coating on the iron. It might still be ok to use if it doesn't damage clothing. You could also put a sheet or rag sized sheet on top of the area you want to iron so it doesn't damage the clothing and if there is any sticky stuff it will be left on the sheet and not on your item.

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June 6, 2011 Flag
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I have a film of junk on the bottom of my iron from an unknown source. Is there anyway to remove it or do I have to throw out my iron?

By Linda

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June 7, 20110 found this helpful

I'm guessing that the 'junk' on the sole plate is either spray starch or sizing, while the iron is warm, spray the plate with same, then use a non-scratching scrubber to remove the 'junk' residue. If that doesn't work, try Vinegar or Goop Off, but I'm pretty sure that the first method will work. (What else could it be?)

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July 27, 2010 Flag
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How do you clean calcium deposits from a steam iron?

By Deborah from Washington, DC

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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

My mother would set it in a thin layer of white vinegar and let it soak overnight. This always worked for her.

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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

September 17, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

The steam button of my steam iron is rather sticky and does not come up when I press it unless I pull it up myself.

How do I clean it?

John from Athens, Greece

September 17, 20070 found this helpful

What is"Q-tip"?

Editor's Note Q-Tip is a brand name for a cotton swab. A cardboard stick with cotton on the ends.

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July 17, 20080 found this helpful
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