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Cleaning a Clothes Iron

Category Miscellaneous
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.
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By 10 found this helpful
October 7, 2010

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 Ron from Cortez, CO

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By 2 found this helpful
November 2, 2011

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

By Dahl

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June 20, 20181 found this helpful

To clean a sticky or dirty iron, try running it over a dryer sheet and then onto a paper towel. Continue this process with your iron on high until the sole plate is clean.

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This is a guide about how to clean your iron with a dryer sheet.

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March 17, 20130 found this helpful

This guide is about removing rust from steam iron. Having rust in or on your iron can stain your clothing.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 28, 20050 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.

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JD from Atlanta

Answers

By jeani (Guest Post)
March 28, 20050 found this helpful

http://www.dryc  DrycleanTips.htm

I found this website that might help you!

Their soultion is: Try heating equal parts of vinegar and salt in a small pan. Rub the solution on a cool iron, and wipe dry.

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By Joyce (Guest Post)
March 28, 20050 found this helpful

While my iron was cold I used an sos pad to clean it then I buffed it up, looks brand new.

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March 28, 20050 found this helpful

Dip a wet cloth in baking soda and clean your iron then rinse it off with clean water.

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By alex (guest post) (Guest Post)
July 18, 20050 found this helpful

the sos pad worked great..iron good as new. Thanks Joyce

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By Guest (Guest Post)
July 22, 20050 found this helpful

at http://kitchen.  LaundryTips.html Robbie says to use aluminum foil on your iron.

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By Emma, UK (Guest Post)
May 13, 20060 found this helpful

Heat the iron to a nonsteam, medium heat before cleaning. Sprinkle a generous layer of table salt over a brown grocery bag (use one that has no writing on the top surface).

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The salt is abrasive and will remove residue. Iron over the salt to remove starch and debris from the surface of the iron.

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By Burt (Guest Post)
June 12, 20060 found this helpful

DON'T use sodium hypochlorite, undiluted, and ammomium hydrochloride.

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By Michelle (Guest Post)
April 29, 20080 found this helpful

Does anyone know how to remove a stain from clothing from iron residue? It is a white collar.

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By CLSD (Guest Post)
June 23, 20080 found this helpful

A Mr Clean Magic Eraser did the job for me!

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By Red Neck (Guest Post)
October 22, 20080 found this helpful

To get spray starch or sizing off of an iron, set the iron for dry ironing (no steam) and maximum temperature. When good and hot, rub it firmly on a wet terry cloth towel.

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The gunk will steam off the iron and transfer to the towel. This is better than steel wool pads, which can get rust and soap gunk down into the steam vents which will release on clothing later.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 2, 2013

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

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By 0 found this helpful
March 18, 2010

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 Land

Answers

March 19, 20100 found this helpful

I use Bon Ami powder from the grocery store and have had good results.

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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.

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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

HI. I just use plain white toothpaste (not the gel or speciality brands). Heat up you iron. Squeeze about some toothpaste onto an old terry cloth towel (not a smooth one) and "iron". Use the steam function of the iron so the vents get cleaned. Hope this helps. W

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By 0 found this helpful
September 17, 2007

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

Answers

By Karen (Guest Post)
September 17, 20070 found this helpful

Maybe a little alcohol on a Q-tip?

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By John (Guest Post)
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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By Sandy (Guest Post)
July 17, 20080 found this helpful

I dropped my iron on the carpet which consisted of man made materials and the iron immediately melted the carpeting to the bottom of my iron. I took a paper towel with a generous amount of everyday rubbing alcohol and wiped the bottom and it peeled right off. The rest of the cleaning needed a bit of elbow grease but it cleaned beautifully. My iron was still warm to the touch so do not know if that was a plus factor or not. Don't be skimpy with the alcohol.

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June 3, 20140 found this helpful

How can I clean spray on starch from the bottom of my ionic coated base plate - Lumina brand iron? The base is neither Teflon, nor stainless steel, but a cream colour.

By Judy B from Brighton Q

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By 0 found this helpful
June 6, 2011

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

Answers

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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June 18, 20110 found this helpful

Once you clean the iron, heat it up to Warm and iron over a sheet of waxed paper. It will make the iron iron smoother. After the waxed paper, iron it on a paper towel to remove excess wax.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 20, 2016

I was temporarily ironing on the floor using an improvised DIY ironing board I made using a wooden chopping board with a tea-towel on it, which was absolutely fine. Then oops, the iron accidently decided to jump onto the carpet (as they do) and I had to rescue the iron and also the carpet from excess attachment issues as they started to melt into each other.

The burn to the carpet fortunately wasn't that bad and I managed to trim it with nail scissors and brush it a bit and it's not that noticable. However my iron now has plastic residue from the burnt and melted bits of carpet which I have no idea how to clean off. I've checked all of the advice for cleaning irons I've found online so far all centres around cleaning it from either rust or calcium deposits, but doesn't have anything to do with melted plastic carpet residues.

Alternatively looking up people burning their carpet with an iron, everyone discusses how to deal with the carpet but never with the iron. Any advice out there how to clean my iron from the bits of melted plastic carpet on it now? Many thanks in advance.

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November 12, 20140 found this helpful

I was ironing my uniform, when I adjusted the heat capacity of the iron. I set it on level 2, but the clothes had no reaction to its heat so I adjusted it again to level 4 and unfortunately it burned a part of the uniform. My concern is not the burned uniform, but the mess it got to the surface of the iron. It looks like plastic got burned into it, but it was actually cloth. How can I clean the surface of the iron without damaging it? Help me please.

By carms

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April 16, 20140 found this helpful

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.

Thanks.

By Brenda

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December 8, 20130 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
September 30, 2012

My iron has stopped steaming. Any suggestions to clean it?

By Sheila from Ontario

Answers

October 10, 20120 found this helpful

Pure white vinegar and let it set or buy coffee pot cleaner from store. The vinegar must set in the iron to dissolve the deposits.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 7, 20100 found this helpful

How do I clean the inside of a steam iron?

By Bev Greenleaf

Answers:

Cleaning Your Steam Iron

Pour a mixture of water and white vinegar in your iron, then let it steam. Run your iron over a piece of old cloth and you will notice specks of built up sediment that come out of the holes. (03/08/2010)

By Marjorie

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March 8, 20100 found this helpful

I have used a glass container that had a little clear fizzy liquid (Coke) to add water to the iron. Now when I use the iron it sputters a sticky substance. I need to clean it. Can someone tell me how?

By ravi pather from Pretoria, South Africa

Answers:

Cleaning Your Steam Iron

Your steam iron can be cleaned effectively with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Pour mixture into the iron and turn on the steam, and run your iron over an old cloth. The rust like particles will come out of the holes. When it's cleaned out, pour in water and do the same thing. (12/26/2009)

By Marjorie

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December 25, 20090 found this helpful

My son tried numerous times to iron, but would always let the clothes burn. Now the iron has black stuff on it. How can I get it off? Thanks.

By madeline from Los Angeles, CA

Answers:

Cleaning Your Steam Iron

Try cleaning the bottom with coarse sand, put into a large container like an aluminum turkey pan about 1 inch deep, turn the iron on the highest setting and "iron" the sand with good pressure. Do "not" lift the iron up on end, keep it flat as so no sand can get into the steam vents on the bottom. Afterward soak a hand towel in vinegar and wring out. Put protective covering on the iron board and on high heat once again iron until dry this will remove any left over build up, etc. Best of luck to you. (09/13/2009)

By Beau

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September 7, 20090 found this helpful

How do I clean the bottom of a steam iron?

By dee from Jackson, MI

Answers:

Cleaning Your Steam Iron

I could be off the mark, but I would probably try baking soda. I know it'll take that nasty caramelized grease off my stove around the burners and it doesn't scratch the stove. Make sure the iron is really warm, dampen a cloth and keep dipping it in the soda and rubbing the iron until it comes clean. (07/01/2009)

By Susan

Cleaning Your Steam Iron

For years the method to clean the bottom of steam irons has been this: one large piece of waxed paper and salt.

Place the waxed paper on the ironing board, sprinkle a lot of salt on the waxed paper. Using the pre-heated steam iron setting, iron the salt that covers the waxed paper. Do this over and over until the bottom is cleaned. If necessary, use a second piece of waxed paper and salt, and repeat. Use a damp washcloth to remove any residue from the bottom of the iron. Have fun. (07/03/2009)

By Barbara Petty

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July 1, 20090 found this helpful

How can I get dried sticky stuff off the bottom of my iron?

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

How do I remove the brownish, icky build up from the bottom of my iron?

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June 22, 20080 found this helpful

How do I clean the brown burnt on stuff on the plate of my steam iron?

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