How to clean an Iron
If you use your iron day after day, you know it sees a fair amount of wear and tear. With repeated use, your iron can build up calcium deposits or, even worse, attract residue after you iron dirty clothes or melt a button on accident. It’s nearly impossible to remove deposits or sticky spots when your iron is cool, but when it heats up, an iron can melt the gunk and transfer it to your next item of clothing. So how do you get your iron clean? There are many different methods you can use to remove just about anything from your iron.
Probably the simplest iron-cleaning method is to heat up the iron to the maximum heat setting and run it over an old towel or rag. The gooey spots should come right off on the towel when the iron is heated. If the towel by itself isn’t enough, sprinkle a few tablespoons of salt on the towel and run the hot iron over the salt. Salt is abrasive and will help to scrape the buildup off of your iron. This simple scraping method is effective at getting the larger material off your iron.
All in the details
When you need to do some detailed cleaning for light buildup or small amounts of gunk, scraping may not always get everything off. In that case, you can wipe the cool iron with vinegar, which has natural cleaning properties. Vinegar is great at getting rid of calcium buildup. In addition, a baking soda solution will help take care of stains and is mildly abrasive to help remove the most stubborn sticky spots. It’s always a good idea to keep vinegar and baking soda around the home for basic cleaning, and this is no exception.
Of course, your iron plate is not a solid sheet of metal, which means that scraping the bottom or wiping with a rag will only solve part of the problem. Q-tips are the perfect tool for the little holes and ridges on your iron plate. Dip them in vinegar or a baking soda solution, and then scrub clean. A soft-bristled toothbrush is also a convenient option. Since metal can scratch the plate, it is not advisable to use a metal brush or sponge when cleaning your iron.
If all else fails, a commercial cleaning solution can get the job done. Though you may have to give your iron a few rinses to remove all the chemicals, it should be sparkling clean in no time. And of course, don’t forget to make sure you’re ironing clean clothes so that you can avoid residue on your iron in the first place. If your iron still does not get clean after trying all these methods, it may be time for a new machine.