Things You Didn’t Know Needed Cleaning: Your Iron

How to Clean Your IronDisclosure: This post uses affiliate links. While I do get compensated if you use them, it doesn’t cost you anything extra. They help keep this blog running. Thank you!

Not too long ago I was talking to a blogger friend about firing the blog back up again this year, and that I couldn’t think of anything to write about. I had a serious case of blogger’s block! (I’ll tell you about how I got over that in another post.) Anyway, the advice my friend gave me was to talk about how to clean your iron. The conversation went something like this:

“Write about useful cleaning tips. Like how to clean your iron.”

Wait…you’re supposed to clean your iron?

Apparently you are. And you’re supposed to clean other things that I didn’t know about either! So I decided to do a monthly post on Things You Didn’t Know You Were Supposed to Clean. In honor of my friend, we’re starting with the iron!

Why do you need to clean your iron? Because the little steam holes build up mineral deposits and the starches in the clothes build up sticky stuff on your soleplate. If you have tap water with a lot of iron (the mineral) in it, you could even end up passing red stains onto your clothes from them.

Side Note: On the list of things that would really infuriate me? Taking time to iron my clothes and ruining them with stains in the process.

Now…if you’re me and don’t iron more than twice a year, you just throw out the entire iron and start over. That’s a lot of work for an iron that costs less than $25.

If you still want to clean your iron, here’s how!

Clean the Reservoir and steam holes:
  1. Fill the cold reservoir ¼ to ½ of the way with vinegar.
  2. Turn on the steam setting and iron something you don’t really care about – an old but clean T-shirt or towel works perfectly.
  3. Keep ironing until the reservoir is empty.
  4. If you’ve still got some nasty deposits on your iron, repeat the process using clean water.
  5. Alternate between vinegar and water as many times as you need to.
Clean the Soleplate:

Method 1 – soap and water

  1. Start with a cold and unplugged iron!
  2. Wipe the soleplate down with nylon mesh or a mild scrub sponge soaked in a soapy dish detergent and water mixture to remove any sort of starchy buildup.
  3. Wipe again with clean water and a washcloth. Is it clean yet? Great! You can stop here. If not, try the next method.

Method 2 – Baking soda

  1. If there is still buildup, scrub it with a baking soda and water paste.
  2. Fill the reservoir halfway with distilled water and iron a clean towel until it’s empty to get the baking soda out of any holes.
  3. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the iron is clean.

Method 3 – Oven Cleaner

  1. If your oven has severely burned on stuff, you might need to use a foaming oven cleaner to clean the sole plate. Follow the instructions as if you were cleaning the oven.
  2. Fill the reservoir halfway with distilled water and iron a clean towel until it’s empty to get the remaining cleaner out of any holes.
Clean Your Iron Body:
  1. Wipe down the body of the iron with a damp and soapy cloth.
  2. Rinse and dry as needed.

To ensure your now sparkly clean iron stays that way, follow these tips:

  1. Always use distilled water in the reservoir and not tap water. This will keep the mineral buildup to a minimum.
  2. Do not store your iron with water in the reservoir. Empty the iron into a sink first and let it air dry for a couple of hours before putting in a closet.
  3. After each use, wipe the soleplate with a damp cloth to clear off any starches.
  4. Follow your iron’s manual for other usage and care instructions.

That’s it! Keeping your iron clean is like any other household chore. If you just keep up with it, it’s not a daunting task at all!

Was this post helpful? Check out the other posts in the Things You Didn’t Know Needed Cleaning Series:

How to Clean Your Iron

How to Clean Your Humidifier


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