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How do I Clean an Iron?

Article Details
  • Written By: Jessica Pestka
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 05 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Regular cleaning and maintenance of an iron can extend the life of the appliance and assure that clothing won’t be damaged during ironing. The frequency with which to clean an iron depends on how often the iron is used. In general, if the iron feels like it is dragging across items instead of gliding smoothly, it is time for a cleaning. Additionally, if the iron has visible spots on the bottom or the reservoir has hard water stains, the iron could benefit from a cleaning.

A good place to start to clean an iron is to clean the reservoir. Fill the water reservoir 1/4 to 1/3 full with white vinegar. Turn the iron onto the steam setting and iron a clean rag until the reservoir is empty. Work in a well ventilated area to reduce the strength of the vinegar fumes that are created. Repeat the process with distilled or purified water if desired and rinse the reservoir thoroughly.

The next step to clean an iron is to address the part of the iron which touches the clothes, the plate or soleplate. Build up on the plate of an iron is common. Start with the iron unplugged and cool to the touch. Using a soft cloth wipe the soleplate with a bit if diluted dish soap. For any stains remaining on the plate clean the iron with a damp cloth and white vinegar.

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If mineral deposits have accumulated around the vent holes on the soleplate, wipe them clean with a cotton swab dipped in white vinegar. Very stubborn stains may require cleaning with a paste of baking soda and water. This paste, combined with a touch of elbow grease, should remove any stuck on residue from the soleplate.

After cleaning, wipe the iron with a wet cloth to avoid getting vinegar on your clothes when you use the iron later. Never clean an iron with an abrasive cleaner or pad. The remaining exterior of an iron can be wiped with a damp cloth or sponge. You may also wipe the exterior and plate of an iron with a melamine foam sponge.

Once you know how to clean an iron consider doing so seasonally to prevent any unwanted ironing stains. To keep your iron fresh, wipe the plate with a damp cloth and empty the water reservoir before storing the iron.

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