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How to clean an iron in 5 steps


If you have an iron that’s sticking to your clothes or just not working as well as it used to, it probably needs a good clean. Luckily, this is a simple process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

A dirty iron may cause it not to work – and who wants that? Picture: Getty Images

If you regularly use an iron to spruce up your clothes, you probably already know how it can become dirty and less effective over time.

Mineral deposits from water and steam build up over time. If they aren’t cleaned, they can cause unsightly stains on the iron soleplate, and in particularly bad instances, the steam holes can also become blocked. The result is an iron that barely works, sticks to your clothes and leaves you feeling frustrated.

The good news is, you can iron out that frustration and be left with a clean iron using one of the techniques below.

Time to clean those filthy steam irons!

1. Cleaning an iron with distilled white vinegar

Vinegar is a great way to get your iron clean.

Vinegar is a great way to remove stains and mineral buildup from within your iron. You can clean an iron with vinegar using the following steps:

  • Turn off the iron, pour equal parts water and vinegar into the iron
  • Switch it on and put on the highest setting, use the steam setting in the air to blast steam from the base. Repeat this process several times
  • Allow to cool, then dip a clean cotton swab to scrub at the holes to remove any loose gunk
  • Wipe the base of the iron with vinegar and then clean with a clean cloth.

Read more: How to clean a kitchen sink in 5 steps

2. Cleaning an iron with bi-carb soda

Bi-carb soda is the clean-all ingredient every homemaker needs. It’s good at cleaning everything, including the iron.

  • Combine bi-carb with water to make a paste
  • Use a rag or paper towel and lightly scrub the base of the iron, removing any stains
  • Once completed, use a damp cloth to wipe the base of the iron
  • Repeat as necessary until squeaky clean.

Read more: How to clean oven naturally

3. Cleaning an iron with white toothpaste

Toothpaste will gently remove marks in no time. Here’s how to do it.

Gently scrub the surface of your iron to remove any heat marks.

  • With the iron off and completely cool, squeeze a good amount of toothpaste onto the base
  • Take a rag and scrub at the base, working the toothpaste in small circles
  • Wipe it down with a wet rag to remove any toothpaste residue before using the iron again.

4. Cleaning an iron with dryer sheets

Dryer sheets can be purchased from most supermarkets and do a great job at cleaning irons.

  • Simply take one dryer sheet and scrub the base of the iron. Quite quickly you will notice the stains and marks start to lift
  • Continue scrubbing until all marks are removed from the iron’s base, replacing the sheet as necessary.

Read more: How to clean your stove top like a pro

5. Cleaning an iron with newspaper

If you need to clean an iron, but don’t have time to go to the shops to buy dryer sheets, newspaper works almost as well.

  • Take a sheet of newspaper and scrunch it up into a ball
  • With a bit of force, rub at the base of the iron until clean. As newspaper is quite strong, you can add a splash of water to make things easier.

Good as new.

How to prevent an iron becoming dirty

By now your iron should be nice and clean and ready to use again. But you want to make sure it stays that way!

The main reason an iron becomes dirty is because of mineral build-up from tap water. You can minimise this negative effect by using distilled water. Additionally, when storing your iron, ensure it is free of any water and dried out completely.

So there you have it, a few tried and tested ways to keep your iron cleaner and pristine.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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