How to Clean an Iron

A few passes with a hot clothes iron can breathe new life into wrinkled or creased clothing. Clothes irons can especially come in handy while traveling or for pressing fabrics that are especially prone to wrinkles. No matter how often you may use your iron, however, it’s important to give it a deep-clean from time to time. Unfortunately, this is something many people don’t realize. Taking the time to clean your iron can help extend its usable life while also protecting your clothing from possible damage.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to cleaning your clothes iron? We’ve got some helpful information, as well as a step-by-step guide to make your life easier!

Reasons to Clean Your Iron

Why does cleaning your iron matter, anyway? For starters, unless you’re using distilled water in your iron’s reservoir every time you use it, there will be some minerals and other debris in the water. Over time, this can build up along the inside of the iron’s reservoir and even inside the internal components of the iron. If your iron has a steam function, minerals may eventually clog the steam nozzle and render this function unusable.

In addition to water stains and deposits, your iron’s heating plate (also known as the soleplate) can become dirty over time. This is problematic because as you run a dirty soleplate over your clean clothes, you could end up leaving stains and residue behind. Taking the time to clean your iron will protect your clothing from unwanted damage while possibly prolonging the life of your iron as well.

How Often Should You Clean Your Iron?

There is no universal answer to the question of how often your iron needs to be cleaned. Generally, the more frequently you use it, the more often you should clean it. However, it’s a good idea to clean it at least once per every five uses. If you wait too long to clean your iron, you may be left with mineral deposits and other caked-on debris that will be much harder to remove.

How to Clean a Clothes Iron

The good news is that cleaning your clothes iron doesn’t have to be a long or laborious task. By following these practical steps, you can likely complete the job in 20 minutes or less! From there, you can immediately begin using your iron once again.

Check Your Owner’s Manual First

Before you get started, it’s always best to check the instruction manual that came with your iron. This manual should contain basic care and cleaning instructions that are specific to your iron model. Always defer to the instructions provided here, as specific cleaning needs may vary from one brand or model to the next.

If you don’t have your instruction manual, try researching your iron brand and model number online. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a digital version of the manual for reference.

Cleaning the Iron Plate

There are many ways to clean an iron’s soleplate, but why not start with the easiest? For mild grime, you can use a clean sponge, a bit of warm water, and a small amount of your favorite gentle dish soap to clean an iron’s soleplate. Most dish soap is effective enough at removing grease that this should work on basic grime. Just be sure to use a regular sponge (not the kind with a rough scrubber side); you don’t want to use anything abrasive, as this could cause damage to the iron’s plate.

If you have more stubborn build-up on your iron’s soleplate, there are other cleaning options to consider. One of the best homemade cleaning solutions you can use on your iron consists of equal parts baking soda and white vinegar. Mixing these together will create a watery paste, which you can soak on a towel and rest on the iron’s plate. Just be sure that the iron is turned off; allow the paste to sit on the iron for a few minutes before wiping it away.

For any leftover residue, try this hack: set your iron to its lowest heat setting and then run the iron over a few fresh dryer sheets. These are very effective at cleaning and even polishing iron plates!

Cleaning the Iron Reservoir

The next step is to remove any hard water or mineral deposits from the iron’s reservoir itself. An effective, easy way to do this is to dump any leftover water that is currently inside the reservoir. Then, fill it with about 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. From there, turn the iron onto its highest heat setting and run the iron continuously over a towel or other fabric surface for several minutes. If your iron has a steam setting, press the button occasionally to release steam and speed up the process. Once you’re done, dump any remaining water/vinegar from the reservoir.

Other Tips and Tricks

When cleaning your iron, keep in mind that sediment and grime may be released from the appliance itself. For this reason, it’s a good idea to clean your iron on top of an old towel or other fabric that you don’t mind getting stained or dirty.

To clean iron steam holes, use a Q-tip and rub a small amount of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol over the nozzle for best results.

By following these tips, you can remove mineral build-up and other unwanted gunk from your iron in a matter of minutes. From there, you can avoid accidental stains on your favorite clothing items and possibly add years to your iron’s usable life.

Free Up Time With a Professional Clean

If you’re feeling bogged down with tedious household cleaning tasks, you’re not alone. Cut down on the amount of time you spend cleaning by hiring a professional to tackle your day-to-day cleaning chores, such as vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes, and mopping. While a cleaning service will cost you some money up-front, it’s important to realize the value of your time.

What would you do with a few extra hours a week? Perhaps you’d spend more time with loved ones, or maybe you’d explore a new hobby. Or, maybe you’d just enjoy a little well deserved rest and relaxation. Regardless, hiring a professional cleaning service can free up your time without sacrificing your home’s tidiness in the process.

Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services to meet your needs, and satisfaction is guaranteed! Contact our friendly and knowledgeable team today to learn more about our services or to schedule your first cleaning appointment with us!

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