An iron is a necessary household appliance. Over the years an iron can acquire buildup of various substances. This build up is unsightly, can transfer to clothing, and can make an iron less effective. It may be tempting to just buy a new one, but in most cases it’s fairly easy to clean off the gunk and make your iron like new again. Regularly cleaning an iron will save you money since you won’t need to buy a new one and is better for the environment (since it keeps your old iron out of the dump).
First off, it’s very important to take care not to damage the iron surface. Never use a knife or something that could cause scratches. A scratched iron will only cause problems later on.
How to clean your iron with salt:
Set up your ironing board and place an old towel or a few layers of paper towels on top. Sprinkle a large amount of salt on the towel and set your iron on its highest setting (turn steam off). Once the iron is heated run it over the salt (like you were trying to iron it). Any dirt will stick to the salt leaving you with a brand-new looking iron.
How to clean your iron with rubbing alcohol:
First make sure that the iron is off and unplugged. Grab some rubbing alcohol and an old dishcloth. Dip one corner of the cloth into the rubbing alcohol and start to scrub the iron. When the corner of the cloth becomes soiled, move to a new corner. The rubbing alcohol will help remove any residue and leave a gleaming surface behind.
How to clean your iron with newspapers:
Setup your ironing board, lay down a few layers of newspaper, and turn your iron on its highest setting. Once the iron is hot, iron the newspaper. Keep ironing until the bottom is clean. This method works very well on waxy buildup.
How to clean your iron with vinegar:
Dump out any old water and refill the reservoir with a mixture of 3/4 cup distilled water and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Turn the iron on to its highest setting (don’t forget to turn the steam setting on as well) and slowly iron a clean cloth. The vinegar will help break up any mineral deposits that have built up over time. Once done, dump any remaining water out.
How to remove melted plastic from your iron:
Setup the ironing board, lay down some aluminum foil, and sprinkle salt over the aluminum foil. Iron over the salt and the foil until the plastic becomes loose. Once the plastic is loosened carefully pry it away (don’t use a knife or you could scratch the surface).
With just a few simple steps it’s easy to clean virtually any build up off of an iron, no matter how old. If one of the tips above didn’t work for your particular case then simply try the next one. You’ll have saved yourself a few bucks and kept your old iron out of the city dump.