How to Clean the Bottom of an Iron

Five Methods:Hot Iron CleanerDish SoapVinegar and SaltRemoving WaxCleaning Vents

If your clothes iron is starting to drag as you move it, or if you notice residue on the bottom of your iron (also called the soleplate), it's time to clean your iron. Removing residue on the bottom of your iron, which could come from anything from airborne dust particles to hard water deposits or clothing fibers, is the best way to restore your iron's usual smooth performance.

Method 1
Hot Iron Cleaner

  1. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 1
    1
    Lay a heavy cotton cloth out and squeeze any commercially available hot iron cleaner onto it. Follow the instructions on the hot iron cleaner label to determine the proper quantity.
  2. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 2
    2
    Make sure your iron is off. Empty any water out of your iron, then wipe the bottom down with a warm, damp cloth.
  3. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 3
    3
    Set the iron to a high cotton setting. Once it's warm, iron in circles over the iron cleaner on the cotton cloth.
  4. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 4
    4
    Wipe the bottom of the iron again and repeat the iron-wipe cycle as necessary until the iron soleplate and steam holes are clean of any residue.

Method 2
Dish Soap

  1. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 5
    1
    Mix warm water and mild dish soap together in a bowl.
  2. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 6
    2
    Dip a cotton rag in the soap mixture and gently wipe down the iron's soleplate.
    • This kind of gentle cleaning is ideal for Teflon-coated soleplates which, just like Teflon-coated cookware, keep substances from sticking but are very vulnerable to scratches.
  3. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 7
    3
    Wipe with a clean, damp cloth until all traces of the soap are gone.

Method 3
Vinegar and Salt

  1. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 8
    1
    Add 1 part salt to 1 part white vinegar and warm the combination gently over a pan on the stove. Remove the mixture from the heat after the salt dissolves, but before the vinegar boils.
  2. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 9
    2
    Dip a clean rag in the heated vinegar-salt solution and gently scrub the bottom of your iron until it's clean.
    • Wear waterproof gloves--dishwashing gloves work--to protect your hands from the hot mixture.
    • You can use a non-metal scrubbing pad to help you remove stubborn deposits, but avoid metal scrubbers that may scratch your iron.
    • The vinegar-salt mixture can also remove burn marks from your iron's soleplate.
  3. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 10
    3
    Wipe the outside of your iron down with a damp cloth soaked in vinegar, if necessary, to remove additional residue.

Method 4
Removing Wax

  1. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 11
    1
    Lay old newspaper across your ironing board.
  2. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 12
    2
    Set the iron to high, then run it across the newspaper until the paper has absorbed all the waxy substance from the iron's footplate.
    • Keep the iron moving constantly to reduce the risk of accidentally scorching the paper or your ironing board beneath.

Method 5
Cleaning Vents

  1. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 13
    1
    Dip a cotton swab or pipe cleaner in white vinegar, or a heated vinegar-salt mixture.
  2. Image titled Clean the Bottom of an Iron Step 14
    2
    Insert the cotton swab or pipe cleaner into each steam vent in the bottom of your iron, then twist gently.
    • Cleaning iron steam vents ensures even, consistent iron performance.
    • Avoid the temptation to use paper clips or other hard, metal items that could scratch your iron's steam vents.

Tips

  • No matter how you clean your iron always fill it with water afterward, following the manufacturer's directions, and operate the steamer to make sure the steam vents are clear.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Cotton rags
  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing gloves
  • Salt
  • Hot iron cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • Cotton swabs or pipe cleaners


Article Info

Categories: Ironing