Recently updated on July 17th, 2022
You might wonder how to clean an iron without burning your fingers in the process if the bottom of your iron looks less than fresh-or flat-out burnt. You can totally do it. By restoring the bottom of your iron, you can keep it running as well as when you first got it.
With the help of SewingWithEase, find out how to clean an iron without fancy cleaning products by reading on.
The 11 Easiest Ways of Cleaning an Iron
1. Use a hot iron soleplate to dissolve Tylenol
You may be surprised to learn that Tylenol works well for cleaning an iron with burned residue. Acetaminophen tablets do not have to be name brands. Using the highest setting, heat the iron. Put the hot pill directly on the burnt area once it’s hot. A gel will form when the pill melts and dissolves the burnt area. The soleplate should be cleaned with a damp cloth or paper towel. Repeat the process until the char has been completely removed.
Using this method requires wearing heat-protective gloves or an oven mitt, which will keep your fingers safe. You cannot fix a slipped pill if you use pliers or tweezers. One slip will cause the iron to scratch, and there’s no fixing that. It’s just a matter of protecting your hands.
2. Make a baking soda paste for cleaning irons
Everything from ovens to dishwashers can be cleaned with baking soda. Your iron can also be cleaned with it. Using baking soda and water, make a stain-fighting paste. Be careful not to get baking soda in the steam holes as you rub it around on the iron plate. Make sure to clean the steam holes if you get paste in them… which brings me to my next iron-cleaning tip.
3. Clean out the steam holes with a cotton swab
To clean the steam holes thoroughly, cotton swabs are the perfect tool. Before inserting them, soak them in distilled white vinegar to boost their grime-fighting abilities.
4. Vinegar-soaked towel
Vinegar can also be used to clean along the iron plate by soaking a towel in vinegar and then setting the iron on the towel. Wipe it down after 30 minutes. It’s like new again! Corrosion on your iron can be treated with this method.
5. Fill the water reservoir with vinegar
Fill the water reservoir of your steam iron with a mixture of half distilled white vinegar and half water to clean out the iron steam vents. Once the cloth or towel is ironed and steamed, throw it out. With each steaming, residue and vinegar will emerge from the vents.
6. Magic erasers make magic
You can use a magic eraser to remove hard water stains from an iron. You can remove stains by rubbing your cool iron along the sponge with a wet magic eraser. You may need to rewet the sponge as necessary.
7. Using an iron and salt, iron over a newspaper
The same can be achieved with salt and newspaper, believe it or not. Lay out a newspaper on your ironing board and set your iron to the hottest setting. When the newspaper is salty, iron it in circles until it is clean. You can use a brown paper bag instead of a newspaper if you don’t have one handy.
8. Remove melted plastic using an ice cube and a plastic knife
You’ll have a bit of a mess to clean up if your iron comes into contact with plastic-but it shouldn’t be too difficult. Whenever you come into contact with plastic with your iron, unplug it and let it cool. Placing the iron plate on ice cubes will harden the plastic quickly (if the plastic is already hardened on a cool iron, you can skip this step). After removing the plastic with a plastic knife, wipe down the surface with vinegar spray or a damp cloth. In order to avoid melting plastic into your clothes, you must get any plastic off before you use the iron again.
9. Scrub the iron with dryer sheets on low heat
The process is as simple as it gets: While the iron is set to the lowest setting, rub the soleplate with dryer sheets. You should toss a dryer sheet when it gets too hot and reaches for another as soon as possible. Until the iron is clean, repeat the process.
10. Make use of a Brillo pad
You can use a Brillo pad to get rid of stuck-on glue from a craft project like adhering to a patch without scratching your iron plate if your iron has glue residue from adhering to a patch.
11. Nail polish remover breaks down residue
Here’s one more tip for cleaning an iron: Use nail polish remover! Use an acetone nail polish remover to remove nail polish from a cotton ball. The cotton ball should be swiped along the surface of the iron with an oven mitt or a heat-protective glove. In no time, residue will be dissolved. You should use this iron-cleaning method outside to avoid inhaling chemical fumes (or those of your family or pets).
How do I clean the gunk off my iron?
Use distilled white vinegar to dampen a towel. Once the soleplate of the iron has been cleaned of any gunk, wipe it with a soft cloth. It may be necessary to soak a clean towel in distilled vinegar and lay the cool iron soleplate on the towel if some residue remains. After soaking for 15-30 minutes, wipe it away with a dry cloth.
What’s the best thing to clean an iron with?
Combine half a cup of white vinegar with half a cup of distilled water and pour it into the iron. Using a toothpick or toothbrush dipped in vinegar, clean out the steam vents for white residue or another buildup. Wait about five minutes after plugging in the iron and setting it to steam.
How do you get burnt black off an iron?
Make a paste by mixing 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water. Let this sit on the blackened area of your iron for a few minutes. Make sure the paste does not get into the iron’s steam holes, only the heated surface. Using a clean cloth, wipe off the stain.
How do you clean a burnt iron with toothpaste?
Any affected areas of your iron soleplate should be smeared with white toothpaste. Wipe away the toothpaste with a clean cloth after a minute. Finish by filling up your iron’s water tank, placing your iron on an old towel or similar, setting it to steam, and letting it work for a few minutes.
Why is my iron spitting out brown stuff?
Iron deposits of organic matter in the hard water used to fill an iron may cause the brown liquid that spurts out from its steam vents. Calcium in the water may cause white substances to emanate from the vents.
What causes black buildup on iron?
Seeing “black stuff” on the soleplate is the most common sign that iron is dirty. In addition, to burning marks, dirt, dust, spray starch, and fabric fiber buildup, “black stuff” results from burn marks, dirt, dust, and spray starch. It is also possible for your iron to rust if you leave water inside it.