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How to Clean an Iron: A Step-by-Step Guide

You'll get the best ironing results if you use a clean iron! Our tips on how to clean an iron & which iron cleaner to use will help you out!

We all lead busy lives, so we know you might not have time to think about how to clean your iron, but think about it this way: cleaning your iron helps keep it in good working condition for longer, so think of it as an investment, even if all you’re investing is your time. However, this doesn’t need to be a time-consuming task. Just follow these steps and you’ll be good to go.

How to Make an Iron Cleaner for the Reservoir 

The iron reservoir, which is where you put water in, can be cleaned with a cost-effective iron cleaner. All you need when wondering how to clean your iron is white vinegar and water, ingredients that you are sure to have on hand. However, be sure to check the iron manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to do this as some irons have a self-clean feature, while others can handle more vigorous commercial cleaners.

  1. Measure equal parts white vinegar and water, and pour the mixture into the reservoir.
  2. Leave to soak for two hours.
  3. Rinse out the reservoir with distilled water.

If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, just use purified or distilled water and turn on the steam option instead. Keep a window open to help ventilate the room and get rid of the scent quicker.

How to Clean the Bottom of an Iron

Now that you’ve cleaned the reservoir, you’re probably wondering how to clean the bottom of an iron. Using warm water and a cloth, carefully scrub off any marks. But if you want really good results, get an iron cleaner that can remove limescale. Try a commercial cleaner or a small amount of white vinegar solution – we’ll tell you how to use it below.

While this method doesn’t smell ideal, it’s worth it – just remember to clean the iron off with water before using it again so you can get rid of the smell.

How to Clean Iron Plates

If you decide against using a commercial cleaner, remember that homemade solutions might be a little risky, so always test them out on a small area before attempting to clean the entire iron. Remember to make sure that the iron is switched off and cool to the touch before you begin cleaning it.

You will need:

  • White vinegar
  • Warm water
  • A cloth
  • A brush
  1. Mix equal parts vinegar and water.
  2. Grab a soft, clean cloth and cover it with the solution – you might want to wear gloves here, as vinegar can sting any small cuts.
  3. Begin cleaning the soleplate with the cloth. More stubborn stains might require a paste of baking soda and water on a cloth instead.
  4. Dampen another cloth with water and wipe the plate clean.
  5. Test your iron by turning it on and running it over an old piece of cotton or cloth.

By following these steps you should have a clean, efficient iron that’ll look and feel as good as new!

Cleanipedia recommends


If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to use cleaning products or vinegar, just fill the reservoir with distilled water. Then, turn on the steam function as usual until the reservoir is almost empty.

Important Steps

  • White vinegar is great for cleaning your iron’s reservoir and plates.
  • For your own safety, make sure that your iron has cooled down and is turned off and unplugged before you start cleaning.
  • Never use the metal scouring pad you use on your dishes to clean iron plates so you don’t scratch or damage the iron.