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How to clean an iron

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!


By Cleanipedia Team

Laundry and iron against orange backdrop for how to clean an iron
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Key steps:

  1. White vinegar is a versatile cleaning product that is great for cleaning the reservoir and soleplate of your iron.

  2. Be sure that your iron has cooled down and is turned off and unplugged at the mains before you start cleaning.

  3. Never use a metal scouring pad to clean the soleplate of your iron as this can scratch and damage the iron.

We all lead busy lives, and the last thing on our minds after a hectic week is to clean the iron. But keeping your iron in good working condition for longer means cleaning it regularly – it’s just another household task that needs to be done. It need not be a time consuming job, though – just follow these steps.

To quickly clean the iron without specialist cleaning products or vinegar, fill the reservoir with distilled water, and then turn on the steam function as usual until the reservoir is nearly empty.

How to make an iron cleaner for the reservoir


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The reservoir – the compartment you dispense water into – can be easily cleaned with a cheap and cost-effective iron cleaner: all you need is white vinegar and water. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting this method, however, as some irons have a self-clean option, while others can handle the careful application of more vigorous commercial cleaners.

  1. Measure out equal parts white vinegar and water and pour this mixture into the reservoir.

  2. Leave to soak for two hours.

  3. Rinse out the reservoir with distilled water.

If you really can’t handle the smell of vinegar, use purified or distilled water, and turn on the steam option instead. Keeping a window open will help ventilate the room and get rid of the scent quicker.

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How to clean the bottom of an iron

It is important to know how to clean an iron plate properly to get good results. You can use warm water and a cloth to carefully scrub off any marks, but the perfect iron cleaner for the job will be effective at removing limescale. Try a commercial cleaner designed for the job, or apply a small amount of white vinegar solution – see below for the method. As we mentioned earlier, this old-fashioned technique doesn’t smell ideal – be sure to clean it off with water before using your iron again.

How to clean iron plates

If you decide not to use a commercial cleaner designed for this purpose, remember that all homemade cleaning solutions carry some risk – test them on a small area before tackling the rest of the iron. Remember that the iron needs to be switched off and cool before you start cleaning it.

Watch this video to find out how to clean your iron safely and thoroughly:

What You'll Need:

  • White vinegar

  • Warm water

  • A cloth

  • A brush

  1. Make up a solution of equal parts vinegar and water.

  2. Grab a clean, soft cloth and cover it with the vinegar solution – you may find it helps to wear gloves here, as vinegar can sting a little in small cuts.

  3. Begin cleaning the soleplate with the cloth. For more stubborn stains you may want to consider using a paste of baking soda and water on a cloth instead.

  4. Then dampen another cloth with water and wipe the soleplate 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, fresh, and efficient iron, which will make ironing a breeze.

Originally published