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How to clean an oven in 4 steps (and other iron cleaning FAQs)

The bottom of an iron can become rusty after a while, leaving unsightly stains on clothes! Read on to find out how to clean your iron quickly & efficiently.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

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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 doesn’t have to be a time-consuming job, though – if you want to know how to clean the bottom of iron as well as its various parts, just follow these steps:

To quickly clean the iron reservoir, fill it with distilled water and turn on the steam function as usual, then wait until the reservoir is nearly empty. You can also use a multipurpose product like Cif to wipe away dirt on the outside of your appliance.

How to clean an iron: 4 steps to cleaning 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.

You will 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.

Iron cleaning FAQs

Looking for other iron cleaning tips and instructions? Try these FAQs.

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What's the secret to cleaning iron reservoirs?

The reservoir – the compartment you dispense water into – can be easily cleaned with a cheap and cost-effective 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.

How do you clean the bottom of an iron?

It is important to know how to clean the bottom of an iron properly in order to get good results.

  1. Use warm water and a cloth to carefully scrub off any marks

  2.  Try commercial cleaner designed to clean burnt iron plates and remove limescale.

  3. Alternatively, 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.

Knowing how to clean the bottom of an iron isn’t difficult – by following these steps, you should have a clean, fresh, and efficient appliance. Iron cleaning will be a breeze from now on!

  • White vinegar is a versatile iron cleaning product – great for cleaning the reservoir and soleplate.

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

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

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on cleaning an iron

How do you clean a clogged steam iron?

A clogged iron can be cleaned in just a few simple steps. Heat your iron on low, before turning it off and allowing it to cool. Do not let it go cold, instead, when it is still warm, wipe it down with a clean, damp microfiber cloth. If this doesn't do the trick use a soft toothbrush and a little toothpaste and scrub the iron before ‘rinsing’ the surface with a damp cloth.

How do you descale an iron?

Here is our simple guide for how to descale an iron. First, unplug your iron and allow it to cool. Make sure the water tank is empty of water, before filling it to 1/3 full of distilled white vinegar. Next, plug your iron back in and turn it to the steam setting. Allow it to steam until the water tank is empty. If your iron still shows signs of mineral deposits, repeat the process.

How do you remove burnt cloth from an iron?

Want to learn how to remove burnt cloth from an iron? We'll show you! First, allow your iron to cool. Next use a wooden spatula to scrape the fabric away from the surface of the iron. If this hasn't quite done the trick, create a cleaning solution with equal parts white vinegar and water and use a soft cloth to rub the fabric scraps away from the surface of the iron.

How do you remove plastic from an iron?

The steps for how to remove plastic from an iron are easy once you know how. Start by turning your iron onto the warm setting and allowing it to heat up. This will melt the plastic and leave it soft – and thus easier to remove. Next, use a spatula to scrape away the melted plastic from the surface of your iron. If you see any residue in the holes, use a set of tweezers to gently tease them out. Finally, iron an old scrap of fabric. This should be enough to remove all remaining traces of melted plastic from your iron.

Originally published