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How to clean an iron soleplate

Dirty irons = dirty clothes! Make your ironing easier with our tips on how to clean an iron soleplate.


a pile of folder colourful clothes next to an iron

Key steps:

Clean a burnt iron by following these steps:

  • Mix liquid laundry detergent such as Omo with water.
  • Scrub the iron with this mixture and a cloth.
  • Rinse with water and dry.

When it comes to laundry routines, ironing is a vital step that keeps your clothes looking fresh and ready to wear. From smart shirts to casual trousers, everything needs to be ironed but if you don’t know how to clean the bottom of an iron then you might end up doing more harm than good and leave your clean clothes covered in dirty marks. To stop this from happening, we’ve put together everything you need to know about how to clean an iron soleplate.

When learning how to clean an iron plate, you can use a Q-tip to remove dirt and grime from the small iron steam holes.

How do you know that the surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom have been disinfected?

How to clean an iron plate: 3 solutions

Everyone wants a clean iron plate - choose one of these solutions to clean yours:

  • Baking soda: clean stains and rust on your iron using baking soda. Add two teaspoons onto a damp cloth and wipe the iron plate.
  • Toothpaste: apply toothpaste to the iron plate and rub it until dirt is loosened before wiping it off with a cloth.
  • Vinegar: heat white vinegar in the microwave for about 1 minute. Apply it to a microfiber cloth and wipe the soleplate until it’s free of dirt and grime.

How to clean a burnt iron

As they’re always working at high heats, it doesn’t take much to scorch an iron. This definitely isn’t good for your clothes so learning to clean a burnt iron is essential - follow these 4 steps:

  1. Add a couple of drops of detergent like Omo into a bowl before mxing with warm water.
  2. Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with the solution.
  3. Wipe over the soleplate with the cloth - it might take a bit of elbow grease to get the burn marks off!
  4. Dry the iron with a clean cloth.

How to descale an iron

It's always advisable to use de-ionised water in your iron to prevent limescale and hard water stains. In the event that you need to know how to descale an iron, try this simple solution:

  1. Make a mixture of white vinegar and water. 
  2. Heat up your iron and add the mixture to the reservoir. 
  3. Place a towel on your ironing board and iron it with the steam button on for 20-30 seconds at a time. 
  4. Empty the iron and repeat the process with fresh water.

Iron cleaning FAQs

Got other questions about cleaning your iron - like how often you should do it? Try these FAQs:

How often should I clean my iron?

Every 1-4 months or whenever it looks like it needs a clean.

Should I rinse my iron plate with water after cleaning?

Definitely! You’ll want to get any cleaning products off before heating up your iron again or you could end up with product residue on your clothes.

Can you descale an iron with citric acid?

You can! It works in the same way as white vinegar.

How do you get black marks off an iron?

Try any of the methods listed above and they should remove pesky marks. You just might have to repeat the cleaning process a few times.

Learning how to clean a steam iron plate and descale an iron with vinegar is easy and can save you from buying a new one. Check out our other tips on how to clean irons, focusing on steam irons, to keep yours in great condition.

Originally published