How to Clean an Iron - Steam Irons

While the iron is a common household tool, very few people actually understand how to clean an iron properly. Remember to wait until the iron is cool before you begin the cleaning process. Cleaning a hot iron is not only dangerous to you, it is also ineffective. Here are a few tips that might help you learn how clean your steam iron.

  • If the substance stuck on the bottom of the iron is waxy, you should turn the iron onto its highest setting and run it across newspaper until the residue disappears.

  • If the substance is oily, then just wet a rag with ammonia. Next, just rinse the iron off with some water and the gunk should be gone.

  • Vinegar works as a cleaning agent for many irons. Pour some on a clean cloth, and wipe the surface of an iron throughly. If that doesn't work, combine vinegar with baking soda. With a soft cloth, scrub the surface of the iron.

  • You can get rid of any build-up in the vents of the iron by taking a cotton swab or a pipe cleaner and gently sweeping the residue out of the area. If you attempt to use something of a harsher nature, like a tool or a knife, you could scratch the base of the iron, causing future problems.

  • To clean the reservoir of your iron, pour a solution that is one part vinegar to one part water in. Turn the iron on. Allow it to steam for about four minutes. Drain the iron for an hour, and be sure to repeat the process with clean water before you iron any clothing items.

One of the best ways to learn how to clean an iron is to prevent build-up problems in the first place. Read your manufacturer's instruction manual carefully. It should contain a number of tips to not only prevent the steam vents from clogging, but also to prevent materials from building up on the base of your iron. Maintaining a clean iron can make the process of ironing clothes move quicker and smoother.

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