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How to Clean an Iron: Ways to Tackle an Iron Bottom

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Ironing is one of those household chores that people tend to dread. It’s not the most exciting task, and it can be pretty time-consuming. But there are ways to make it more bearable—and even enjoyable! One way to make ironing less of a chore is to make sure your iron is clean. A clean iron will glide more smoothly over fabric, making the whole process quicker and easier. And who doesn’t love a quick and easy ironing session? But how do you clean an iron, you ask? Well, there are a few different methods you can use, and we’ve compiled them all here for you. Read on for 11 ways to clean an iron bottom.

The tools you’ll need

Before you get started cleaning your iron, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. You’ll need White Vinegar, Baking Soda, a Toothbrush (or other soft-bristled brush), and a Clean Cloth.

If your iron has a detachable water reservoir, be sure to remove it and set it aside before you start cleaning. If your iron doesn’t have a removable water reservoir, you can skip this step.

Once you have all of your supplies gathered, you’re ready to get started!

Many ways to clean an iron

Iron build-up not only affects the look of your clothes, but it can also affect how well the iron is. If you notice your iron isn’t working as well as it used to, it might be time for a cleaning. Here are a few ways to clean an iron:

  1. Unplug the iron and let it cool completely.
  2. Fill a bowl with equal parts water and vinegar.
  3. Place a clean cloth over the bowl and steam the vinegar mixture for several minutes.
  4. Turn the iron onto its side and dip a corner of the cloth into the mixture. Use this to wipe away any dirt or grime from the plate.
  5. Rinse the plate with clean water and dry thoroughly before using it again.

When to call a professional

If you have an iron with a detachable bottom, it’s important to clean the inside and outside of the iron, as well as the bottom plate. Use a mild detergent and a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of the iron. Be sure to unplug the iron before cleaning it. For the inside of the iron, fill it with water and add a few drops of dish soap. Put the temperature on low and allow the water and soap mixture to steam for a few minutes before emptying it. To clean the bottom plate, start by removing any buildup of fabric softener or starch. 

You can do this by using a dryer sheet or rubbing alcohol. Next, use a damp cloth to wipe down the plate, being sure to get rid of any rust spots. If your iron has built up a lot of mineral deposits, you may need to use a vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 1 part water) to remove them. Finish by wiping down the plate with a clean damp cloth.

Add Vinegar to the Water Reservoir

If your iron has a water reservoir, you can add vinegar to it to help clean the bottom of the iron. Just add equal parts water and vinegar to the reservoir and let it soak for a few minutes. Then, turn on the iron and let it steam for a few minutes before emptying the reservoir.

Soak a Towel in Vinegar

If your iron has a buildup of residue, you can use vinegar to clean it. Fill a bowl with equal parts water and vinegar. Place a clean towel in the bowl and let it soak for 15 minutes. Then, use the towel to wipe down the iron. The acidity in the vinegar will help to break down any stubborn residue on the iron.

Make Magic With a Magic Eraser

If your iron has a stubborn stain that just won’t come out, reach for a magic eraser. Magic erasers are great at removing tough stains and marks from all sorts of surfaces, including irons. Just be sure to follow the package directions carefully and test the eraser on a small area of the iron first to make sure it doesn’t damage the surface.

Iron Over a Newspaper and Salt

If your iron has a nasty buildup of burnt-on residue, you can try cleaning it with a few simple household ingredients. Start by laying out a sheet of newspaper on a flat surface. Place your iron on top of the newspaper and sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the bottom of the iron. Turn on the iron to its highest setting and wait for it to heat up. 

Once it’s hot, press the salt into the residue with the bottom of the iron. Keep pressing until you see the residue start to come off onto the newspaper. Once it’s all transferred to the paper, turn off the iron and let it cool. Wipe away any remaining residue with a damp cloth and give your iron a final rinse with water before using it again.

Use Ice Cubes and a Plastic Knife to Remove Melted Plastic

If you have melted plastic on your iron, don’t fret! There are a few easy ways to remove it. One way is to use ice cubes and a plastic knife. Simply place the ice cubes on top of the melted plastic and wait for it to harden. Once it’s hardened, use the plastic knife to scrape off the plastic. If there are any stubborn pieces left behind, you can use a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover to remove them.


We hope that this article has shown you a few different ways to clean an iron bottom. Whether you use one of the methods listed above or come up with your own, be sure to clean your iron regularly to prevent it from rusting. Do you have any tips on how to clean an iron? Let us know in the comments below!


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