You may have heard that you’ll need to descale a steam iron, but aren’t sure just what that means. No one likes the idea of spending their time ironing tons of clothes. And as boring as it is, it gets even worse if you are using a dirty iron. For those using an iron with a steam option, you may experience dirty steam that is a result of mineral deposits on the iron. The soleplate also gathers mineral spots which may stick on the fabric you are ironing.
With a little maintenance, you can have your iron working in great condition. Before ironing your clothes the next time, take some time to descale your iron, you’ll be glad you did.
Cleaning The Soleplate
What You’ll Need
- Baking Soda
- Clean Cloth
You should never use something harsh to scrub your iron soleplate. You don’t want to end up with a scratched surface that’s uneven and ineffective. The top layer of the soleplate prevents rusts so what you are dealing with is deposits.
Before you start the cleaning process, ensure that the iron is unplugged and cool.
- Mix two tablespoons baking soda with one tablespoon water
- Make a paste that is not runny, just enough thickness to stick to the soleplate
- Use your fingers to spread the paste on the stained areas. You can either apply the paste to the entire surface or just to the dirty places.
- Leave the paste to sit for a few minutes
- Now get the clean cloth and dip in clean water; preferably distilled water. Wring out any excess water and use the cloth to clean the paste out.
- This should come off accompanied by the mineral deposits.
Cleaning a Steam Iron
The most rampant problem when dealing with steam irons is the clogging. This usually leads to spitting of dirty water which may end up on your clothes. When the steam vents are blocked, the prevent steam from coming out in plenty.
What you’ll need
- Cotton Swab
- Distilled white vinegar
Mix equal parts of water and distilled white vinegar in a bowl
- Dip the cotton swab into the mixture and use it to clean out the holes
- If you notice lots of gunk sticking out from the holes, you may want to use a toothpick but not anything abrasive like metal.
- Use as many cotton swabs until the gunk stop coming out.
- You also need to empty the iron of any water left in the reservoir as it may be the carrier of the mineral deposits. Open the hatch of the water tank and turn the iron upside down.
- Now fill the reservoir with the water and distilled white vinegar mixture
- Plug in the iron and turn on the heat settings and the steam feature
- Allow the steam to come out over a towel or thick cloth you wouldn’t mind getting dirty. In this step, the rest of the stuck gunk and deposits should come out with the steam.
- Unplug the iron and wait for it to cool before pouring out the remaining mixture.
- Swap the liquid for distilled water
- Repeat the steaming process, but now use a clean cloth to see if the steam comes out clean. If it isn’t clean enough, you can repeat the process around five times every 20 minutes.
- After you are done cleaning the iron, unplug it and allow it to cool before storing.
To Clean Melted Plastic on the Soleplate
Sometimes in the process of ironing, the heat might melt a plastic button which stains the soleplate and your cloth in the process.
- As soon as the plastic melts, unplug the iron and cool it with some ice. This should be easy by filling a small bucket with ice.
- Make sure the melted plastic part is in contact with the ice.
- Allow the iron to sit for around 10 minutes
- Now use a plastic knife or the edge of a credit card to scrape the melted plastic from the soleplate.
Other Methods of Cleaning an Iron
Using water and baking soda is only one of the methods of removing mineral deposits.
Using a Dryer Sheet
In this process, you’ll need to turn on the iron and set the heat to the lowest setting. Then, use the dryer sheet to scrub off any dirt. After cleaning the surface, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the iron clean.
- This is another efficient method. It needs using a little toothpaste to buff the dirty parts.
- Allow the toothpaste to sit for a few minutes
- Rinse a clean cloth in distilled water and wipe the toothpaste from the iron.
Using a Newspaper and Salt
This works great for mild stains on the soleplate.
- Spread out a newspaper and pour some salt on it
- Turn on the iron to medium heat settings and glide the soleplate over the salt
- You should see the stains coming off with the salt.
Ironing should improve the look on your clothes. Don’t let a dirty iron keep you from achieving well-pressed clothes. You can follow any of our simple steps to have your iron all cleaned up and ready to work. Just remember to empty the water tank after every use, and clean it occasionally before the deposits become a problem.