How to Clean an Iron Without Much Stress
You may have heard of a homemade trick to clean the base of the iron that surrounds candle wax and steel wool. This is a very old tip, but it is not the best way to do this cleaning.
The wax leaves residue on the base of the iron which, when heated again, can stick to clothing and cause a yellowish effect.
Steel straw, in turn, can produce small scratches on the plate, which you may not even notice with the naked eye. The problem is that when it comes to passing fabrics, these scratches can end up wrinkling your clothes instead of smoothing them.
Before cleaning your iron properly, refer to the manufacturer’s manual and always observe the material with which the iron is made and whether it contains non-stick coating. Knowing this, take a look at our tips:
Cleaning the iron base without nonstick
If your iron plate does not have a non-stick coating (Teflon), you can use substances with abrasive power to remove residue that is stuck to the base.
Always remove the iron from the outlet and allow the iron to cool before starting any cleaning on your appliance. Know the methods to clean this type of appliance:
1. Vinegar and salt
Make a mixture of salt and vinegar in equal parts and bring to the fire until the salt dissolves, without letting the vinegar boil. Dip a cloth in this still warm solution (using rubber gloves to prevent burns) and rub the base of the iron until it is clean. You can take advantage to wipe the outside of the appliance as well.
If the cloth is unable to remove accumulated waste, use a non-metal sponge or brush. Remember to scrub the steam vents as well.
As vinegar can damage marble surfaces and other stones, it is prudent to line the place where you will do the cleaning with a towel or newspaper sheets.
2. Water and baking soda
In a container, make a paste with 1 tablespoon of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Using a spatula, spread this paste in the base of the iron, covering even the steam outlets.
Rub the sheet with a soft cloth, emphasizing the stains. To clean the steam vents, use a cotton swab dipped in water. At the end of cleaning, discard any liquid that may have entered the iron.
To ensure that all baking soda has come out of the holes, fill the iron with plain water and use it to wipe a cloth at the highest temperature until all the liquid is exhausted. Caution: Choose a cloth that you can throw away as it may be damaged.
3. Trick of the salt
Put a handful of salt of any kind on a sheet of paper or a cloth. With the iron very hot, rub it on top of the salt. When the plate cools, use a damp cloth to remove the granules and allow them to dry.
4. Sugar and detergent
Make a paste of neutral detergent sugar and spread it on the base of the warm iron with the aid of a damp cloth, always being careful not to burn. Scrub away any grease that has been attached and remove the entire paste with a clean cloth.
With the aid of a soft sponge, rub a saponaceous product only into the most resistant dirt, which has not gone out with the other methods. Take care that the product does not enter the steam holes.
To avoid damage to the appliance, choose one of the following cleaning methods, always checking the manufacturer’s manual:
Cleaning the iron base with nonstick
If the base of your iron is coated with a non-stick material such as Teflon, you should not use abrasive products such as salt, sugar or soap to clean it as they can damage the cover.
1. White vinegar
Mix half a glass of water with half a glass of white vinegar and pass over the surface of the warm iron with the soft side of a sponge. Remove the mixture with a damp cloth, passing several times on the base of the appliance.
Always check that the plate is at a safe temperature so as not to cause burns.
2. Neutral detergent
If you do not have white vinegar at home, you may use a mixture of water and detergent in place of that product. However, you will need to scrub the iron harder and longer, as the detergent is less powerful to loosen the glued fibers.
To remove the cleaner, use a cloth moistened only with water until all traces of the detergent are removed.
Cleaning the tank and the steam exits
The steam iron reservoir can also accumulate some waste, like the minerals present in the water that we put inside. To clean this compartment and steam vents, fill one third of it with white vinegar. If the vinegar is too strong, you can dilute it in water.
After that, turn on the iron at the highest temperature and let the steam leave until all the vinegar has evaporated (between 5 to 10 minutes). You can do this by ironing a floor cloth, for example, that will collect all the dirt from the iron.
To ensure that no vinegar is left in the compartment, fill the bowl with water, turn on the appliance and allow all the steam to escape. Wipe the exits with a cloth to remove the remaining debris.
Always remember to unplug the appliance from the wall outlet before cleaning and check that the plate is cold enough so that it does not burn. Also, before storing the iron, wait until it is completely dry.