Do you have an iron sitting on the ironing board for a while without a proper cleanup? We understand that most people don’t know how to clean an iron, while others fear they might somehow damage it.

But don’t fret; this guide offers you several tips to help you restore your iron’s original shine with the helpful tip of our professional house cleaners!

Tip 1: Use Bicarb of Soda for Easy-to-Tackle Stains

If your iron plate isn’t flat-out burnt (pun unintended), you could use bicarbonate of soda’s cleaning qualities.

Mix two tablespoons of bicarb soda with one tablespoon of water to create a paste. Then, gently rub this mixture against the ironing surface to remove light stains.

Be careful not to get any paste into the steam holes not to damage your iron’s steam function.

Once you’re done, carefully wipe the paste off the soleplate with a damp cloth.

Tip 2: Learn the Proper Way to Clean the Steam Holes

Ready for a more thorough cleaning session? It’s time to learn how to approach the tricky task of cleaning the steam holes without causing your iron any harm.

Start by grabbing a pack of cotton swabs and a bowl of distilled water. Next, dip a swab into the water and insert it into each steam vent, giving it a slight rub while the swab is inside.

This step can be enough if your iron is relatively new and you want to clean it to keep it in optimum condition quickly. But what if you’re determined to give your iron an even deeper treatment from the inside out?

This brings us to the next tip!

Tip 3: Clean Your Iron with Water and Vinegar From the Inside Out

If you operate your steam iron daily, you expose it to a large amount of water residue, especially if the water you use in the reservoir is hard. In this case, merely rubbing the insides of the steam vents with swabs isn’t enough to get rid of the limescale.

For that reason, we suggest emptying the reservoir of any leftover water and adding a 1:1 ratio of water and white vinegar.

Afterwards, get an old piece of clothing you no longer wear and use your iron to iron and steam it. This method allows the vinegar to run through the steam vents, thoroughly cleaning where you can’t reach it with a cotton swab.

Another cool trick you can do with a reservoir full of white vinegar and water is to run the iron on full steam. Then, grab a bowl and move the iron over it in a forward-backward motion. This tip also helps remove the steam vents’ hard water stains and debris.

Once the reservoir is empty, you can rest assured that the vents are 100% clean.

Learn more: Cleaning the Dishwasher at Home

Tip 4: Use Vinegar to Get Rid of Corroded Areas

A tried-and-true method to get light corrosion off your iron plate’s surface is to add vinegar. But you shouldn’t directly pour it onto the plate!

Simply soak a towel in vinegar, lay it flat, and then put your iron on it.

Wait about 20 to 30 minutes before removing the iron, which should be corrosion-free.

Tip 5: Remove Hard Water Spots off the Plate with a Magic Eraser

You’ll find a wealth of magic eraser brands you can equip on the market in your iron cleaning sessions. Pick your favourite, wet it with water, and squeeze it.

Then, after making sure the iron plate is cool, you’ll just have to scrub it to get rid of any white spots.

Want a reliable alternative to a magic eraser? You could always use toothpaste!

Just like you would with a bicarb of soda cleaning paste, dab a bit of toothpaste on the scorched, stained, or white-spotted areas on the iron sole.

Gently rub the paste against the cool surface with your finger, then let it sit for a few minutes.

After that, use a clean cloth to wipe your iron, followed by running it on full steam to remove any residue inside the steam vents. While it’s on full steam, you can leave it on an old cloth for a few minutes if you want to go the extra mile.

Tip 6: Use Acetaminophen for Dirty Spots

Faced with a too-dirty iron plate? You can use the help of acetaminophen tablets!

Be careful, though, because, unlike the previous tips, this one requires the iron to be hot. After heating it up, grab a pair of tweezers and use them to rub acetaminophen tablets over the dirty parts. The tablets should remove the stains as they break off.

Don’t shy away from using as many tablets as possible until your iron is completely clean.

When you achieve the desired result, you can finish up by wiping the iron with a dry cloth.

How Often Should You Clean an Iron?

To keep your iron in tip-top shape, aim to clean it every month if you use it daily.