How to Clean an Iron: Expert Tips and Tricks

How to Clean an Iron

Having knowledge of proper cleaning techniques for your iron is vital to achieving effective clothes ironing.

Over time, various substances such as dirt, sprays, and fibers can build up on the iron plate. This buildup can cause problems like fabric sticking, spraying dirty water, or uneven heating.

Therefore, it is important to keep a clean iron plate in order to prevent staining your clothes and ensure optimal ironing efficiency.

In this article, we will explore eight simple and best ways to clean iron that you can use to maintain the performance of your iron.

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When There Is A Need To Clean Iron Plate

If you use iron frequently, it is important to clean iron stains regularly in order to maintain its optimal performance.

However, if you only use it occasionally, cleaning a burnt iron plate every 4-6 months should be sufficient.

Signs That Your Iron Needs Cleaning:

  • The soleplate of the iron should be cleaned if there is charring on it.
  • Burnt-on grime that develops over time as a result of scorching synthetic fibers, starch, and sizing may produce rust-like stains and impair the performance of the iron.
  • The following warning signs indicate that you need to have a clean iron plate:
  • As opposed to moving over fabrics smoothly, the iron starts to stick.
  • Iron-related stains or mineral residue can be seen on clothing.
  • When using steam, the iron spits water.
  • The sprayer’s water seems to be filthy.

How to Clean An Iron Inside Out With Vinegar?

It is crucial to prepare the steam iron for cleaning. In cases where your iron is not functioning properly and leaving white stains on your clothing, this could be a result of mineral deposits from hard water.

Thus, to address this problem using vinegar as a solution, adhere to the following guidelines:

Step 1: Clean Iron Stains with Vinegar Solution

  • Use a mixture of distilled white vinegar and distilled water in equal proportions to fill the water reservoir of your iron up to the indicated level. In case you don’t have any distilled water available, partially fill the reservoir with vinegar.
  • Adjust your steam iron to a high heat setting like “cotton” and prepare an appropriate surface, such as an ironing board or a cutting board, by laying down old towels.

Step 2: Cleaning Steam Vents and Nozzle

  • Activate the steam function and glide the heated iron across the fabric. The vinegar will pass through the steam vents, effectively dissolving calcium deposits and minerals from hard water that may cause blockages.
  • Alternate between steaming and applying vinegar to eliminate any residue in the spray nozzle.

Step 3: Maintaining the Cleanliness of the Clean Iron Plate

To eliminate mineral buildup and dirt from the iron’s soleplate, vinegar can be utilized. You have two alternatives available:

Step 4: Eliminating Stubborn Stains with a Vinegar and Salt Mixture

To tackle tough scorched or stubborn stains, create a paste by combining vinegar and salt in a 2:1 ratio. Heat the mixture until the salt dissolves, then allow it to cool.

Apply the paste onto a clean microfiber cloth or an old toothbrush and gently scrub away the burn marks.

Finally, wipe off any residue with a damp cloth.

Step 5: Removing Residue from Steam Vents

Soak a cotton swab in vinegar to effectively clear out persistent residue that may be stuck on the steam vents. This will help eliminate any concealed buildup caused by hard water accumulation.

Best Ways To Clean Iron

According to experts, the most efficient method for removing residue from your iron or cleaning a burnt iron plate varies depending on the intensity of the problem.

Make sure that you refer to your iron’s user manual for precise guidelines or cautions. In instances where sticky residues are present, it is advisable to first check if a self-clean function is available.

If this option proves ineffective, our guide provides alternative approaches that can be attempted. Before initiating the best way to clean the iron, remember to switch off and disconnect the iron while also ensuring that the water tank is empty.

Additionally, wait until it has completely cooled down as a safety precaution.

Things You May Need

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Newspaper
  • Salt
  • Toothpaste
  • Nail polish remover
  • Magic eraser
  • Dryer sheet

Using Cotton Swab with Vinegar

The first effective method to clean iron plate and unclog steam holes is by utilizing cotton swabs soaked in distilled white vinegar.

Carefully clean iron stains and the obstructed holes until mineral deposits dissolve completely. For particularly stubborn build-up, allow several minutes for the process to produce effect.

Using Cotton Swab with Vinegar

Baking Soda Paste

  1. Baking soda is known for its cleaning properties and gentle abrasiveness. To create a paste, combine two parts baking soda with one part water.
  2. Apply the paste onto the iron plate while being careful to avoid covering the steam holes. If any paste gets into these holes, use a cotton swab to remove it.
  3. Gently scrub the surface using a damp cloth and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping away the residue. This is one of the best ways to clean iron.

Baking Soda Paste

Newspaper and Salt

Cleaning a burnt iron plate is not that difficult if you have newspaper and salt with you.

  1. Place a sheet of newspaper on the ironing board and sprinkle regular table salt over it. Gently run the warm iron over the salt, allowing its absorbent and scrubbing properties to clean the soleplate. The newspaper acts as a protective layer, preventing any ink transfer.
  2. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any leftover salt.

Newspaper and Salt


For areas of burns and to clean iron stains, apply a small amount of toothpaste mixed with baking soda. Let it sit for one or two minutes before wiping it off.



  1. Apply heat to the iron surface and carefully hold a solid tablet of acetaminophen using tweezers. Gently rub the tablet over rusted sections or stains until they dissolve.
  2. The abrasive properties of silicon dioxide in the tablet, combined with heat and gentle scrubbing, gradually eliminate stains. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any residue from the area and watch how it is the best way to clean iron.



Dryer Sheet

To clean iron plates and remove residue from the plate of your iron, start by setting it to the lowest heat setting and use an oven mitt for protection. Now, rub a dryer sheet over the surface until the residue is removed, and repeat if necessary.

Dryer Sheet

Nail Polish Remover

For cleaning burnt iron plate along with stubborn stains on a hot iron, turn off its heat and apply acetone nail polish remover onto a cotton ball or pad.

Carefully wipe this over the soleplate while wearing an oven mitt to dissolve any black residue. Finally, use a damp cloth to clean the entire surface of the iron.

Nail Polish Remover

Magic Eraser:

Dampen a Magic Eraser and gently rub it against tough mineral deposits or marks on the soleplate, reapplying as necessary.

This technique is one of the best ways to clean iron as it offers multiple solutions for maintaining your iron’s cleanliness and resolving various problems like blocked steam vents, stubborn residue buildup, and unsightly hard water blemishes.

This best way to clean your iron guarantees that your iron will operate at its highest level of efficiency.

Magic Eraser

Tips And Tricks To Keep The Iron Clean

  1. Examine Care Labels: It is essential to carefully review the care labels on your garments to determine if they are suitable for ironing and what temperature settings should be utilized. This practice aids in preventing any potential damage to both your clothing and the iron itself.
  2. Use Distilled Water: In case you have hard water, it is advisable to opt for distilled water instead as this helps prevent blockage of steam vents and unsightly markings on the soleplate of the iron.
  3. Implement a Protective Layer: Placing either a fresh press cloth or a thin towel between the iron and the item being pressed serves as an effective barrier. By doing so, any residue that may accumulate during pressing will be retained by these materials rather than adhering to the surface of your iron.
  4. Cleanse After Usage: Your responsibility towards maintaining cleanliness does not conclude upon completion of pressing. Therefore, after switching off and disconnecting from the power source while ensuring cooling down has taken place, proceed with wiping down your cooled-down appliance using a damp microfiber cloth.
  5. Check Steam Vents: Check the steam vents for any obstructions or mineral buildup regularly. To keep the flow of steam constant, clean them as necessary.
  6. Avoid Ironing Near Sticky Materials: Use caution when ironing near substances that could melt and stick to the soleplate, such as adhesives. Cleaning them off can be challenging.
  7. Empty Water Reservoir: If your iron has a water reservoir, be sure that you empty it after each use to avoid water buildup and mineral deposits.


It is essential to clean iron plate after every few days for it to effectively remove wrinkles and keep your clothes looking their best.

The buildup of residue and minerals on the soleplate, as well as moisture retention in the water tank, can negatively impact its performance and potentially harm your garments.

By adhering to these recommended steps for cleaning a burnt iron plate, you will prolong its lifespan and safely iron your clothes for many years.


How do you remove brown from iron?

Soak a towel or cloth in vinegar and put the iron upside down over it. The metal should be in direct contact with that cloth. Let it sit for 30 minutes and wipe it off.

How do you remove Black from iron?

To remove the brown from the iron, spread some salt on a piece of paper. Then turn the iron on and run it over salt.

What’s the best thing to clean an iron with?

The best thing to clean an iron with is baking soda and water.

How do you remove tough iron stains?

Mix borax and lemon juice and form a paste. Then rub it on the stain and wipe it with a wet cloth.

How do you clean old metal iron?

Use baking soda to clean old metal iron. Rinse the metal iron, rub baking soda, and leave for 1 hour. Then wipe it off with a damp cloth.

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