How to Clean an Iron

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Cleaning a Dirty Iron the Easy Way

I decided just to give in and consider the rest of this week, household tips/ nesting week.  Like you needed further proof, but housewife is not a title I will ever wear with any degree of success.  Yes… I can craft.  Yes… I LOVE a project.  But NO… brisket in the oven, cocktail mixed, and clothes neatly ironed are rarely anything that crosses my flea market riddled mind.  As further proof to this, ever since I fixed up a bureau, my iron has been my #1 tool for wood veneer removal.  Which also means that my iron looks like this:

Cleaning a filthy iron takes a few ingredients and a few minutes… what a transformation.

Clean a Filthy Iron with Two Simple Supplies

Don’t go thinking crazy thoughts like I’m actually planning to use the iron for mitigating the wrinkles in clothing because I’m not.  But I was curious how to address the situation.  A spin through the world wide web and the solution was silly simple.

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Step 1: Scrub the Iron

I started by scrubbing the whole thing with regular ol’ white vinegar.  Which cleaned it up pretty much completely.

Cleaning a filthy iron takes a few ingredients and a few minutes… what a transformation.

Step 2: Clean the Nooks

BUT… there were a few little dingy areas so I used my handy toothbrush and some baking soda and gave the whole thing a good scrub. If you don’t have a toothbrush lying around… a little brush like this would totally work.)

Cleaning a filthy iron takes a few ingredients and a few minutes… what a transformation.

Step 3: Steam the Iron

For extra measure, I turned on the iron and let the steam go to work for a bit.  All in, this 5″ cleaning jaunt has given me one of the best before and after pics to date.  (It’s almost as good as the footage of those detergents that remove mud, mustard, coffee grounds and red wine in one swirl around the bowl.)  And no, I still don’t understand Photoshop so these pics are the real deal.

Cleaning a filthy iron takes a few ingredients and a few minutes… what a transformation.

In case you were wondering, that- ladies and gentlemen- is how you clean an iron!


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You might also like my family command center,

Cleaning a filthy iron takes a few ingredients and a few minutes… what a transformation.

See my simple solution for mudroom storage here:

mudroom after

and how to organize under your sink!

Ideas for wrangling all that clutter underneath your bathroom sink.

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      1. WD40 ..its genrally either in car accessories section of super market . it comes in a spray and genrally used for lubricating machines, bycycles etc …
        but it works like a magic on this particular problem like shining and moisturising also ,which somebody posted .boht the jobs done .just do it at normal temperature and keep it for 1 hour and you will know . then rub with a cloth .thas it ..this will come out as a thin sheet of fabric .wow!

        I USED to thro my irons after 10 times usage coz it used t get that until I found this ……

        1. I have a question. On the step 1 when you scrub the iron with vinegar, should I need to turn on the off or just leave it off?

  1. Remarkable. I do think white vinegar and baking soda are the utlimate weapon for cleaning almost anything.. I tried a DIY tub/shower cleaner the other day. . .and you guessed it. . . it called for White vinegar, baking soda and original Dawn dish soap. The only problems were when I first added the baking soda to the slightly warm vinegar, I had a foamy reaction, like Mt Vesuvius – Bllllluuuuu, – up and out of the bottle and all over my counter. Then, once that was done and the recipe was complete, I couldn’t get my spray bottle to spray. so ended up pouring the concoction onto the tub surface. I bought new see-thru spray bottles today and will try the recipe again, as it did do a good job of cleaning the tub. The recipe follows if anyone is interested


    What You’ll Need:

    1/2 Cup White Vinegar
    1/2 Cup Original Blue Dawn Dish Soap
    4 Tablespoons Baking Soda
    Empty Spray Bottle


    Heat vinegar in microwave for 90 seconds. Allow to cool slightly. Pour into spray bottle. Add Baking Soda (to begin, add only a little as it will react: once the initial reaction is done, you can add the remaining baking soda) & then add the Original Blue Dawn dish soap. Shake gently to mix. Spray on surface, let it sit 1-2 hours. Just wipe it away & then rinse with water. Will also take soap scum off shower walls/tile & doors!

    1. Filed away! Love it. Thanks!! Baking soda/ vinegar is my secret for getting the burnt off of pots when I overcook something. Works SO well!

  2. Thank you so much for this information. One thing my mother always did that I have done as well – once the iron is clean, using a hot iron on top of a piece of waxed paper. Once this is done, iron over a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any extra wax. This leaves an amazing clean iron that glides over fabrics as it did when it was new.

  3. I just cleaned my iron with the baking soda and white vinegar and it worked like magic..very impressed but now it seems it’s stuffed my iron as it doesn’t seem to turn on anymore it slightly gets warm but thats it……

    1. I had to make sure the baking soda hadn’t clogged the holes on the underside of the iron. I used a toothpick to scrape these out… Perhaps run your iron on hot with the steam setting?

  4. As a professional presser (my actual job title is photo/still life stylist) I can also recommend the following. Let your iron heat up with lots of H2o in it. Run it back & forth over some fine steel wool, while pressing down quite hard. I am thinking that the next time I encounter a studio iron in yucky shape I might use your technique combined with mine. ? Personally I only use distilled water in my professional iron & my household iron. And if in doubt that something might stick to your iron, a press cloth is always recommended

  5. I have an iron that has Teflon surface (black). The baking soda and vinegar didn’t work on my iron. I used oven cleaner. No special brand, just oven cleaner. Use it as would for your oven, spray it on and let it dry, then wipe it clean. I used mine twice.

  6. The baking soda that’s left in the holes will eventually falls out onto what is being ironed! And some iron surfaces will be ruined with the use of a toothbrush with the baking soda.

  7. Thanks for giving iron. Let me follow your idea. It’s seems that it will work perfectly. Thanks for your idea

  8. Regards’ your tips for cleaning an iron are very successful. I want to learn more tips from you. I am waiting .