Clean your clothes iron thoroughly by following this short guide

by Mark Bennett

May 10, 2024


Most of us could not get by without having a clothes iron in the house. But, of course, with continued use, your iron may get dirty (especially the bottom, aka the soleplate, and the water tank). So how can one clean an iron properly? Well, keep reading to find out: 

1. Cleaning the soleplate of an iron

Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

To clean the soleplate of your iron, there are different methods you can try, depending on how dirty it is. If you have to clean the soleplate, always remember to work on a cold, unplugged iron:

  • Using white alcohol vinegar: pour a little of this liquid on a soft cloth (without soaking it), and rub it on the soleplate, paying particular attention to visible stains.
  • Sometimes, the above will not enough, and you will need to use some heat. So, after wetting the cloth with alcohol vinegar, place the cloth on the ironing board, turn on the iron to medium power and iron the cloth. As you do, check the soleplate frequently: when it is shiny again, you can stop.
  • Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda): use this the method to remove scorch marks/stains that the alcohol vinegar cannot shift. Make a paste with two tablespoons of baking soda and two table spoons of water, and rub this onto the stains. Then, with a soft-bristled toothbrush, scrub away the stains gently. Once done, use a cloth dampened with distilled water to wipe the paste away.

If the steam holes are blocked, clean them with cotton swabs: dip the swabs into vinegar and use them to clear any blockages.


2. Cleaning the iron's water tank


Cleaning the iron's water tank should be done at least once a month (if you use your iron for a few hours every week).

This is a very simple procedure, and you will need white vinegar (wine or alcohol vinegar), as well as distilled water. All you need to do is mix 60ml of the vinegar with 180ml of distilled water and pour this mixture into the water tank:

  • Turn off the iron, unplug it and let it cool down completely;
  • Prepare the mixture (see above) and pour it into the tank;
  • Close the tank and reconnect the iron to the power;
  • Turn on the iron and activate the steam function;
  • Hold the iron vertically and let the steam escape;
  • Shake the iron a little to swirl the mixture around inside the tank;
  • Turn off the iron, unplug it and wait for it to cool down.
  • When cold, empty the tank, and refill with distilled water.

As you can see, keeping your iron in tip-top condition is very simple!