The question of cleaning the bottom of the iron usually arises as soon as you have ironed your clothes incorrectly. Fibers of wool clothes, black burnt stains from synthetic fabrics, pieces of limescale falling out of the steam openings – all of these damage the iron and make it unusable.
To remove the black burnt stains from the iron at home, we need to know the material of the iron bottom and be patient.
Ceramic soleplate iron
Many famous companies make the irons with ceramic bottoms. Ceramics is very smooth, it glides well, and allows to iron any fabric easily, without tension. You have to really try hard to end up with burnt marks on a ceramic iron bottom. The main problem of the ceramic iron plate is the limescale, which clogs the holes, so we recommend using only distilled water, and if your iron has a self-cleaning function, then it should be used regularly, without using the device.
To clean the ceramic iron plate, you have to be very careful. Any abrasive agents (soda, salt, hard sponges, etc.) are prohibited. If a scratch is on the bottom, it can spread quickly and lead to a gradual peeling off the entire coating. It is best to clean such bottom with a soft cloth made of dense cotton.
- Heat the iron slightly. The bottom should be just warm, safe to touch.
- Make a solution of table vinegar and water (50:50).
- Wet a rag in this solution and clean off the burnt stain.
You can add hydrogen peroxide to the solution, which will bleach the ceramic, and return its original color.
Teflon soleplate iron
The iron with Teflon bottom is very good for ironing synthetic clothes. Even at low-temperature mode, it easily slides and smooths creases on a delicate fabric. In addition, this type of iron is inexpensive, so a lot of housewives like it very much.
Carefully clean the soleplate of the iron with a special acid pencil. It is only necessary to heat the device to 130-200 °, depending on the instructions, and clean the stain by movement. Make sure to not get the melting pencil into the steam holes. When you’re done, run the iron on a piece of fabric to finish removing the burnt residue.
To remove scale, which is leaving horrible stains on clothing, you can use citric acid.
- Dilute 10 grams of acid in 100 grams of hot water.
- Put on gloves and dip a flannel napkin into the water.
- Thoroughly wipe the surface, paying special attention to all holes, removing the hard scale from them. You can use toothpicks or cotton swabs to pierce heavily clogged holes.
The acid will soften the scale deposits, and the iron bottom will be easier to clean. If contamination is strong, you can leave the iron standing on a damp cloth for a while, or stick pieces of cotton into the clogged holes.
When the steam holes have opened up, pour water with citric acid into the iron; turn on the iron to full power and set the steam generation mode. Do it in the home conditions over a bath, sink or washbasin. Only after such a thorough cleaning will your clothes be safe from harm.
Stainless steel soleplate iron
A stainless steel soleplate iron can be cleaned from scale and burnt stains the same ways as Teflon iron plate. Moreover, the steel is very strong, and it can be cleaned with baking soda or salt. For this, pour a little bit baking soda onto a wet cloth and clean off the traces of the burnt stains in a circular motion. You can also mix toothpaste with a pinch of fine salt and use this mixture to clean the soleplate.
But we want to warn you that many companies make the bottom of stainless steel irons with a special coating for faster heating and better gliding. If you have a modern expensive model, then be sure to read the instruction and make sure that your iron is not afraid of abrasive cleaners. Some models are advised to be cleaned by an extremely damp cloth, without the use of any chemicals.
Many modern irons are equipped with automatic descaling. Please do not forget to descale it regularly. In this case, you will prolong a lifespan of your appliance, and protect your clothes from dirty spots.
Aluminum soleplate iron
Once the irons with a light aluminum bottom replaced heavy cast irons, and today they are still in demand, although they have undergone some changes. You can use table vinegar, toothpaste or a pencil for cleaning the surface of the iron to remove the dirt.
It is good to remember that aluminum is a soft metal and it can be easily scratched. We recommend cleaning a strongly soiled surface with soda and polish it with a wool cloth, in this case, you will preserve the smoothness of the soleplate, which is integral in your iron’s performance.
Aluminum soleplate has a drawback: it leaves shiny traces on wool and synthetic fabrics. To prevent this from happening, iron such fabrics through gauze. This will help to keep a nice appearance of clothes and protect the soleplate of the iron from the formation of the burnt stains.