While the iron is a commonplace household appliance, not everyone knows how to properly clean and maintain the iron to keep it in good shape for longer. Not only does keeping the iron clean of buildup and clogs prolong its lifespan, but it also improves the ironing performance and efficiency.
- Minerals from the water in a steam iron can cause a scaly buildup in the vents. While some irons offer a self-cleaning feature, you can also effectively clean the vents by hand. Use a cotton swab or a pipe cleaner to wipe out the residue and not a hard, sharp object that could scratch or damage the iron’s base.
- Vinegar is a common household ingredient that doubles as a convenient cleaning solution. Pour some on a clean, soft cloth and wipe down the iron periodically.
- Sometimes you’ll find a waxy coating on the soleplate after ironing certain fabrics. When that’s the case, simply turn the iron up to the highest heat and run it over newspaper to get the wax substance off.
- Use ammonia to clean oily residue off the soleplate. Then rinse or wipe the ammonia off with water.
- You should clean the water tank on a regular basis or when the steam output starts to wane. Use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to fill the tank and set the iron to steam for about four minutes. Let the tank drain for at least an hour. Before you use the iron again, fill the tank with pure water and repeat the process to get all the vinegar out.
Finally, this tip is obvious but bears mentioning: Be sure that the iron is turned off and cool before handling and cleaning it.