From calcification to burnt textile residues - read up on our best tips to easily clean your steam iron. It’ll save energy and prolong its use, too. If you’re in a real pickle and can’t iron at all, check out some alternatives to ironing whilst you’re waiting for your iron to get cleaned up.
At the beginning, everything is still good. Your new iron glides majestically over every crease and wrinkle. But eventually the moment comes when you realize that your iron no longer shines quite as beautifully as it did in the beginning. Even ironing your shirts doesn't come as easily to you as it used to. Then it's time to clean your iron. Find out how to clean your iron if it is sticky or calcified here.
All it takes is one tiny moment of distraction and whoops! You've ironed over a T-shirt print. This not only smells unpleasant but leaves marks on the iron’s bottom. The marks themselves don’t look great, but that is the least of our concern. The issue with a dirty iron is that it compromises performance and the iron’s lifespan. Cleaning an iron bottom is important. Here are our favourite DIY solutions:
The best way to get rid of rubber residue from an imprint is to use an eraser. Simply rub the iron bottom with light pressure and the sticky residue will disappear.
- Oven spray
Commercial oven spray helps if, for example, you have accidentally ironed over plastic. If you want to clean the iron plate, spray the oven spray on the cooled surface, wait a moment and then polish.
Toothpaste can be used for normal wear and tear. Use it to carefully clean the bottom of the iron. Finally, wipe thoroughly with a damp cloth.
- Ceramic scraper
You can carefully scrape away textile residues with a ceramic scraper - but never use a knife, steel wool, or sandpaper, because these utensils can damage the sensitive iron plating during cleaning.
If you’re wondering how to clean a sticky iron, vinegar will help. Put some of it on a cloth and place the iron on it for a few minutes. After that, your iron will glide across your textiles like nothing was ever wrong.
Caution! No matter which cleaning method you choose, always make sure that the iron is disconnected from the power supply!
Outside cleaning is usually not enough for cleaning a steam iron. Limescale can be hard to remove, but to keep your iron running for years to come, it is important you remove the limescale. There are a few options:
The obvious solution is of course a commercial de-scaler. You can get it in hardware stores and well-stocked supermarkets. Pour the de-scaler into the water tank, set the iron to the highest setting, give a few bursts of steam, and turn the iron off. After a good quarter of an hour, plug the iron back in and steam again. Repeat this process until the limescale is gone. Make sure you empty out the solution before ironing clothes again.
- Vinegar or citric acid
Alternatively, you can use vinegar or citric acid. However, you have to be careful with this, as the acid may damage the iron during cleaning.
And voilà! You’re good to go – you’ve got a clean iron, ready for use on your freshly-washed clothes.