If you want to expect longevity from your appliances, then you have to take good care of them. One way of doing so is to keep checking for damage to their functional components as they are the pieces that make the appliance perform its task, taking a scratch to the body of a steam iron is not as much harsh as taking a hit to one of its steam holes on the soleplate. Speaking of steam irons, they amongst those appliances that you may find being frequently disrupted because of damage, in this case, we are talking about disruption caused by residue.

Your clothes face a lot of elements and if you have a blue collar job, then expect a lot of impact from those elements; the steam iron can remove those and put your clothes in proper shape but in the process, the iron itself can get damaged. To restore the iron to its previous condition, you would need to know how to clean a steam iron.

As time passes and as you go through the clothes, you will find a lot of ‘sticky stuff’ being aggregated on the soleplate of your steam iron. This sticky stuff can come from the residue of any type, it can be either burnt fabrics, starch or any other substances that can cause friction within the iron or out on the soleplate that makes the glide on the clothes hectic. A clean soleplate is crucial for performance so you need to know how to clean the iron plate. There are so many things to consider if you want to know on how to clean a ‘sticky’ iron, this is because there are so many models out there, each from different manufacturers and each having different soleplates, it is difficult to figure out what works best for what.

Read more: How to Choose an Ironing Board?

If you are not careful with the material that you use, you can end up causing more damage to the steam iron than the residue itself but there is something you need to do to fix the issue as you can’t just have the damage causing permanent stains on your fabric all the time. So if you are wondering ‘how do I clean the gunk off my iron?’ then follow the steps below that work for all steam irons in general.

Steps to Cleaning Your Steam Iron

Before you start with the cleansing process, make sure that you read the description about your steam iron so that you know what type of mixture to use and what you might not want to use. For this guide, we will be using a mix of baking soda and water which works for most of the steam irons, but it does not hurt to check if it is harmful to your product or not.

The first thing you would need to do is set up the iron according to the residue you are trying to clean off. It is a good step to the first turn on the steam to its highest setting an iron a cloth for a few minutes to clear the vents. After that, turn off the iron and rinse the iron with clear water to get rid of any deposits.

If you are faced with starch as a residue, then you would warm up the iron a bit.

  • After the iron is primed, use a bowl of warm water and baking soda to create a mixture. For a stronger mix use ¾ of water and ¼ of white vinegar in it;
  • Use a tool like a wooden spoon or spatula to apply the mixture to the soleplate of the iron. Make sure you watch out for any burns if you are clearing starch;
  • You will observe that the mixture of baking soda eliminates any sticky residue via weakening the links. Use a clean cloth to wipe the mixture of the soleplate and if the starch is proving to be a nuisance, heat up the iron and use a rougher fabric like a towel to wipe it off the plate;
  • Keep applying the mixture again and again until all of the residues is clear off from the soleplate. If the starch is still present with a thick layer, then heat up the iron again and use the wooden tool to scrape the hardened layer off. Make sure that you let the iron cool off after you do this;
  • Now that the soleplate is clean, use a piece of cotton, dip it into the mixture of baking soda and clean the vent holes. Clean the mixture using distilled water and another piece of cotton;
  • Clear out the reservoir of the steam iron, fill it with distilled water and then turn the steam settings to the highest. Use the steam to clear out any remnants of the mixture that might be left in the steam vents;
  • The last step is to make sure that the reservoir is empty again, so pour out the water that might be in it.

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