The iron is an integral part of most households around the world. However, its use also comes with certain responsibilities, such as regular surface cleaning and descaling. This is the only way to prevent the iron from ruining your clothes due to clogging. Check out our tips on how to clean a burnt iron and get rid of limescale.
How to clean a burnt iron
We all probably know it, just a moment of inattention, the wrong temperature setting or choice of material and our favourite piece of clothing can be thrown in the bin. To prevent further damage, you need to act immediately and get rid of the iron burn. The following paragraphs will advise how to do this.
How to clean the surface of an iron with vinegar
The surface of modern and more expensive irons is already made of more durable materials that just won’t get stuck. Nevertheless, this situation can still occur today, especially if you are using cheaper or older models. There are several solutions – vinegar being the most typical.
Vinegar is a universal and effective cleaner that is commonly used in the home to remove odors from a washing machine or for refrigerator maintenance, for example. So it’s no wonder it plays a vital role in the first tip on how to clean an iron:
- Prepare an old cotton rag and soak it in vinegar.
- Place a towel on the ironing board.
- Wring out the rag soaked in vinegar carefully and place it on the towel.
- Run the hot iron over the soaked cloth.
If the procedure doesn’t work, you can also try running the iron over the edge of the board, which will remove burnt-on areas that the original procedure isn’t sufficient for. Be careful not to let the vinegar get inside the iron through the steaming holes the vinegar could damage it.
How do I clean a burnt iron with toothpaste?
Another method to clean a burnt iron uses toothpaste. Toothpaste is commonly used to clean metals or precious jewellery and can therefore also serve as an effective means of cleaning the iron surface:
- Apply the toothpaste to a piece of cloth.
- Begin to rub the cold iron surface in circular motions over the burnt areas with the cloth.
- Wipe off the toothpaste residue from the iron with a clean cloth.
This way to clean the iron surface is more suited for finer dirt. So if toothpaste doesn’t work, we recommend the above method of cleaning with vinegar.
How to clean a burnt iron surface with salt?
Rather alternative methods of cleaning a burnt iron surface include removal via salt. This is because there is a risk of scratching the surface. In case you opt for this option, therefore, proceed with caution or apply it only on less susceptible surfaces:
- Take a cloth and apply a layer of finely ground salt to it.
- Wrap the salt in the cloth.
- Release the iron.
- Remove the iron carefully over the cloth.
During reironing, remember to wipe the iron in newspaper. This will enhance the overall effect.
How to clean the iron surface
A solution to clean the iron surface can also be wax paper, which will pull the dirt out of the iron. Place several wax papers on the ironing board and run the iron over them several times, hot to a moderate temperature without steaming.
You can also use a paste made up of baking soda and water to clean the iron. Mix three sachets of baking soda with water and apply the resulting paste to the ironing surface. Then spread it with a soft sponge, leave it on and then wipe it off with clean water.
When cleaning, you should not forget about the steam vents. Here, reach for wool sticks or swabs, dip them in vinegar and gently wipe the opening area. Then wipe them dry again with the stick or swab.
If you prefer a more “sophisticated” solution, you can also reach for special cleaners, which you can find in a regular drugstore. You can find the specific procedure for cleaning your iron with these in the package insert.
How do I clean limescale from my iron?
Like a burnt iron, limescale can also deteriorate clothes. To prevent limescale build-up, it is advisable to pour only distilled water into the iron’s tank. Modern irons have special descaling functions, so check the manual to see if yours does. If not, don’t despair, you can buy special descaling cartridges or sticks or use the tip below to descale your iron.
How to descale your iron with vinegar
The procedure for descaling an iron uses vinegar as well as descaling:
- Prepare a container in which to place the iron.
- Pour vinegar into it, not too much, just enough to submerge the entire surface.
- Place the iron in the vinegar.
- Let the vinegar work.
During this procedure, it is important to estimate the amount of vinegar poured in. This is because it must not get into the inside of the iron. Alternatively, you can pour the vinegar directly into the reservoir:
- Mix the vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio.
- Mix the vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio.
- Pour the liquid into the reservoir.
- Stop steaming the iron and let it sit for five minutes.
Finally, don’t forget to rinse the reservoir to get rid of the smell the vinegar leaves behind.
What to do if the iron is leaking brown water
A third issue that is closely related to ironing is rust, which manifests itself when brown water runs from the iron. To get rid of the rust, just follow these steps:
- Prepare a bowl in which to place the iron.
- Dissolve 25 g of citric acid in a glass of warm water.
- Pour the solution into the bowl.
- Place the iron in the solution.
- Let it sit there as needed.