How to Clean a Steam Iron? – Cleaning Base Plates
There’s no doubt about ironing capabilities when it comes to steam iron. However, with frequent use, it can get dirty, clogged, and sticky, rather than gliding smoothly.
In such a frustrating scenario, the question that needs to be answered thoroughly is that, “How to clean a steam Iron properly?”
In case, you want to Read about: Australia’s Best Iron Reviews
I’ve got some handy tricks and techniques for beginners to help them unclog a steam iron and make it look like new.
So, are you ready to clean your steam iron effectively?
Follow the complete guide below:
How to Remove Clogging from Steam Iron?
Starting with one of the most common and frustrating problems you could face with a steam iron. It’s when the iron gets clogged due to the deposition of lime and other pollutants in the water tank.
As a result, the steam pores present on soleplate won’t perform as expected. They’ll start getting clogged and will eventually stop sprouting water or steam at all.
That said, if you follow the method prescribed below, you can easily remove the clogging from steam iron.
Take a look:
Requirements for Unclogging a Steam Iron:
First off, you’ll need some equipment and materials before getting started with the whole cleaning process.
- A large bowl (Where you’d mix different stuff)
- Freezer (You’d need ice) and
- A Shallow Pan
- Toothpick or a sharp wood piece or a toothbrush. (Anything that could facilitate thorough cleaning)
- White vinegar (Distilled)
- Water (Clean or distilled water is recommended)
- Baking soda or table salt.
- Ice Cubes from the Freezer
- A Plastic knife or an old credit card.
- White Cloth for overall cleaning
Instructions for Unclogging:
1. Mixing the Solution:
In the large bowl, mix up half a cup of distilled white vinegar and half a cup of distilled water. Stir the solution for a minute.
After that, simply pour it into the water tank and make sure that the Iron is unplugged and cool.
2. Cleaning and Inspecting the Steam Pores/Vents/Ducts:
Secondly, place the iron vertically and start looking for the steam vents that are blocked due to white residue.
To clean a scaled steam vent, you can take help from a toothpick, an old toothbrush, or a sharp piece of wood. Clean all the vents thoroughly!
Note: Never use any metal as you could end up scratching and damaging the soleplate.
3. Heating the Iron and Pressing the Steam Button:
Next step involves plugging the iron. Simply plug into the power source and set your iron on the steam feature.
After that, allow the iron to get heated for at least 5 minutes.
When the iron is done heating, press the steam button for at least 20 to 30 seconds so that the steam could move freely.
Practice this technique five to six times. This way the steam iron will become free of clogging or white residue.
4. Cooling and Emptying the Iron:
Finally, when you are done with the above mentioned 3 steps, unplug the iron then.
Allow it to cool down completely. Detach the water tank and remove any leftover vinegar or water from it.
That’s how you’d clean the steam iron from clogging issue.
Using distilled water into the water reservoir is recommended especially if you live in an area where hard water problem prevails.
On the other hand, clogging could happen even if you use distilled water regularly. So, after a gap of two to three months, it’s suggested that you use the vinegar water mixture and steam the iron to remove impurities accordingly.
How to Clean the Steam Iron Soleplate in Easy Steps?
Now that we are done with unclogging, it’s time to focus on cleaning the soleplate of an iron.
A smooth, non-sticky, and scratch-resistant soleplate means the iron will glide smoothly to remove stubborn wrinkles and creases accordingly.
That being said, the tricky part comes when you have to treat the soleplate gently.
Warning! Never ever scrub the soleplate with sharp metal as it might end up in scratches, which would eventually lead to rusting or stubborn stains.
Let’s now get started with cleaning the iron’s soleplate in simple steps:
1. Mixing and Stirring the Cleaning Solution:
Take a large enough bowl and mix either table salt or baking soda with small amount of distilled white vinegar. Stir to the extent that it’s converted into a paste.
If you are using baking soda, then you must take a large bowl as soda and vinegar might create foam and cause mess.
2. Scrubbing the Soleplate with Damp White Cloth:
Dip the white cloth into the paste and start scrubbing the sticky areas of the soleplate. Increase the pressure if the stains are too stubborn.
Never cleaned the soleplate and now it’s all mess? Don’t worry! Give at least 10 minutes to the paste so that it can become reactive enough.
Follow the same procedure of scrubbing to remove those stains.
3. Rinsing the Soleplate:
Lastly, rinse the soleplate by soaking the white cloth in clean water. BINGO! Now your steam iron will easily glide on fabric to ensure a smooth ironing experience.
How to Remove Melted Plastic from the Soleplate Easily?
Melted plastic on soleplate is a dreadful scenario. That’s because if you don’t clean it instantly, then it might transfer onto other garments, thus damaging them.
To avoid this frustrating situation, follow these easy steps to remove melted plastic from steam iron’s soleplate:
1. Freezing the Plastic Immediately:
The first step should be as immediate as possible. If the plastic has stuck to the soleplate and you realize it, unplug the iron at once.
Leave the iron to cool down on its own and during this, fill up a shallow pan with ice cubes.
Place the cooled down iron on the ice cubes. Make sure that the melted plastic part of the soleplate is placed properly.
Wait for 5 to 10 minutes so that the plastic can get frozen completely.
2. Scrubbing the Frozen Plastic with Plastic Knife/Credit Card
As I’ve already warned you that you can’t use any sharp metal on the soleplate.
So, in this context, it’s suggested that you use a plastic knife or an old credit card.
Scrape away the frozen plastic with the help of these two tools accordingly.
3. Cleaning the Soleplate Afterwards:
You’ll again need the baking soda/salt + distilled white vinegar paste.
Soak white cloth in the paste and scrub the soleplate with it thoroughly to make it as smooth as possible.
4. How to Remove Melted Plastic from Fabrics:
Fabrics stuck with melted plastic is also a headache.
To remove melted plastic from a cloth, put it into a freezer for an hour so that the plastic gets hard enough.
Apply the same procedure of using either a plastic knife or a credit card to remove the plastic from fabric.
However, this method could not guarantee removing small plastic stains. So, keep that in mind while utilizing this technique.
DIY Methods to Clean a Steam Iron Properly:
Apart from the methods we discussed above, there are some DIY techniques that you could utilize to clean a steam iron properly.
Have a look at them one by one:
Cleaning the Soleplate with DIY Methods:
The easiest Do it Yourself method to clean the soleplate of iron is by scrubbing it on the dryer sheets.
Heat the soleplate to its fullest and glide it over a dryer sheet for two to three minutes. This will easily remove the gunk or dirt of a soleplate.
Another DIY method you can try is using white toothpaste. Pour some amount of toothpaste on the damp cloth and start rubbing the soleplate. It will, therefore, ensure quick cleaning.
Using abrasive cleaners is not recommended. However, iron cleaners made for the soleplates only could be utilized as they won’t harm its coating.
Another proven method of removing stubborn stains from a soleplate is by scrubbing it on table salt. The method is easy. Simply pour some salt on a piece of paper, plug the iron and wait for it to gain heat. When heated, glide it on the salt with pressure to make the soleplate stain-free and shiny.
Get Yourself an Anti-Calc. Steam Iron:
Steam irons these days come with advanced anti-calcium technology that can remove the white residue with ease.
I recommend investing in such types of iron as it could help you stay away from the need for cleaning the water tank and steam vents again and again.
Remove Clogging from Steam Vents with DIY Method:
If the steam pores are clogged, you can remove them with the help of a cotton bud dipped in vinegar and water.
For better results, stick that iron bud onto a toothpick and insert it thoroughly to remove the residue perfectly.
Moreover, it’s also recommended that you remove the excess water from the water reservoir especially when you are done with ironing. Doing so will diminish the process of scale buildup for a long time.
Tips to Keep Your Steam Iron Cleaner for a Long Time:
Some tips and tricks are as follows:
- First things first, avoid using tap water no matter how much it’s filtered. Using distilled or bottled water is what most steam iron brands recommend.
- Fill the water reservoir when the iron is cool and is not plugged at all.
- Remove the excess water from the reservoir when you are done ironing your clothes. This method is a must especially if you don’t use a steam iron frequently.
- Never store a steam iron horizontally. Always store it in a vertical or upright position to keep the soleplate as cleaner and shiny as possible.
- Protect the soleplate of your iron by avoiding fabric like plastic zippers, screen printing, hooks, snaps, and metal zippers, etc.
- Last but not the least, clean the iron thoroughly with the help of a damp cloth when it’s cooled down. Plus, store it in a clean place to avoid dust buildup.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Summing Things Up:
Those were some of the ways by which a steam iron could be cleaned easily. Make sure that you clean your steam iron at least twice a month to avoid scaling or rough glides issue.
Do tell us about your experience or share any new method of cleaning a steam iron in the comment box. You can also share your problems with cleaning so that we can solve them right away.