A burnt iron is ineffective. It can cause a funny smell, scorch and snag on parts of your clothes, uneven steam production, and leave burn marks that will also stain fabric. And even worse, a burnt iron covered in residue can result in fires. If the bottom of your iron is ruined and you want to know how to clean a burnt iron without burning yourself, you can learn how to clean an iron 7 different ways, below, to easily get the job done at home.
Before you start cleaning your iron, it’s a good idea to first read the owners’ instruction manual. The manufacturer may have a list of techniques on how to clean your burnt iron, with a possible list of cleaning agents that can and can’t be used for cleaning it.
7 Different Ways To Clean A Burnt Iron
1. Laundry Detergent
For irons with a non-stick sole plate, you can try cleaning the burnt stains off with laundry detergent. Add 1 to 2 drops of laundry detergent to a bowl filled with warm water. Then dip an old toothbrush in the mixture and scrub the sole plate. Dry the bottom of the iron with a clean towel before use.
2. Dish Soap
This method works well if there are burn marks covering any of the iron vents. Mix water with dishwashing liquid and dip cotton buds into the solution before rubbing the burnt areas of the iron and inside the vents. As soon as it’s clean, dry it with a clean cloth.
3. Nail Polish Remover
If you use this method, you will need a stable cleaning station and decent ventilation. The iron has to be on and warm, so make sure not to burn yourself. As the nail polish remover gets applied to the burnt iron, make sure none of your pets are around as the chemicals that will be heated could cause toxic fumes that are harmful to your pets. Be sure not to inhale toxic fumes yourself too.
- Set the iron to the lowest heat setting.
- Dip cotton buds or soak an old cloth in nail polish remover.
- Carefully rub at the burnt areas.
- Wipe the bottom of the iron with a dry part of the cloth or another cotton bud to get rid of the last bits of nail polish remover.
Once the burnt stains are completely removed, rub the plate with a clean damp cloth. Alternatively, you can spread the dampened cloth on a surface and ‘iron’ over the cloth to get rid of any remaining burn stains or debris.
4. Lime Juice And Baking Soda
If you have limes or have time to quickly buy a few at the grocery store, they work efficiently at cleaning burnt stains on an iron. The acidity of the lime is just enough and when combined with the abrasiveness of baking soda, your iron will look like it was never burnt.
- Squeeze out the juice of 1 lime into a bowl, then add baking soda. Keep adding enough baking soda until it forms a paste.
- Apply the paste to the burnt parts of the iron.
- Leave the paste on the iron for at least 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, test an area of the bottom to see if the paste works at removing the burnt stains.
- Keep adding and removing the paste until the iron is clean.
- Wipe the excess paste off with a damp cloth and let it air-dry.
5. Vinegar And Baking Soda
Much like limes, vinegar is a natural cleaner, but slightly more acidic. When combined with baking soda, the vinegar reacts with it which makes a great cleaning substance for cleaning a burnt iron. It’s also not toxic, meaning it’s a much safer option. Use the 4 steps below and learn how to clean an iron with vinegar and baking soda:
- Mix half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of water.
- Dip an old cloth or cotton ball into the mixture.
- Sprinkle some baking soda on the wet part of the cloth, and start gently scrubbing at the burns. Add more pressure where necessary and remember to scrub in circular motions.
- Wipe any excess cleaning mixture off with a damp cloth.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide
A simple solution for your burnt iron, soak a cloth in hydrogen peroxide then lay it flat on an ironing board or another flat surface. ‘Iron’ over the cloth until the burnt areas are gone.
7. Metal Polish
For burnt irons that don’t have a coated iron plate, restore them by using a commercial metal polish. Apply a few drops of metal polish to the burnt parts of the sole plate and rub on the burnt marks with a cloth until completely cleared. Then wipe off any leftover polish with a clean cloth.
There you have it, the 7 methods for cleaning a burnt iron you can now use to restore yours. Take note of the difference when ironing your clothes with a completely clean iron.