How To Clean an Iron

Years of starch and mineral build-up can leave a nasty residue on your iron’s soleplate (the metal “hot” part of the iron). Here’s the low down in 6 easy steps. No special equipment required – all you need is some elbow grease and a few items that are right in your pantry!


  • iron, empty of water and unplugged
  • old terry cloth towel
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon course salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • a few cleaning rags
  • cotton swabs
  • distilled water


  1. Make a paste out of the baking soda, salt and water. Spread the paste on unplugged, cool iron’s soleplate (the metal area).
  2. Using a soft rag, scrub until all residue is removed.
  3. Wipe down with a damp rag, then clean out steam vents with a cotton swab that has been dipped in vinegar.
  4. Fill water reservoir with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup vinegar, then plug in iron and heat to hottest setting.
  5. Placing iron on “steam” setting, run it over the terry cloth towel until all vents are clear and iron’s surface is clean!
  6. Unplug iron, allow it to cool, then empty water reservoir and re-fill with distilled water (most manufacturers suggest this over tap water).

Photography by Heather Kinkel

Alejandra likes ice cream, dancing and pretty things. You can usually find her exploring downtown Phoenix, where she lives, or singing to herself while writing in a coffee shop.

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