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How to Clean Burnt Steam Iron Base Plate

person cleaning steam iron soleplate

In order to maintain its efficiency, even the best iron needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. If your iron develops stains or noticeably loses its gliding ability, it is long past due for a cleaning. Small burnt on fibres, detergent traces, grease particles, limescale deposits, and transfers are the biggest enemies of irons.

To make a bad situation worse, when residues and grime build up on the soleplate, they might transfer to clean laundry and damage your clothes. 

What Causes Burn Marks

base or iron with burn marks

Once the iron reaches its optimal temperature, you tart s  Every time you take a step, you risk smudging the soleplate with residue from oil, detergent, or fabric softener. The iron’s ability to guide smoothly is diminished as more elements become stuck to the sole.

Another aspect that influences ironing effectiveness is the temperature. If the temperature is too high, material residues like plastic residues or traces of fibres can escape from the fabric and stick to the soleplate. Water tanks in steam irons can calcify, which can leave streaks on the ironing or prevent the steam nozzles from working properly.

The soleplate of a steam iron is a magnet for grime, and clothes made of heat-sensitive materials, in particular, should be kept well away from it. Particularly vulnerable to melting and detaching at high temperatures are synthetic fibres and printing. Such deposits eventually harden into the soleplate of the iron. As a result, the iron becomes grimy and sticky, making it difficult to use. The nozzles of steam irons can also get jammed up.

Washing powder and fabric softener residues can be transferred to the iron during the ironing process. Iron can also be damaged by the use of grease and lime. The high temperatures cause them to adhere to the iron, which is bad for both the iron and the clothes you plan to iron. 

Remains of materials, such as plastic fibres, might also lower the iron’s efficiency. If you use an iron and it gets dirty, you should clean it right away. Otherwise, the burned-in remnants could leave permanent stains on your clothes.

Related: Steam Irons and Steam Generator Irons Compared

Methods For Cleaning a Scorched Iron Soleplate

Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean an Iron Base

You may have noticed advertisements touting peroxide’s cleaning abilities, or it may be a scary-sounding chemical you’re never heard of.

But what exactly is hydrogen peroxide? When water vapour combines with oxygen exposed to sunlight, hydrogen peroxide is produced. If you break it down into its component parts, you’ll find that it’s essentially water but with a delightful extra oxygen atom, so the chemical formula is H2O2 instead of H2O. It has the same potency as bleach but degrades without harming the environment.

What this means is that hydrogen peroxide has a double non-toxic whammy – being as powerful as bleach, but without the nasty chemicals.

Use a cloth dampened with hydrogen peroxide to wipe the soleplate of your steam iron. This will help break down grease, dirt, and burnt-on messes, and destroy any nasty smells that your soleplate made be giving off.

Lime Juice and Baking Soda

The trip to the supermarket is the starting point of this less hazardous and more pleasurable approach. Iron burns are relatively easy to remove with a little lime juice. The combination of the lime’s acid and baking soda’s mild abrasiveness will restore your iron’s like-new shine.

  • To produce the paste, combine the lime juice with enough baking soda to form a paste.
  • The paste should be applied to the dirty regions of the iron.
  • For at least five minutes, leave the iron on (cold; do not heat).
  • If the stain is being lifted by the paste, you should test a small area after 5 minutes.
  • Make sure the bottom of the iron is spotless before removing the mixture made from lime and baking soda.
  • To remove any leftover paste, just wipe the iron with a moist towel and set it aside to dry.

Cleaning With Aluminium Tin Foil

Make use of salt and tin foil. Put a tablespoon of rock salt on a sheet of aluminium foil, then iron over the salt with the highest setting for the toughest stains. It can be used to remove stubborn stains or free items stuck to the sole plate of the iron.
Using this method is ideal for removing melted plastic from an iron.
Sea salt or kosher salt can also be substituted.

Clean the soleplate of your iron without having to scrub with elbow grease by using aluminium foil. Get the iron as hot as it can go and put it on a sheet of aluminium foil large enough to cover the area you want to iron. It’s not just the surface grime that sticks to the metal foil when you iron it. It’s possible to do this multiple times if necessary.

Aluminium foil reveals to be a natural aptitude when it comes to removing stubborn layers of dirt.

  • Put some aluminium foil on the ironing board and crank up the heat to high.
  • Now all you have to do is iron the foil, and the grime will be transferred to the metal.
  • The procedure can be repeated if necessary, taking into account the level of soiling.

Related: How to Clean Burnt Iron With Paracetamol

Cleaning Power of Vinegar

You’ll need to use a more forceful approach to cleaning if the burnt scars are extensive. A warm white vinegar-soaked cloth can be used in place of salt. Next, use a soft towel to carefully wipe the sole plate until the burn scars disappear. To conclude, use a cloth wetted with clean water to wipe the bottom of the iron.

If the marks persist after using hot white vinegar, try adding a couple of teaspoons of salt or baking soda to the solution. Repeat this process until the salt or baking soda has dissolved. Cleaning the iron’s sole plate requires soaking a clean cloth in the cleaning solution and wiping it down. Keep scrubbing until the stains disappear, and then use a clean, wet towel to wipe the sole of the iron down before putting it away.

  • Soak a cotton rag or old t-shirt in white vinegar (not malt)
  • You may now iron the fabric by heating the equipment on a low level (without steam).
  • After that, cool the iron by placing the soleplate on the vinegar rag. After the steam has stopped, the dirt particles are still loosened, and the limescale residue can be readily washed out of the nozzles.

Related: type of water for steam iron and steam generator Iron

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is now a standard component of every home’s cleaning arsenal due to its efficiency and low impact on the environment while removing grime. Also, it works well on the soleplates of irons, such as these: Put some lemon juice in a dish, soak a cotton cloth in it, and then use it to scrub the spots. In just a few minutes, the sole’s remnants vanish into thin air. Once you’ve cleaned it, polish it so it slides easily once more.

Ceramic Hob or Oven Cleaners Work

Cleaning the soleplate of iron is as easy as following the manufacturer’s directions for using ceramic hob cleaner, waiting for it to take effect, and then wiping it clean with a moist linen cloth. A dry towel is used for polishing. When necessary, you can reapply using the same information.

Soleplates can also benefit greatly from oven spray, which can be found in most kitchens’ supply cabinets. Clean the soleplate by spraying it with oven cleaner, letting it sit for the recommended amount of time, and then wiping away any remaining dirt. If it doesn’t work, start over, and finish by giving the sole a nice polish.

On a chrome-finished soleplate, you could use a ceramic hob scraper along with the cleaner. Do not use this scraper if you have a ceramic base or any type of glide coating.

Note: It is important to avoid blocking the steam pores in the soleplate when using this technique. Be sure to clean the hole out thoroughly after use.

How to use newspaper to clean an iron soleplate

Cleaning a stuck iron is as easy as using some newspaper. You read that correctly; all you need is some salt and some newspaper to accomplish the trick. Put a newspaper on the ironing board and set your iron to its highest setting. You may get clean newspaper by sprinkling it with salt and then ironing it in circles. Instead of a newspaper, a brown paper bag will suffice in a pinch.

  • Prepare the iron on a moderate heat
  • To remove the grime and burn marks from the underside of your iron, iron over some fresh newspaper
  • Add some sea salt to the newspaper for a more effective cleaning agent. (Avoid doing this if the soleplate of your iron shoes is coated with Teflon.)

How Often Should You Clean Your Steam Iron?

steam iron with clean soleplate

A steam iron’s necessity for cleaning depends on how often you use it. Your steam appliance needs minimal seasonal cleaning. Every time you transition seasons – spring, summer, autumn, winter (or every quarter) it’s a good idea to clean your iron. Cleaning your iron may be necessary once a month if you use it every day and you’re noticing a buildup of marks or reduced glide.

If you look down at the soleplate of your steam iron and see a dull film accumulating, or there’s friction when ironing, it’s time to clean it.

Cleaning a soleplate, however, is not something you should do when you suddenly realise it’s covered in film in the middle of a pressing session. Cleaning the soleplate of iron requires that it first be unplugged, turned off, and allowed to cool completely – then work through the cleaning suggestions above.

If you try to immediately wipe off some melted plastic, it will just smear across the soleplate. With melted plastic or glue, it’s sometimes best to let the iron cool completely and pick the melted material off when it hardens, then clean the excess.

How to Avoid Burn Marks

Most of the time, you can get away with ironing synthetics like polyester and acrylic at lower temperatures than natural fibres like cotton. Melting the cloth onto the iron’s base is a real possibility when ironing synthetics at high temperatures.

Your iron is likely sticking to your clothing because the temperature is too high, which will result in burn marks. Always check the temperature setting against the type of fabric you’re ironing, as too high a temperature for the fabric being ironing is the most common reason for burn marks.

To avoid damaging whatever you’re ironing, always use the appropriate setting. For the proper temperature, please refer to your iron’s instructions.

Most irons heat up far more rapidly than they cool down. Ironing items that need the lowest temperature first allows me to securely increase the temperature when ironing cotton.

The iron’s smooth surface is essential for ironing clothes. If it isn’t functioning as expected, use this guide to get it back in shape.

Make sure there is no sticky buildup on the soleplate. Just like your tumble dryer filter catches tiny lint particles, so too does the base of your iron, and those tiny, almost invisible fibres will melt and gradually build up a coating of brown and black marks.

The only way to stop this build-up of burn marks is to clean the iron regularly. A simple wipe-down after every few ironing sessions will keep the lint at bay.