Often, if an item of clothing is not ironed well, it is not the fault of the hand of the person holding the iron but of its plates.
In order to have perfect ironing, it is necessary to carry out the correct maintenance of the iron.
The plates of the iron reach high temperatures, and contact with water and steam can cause deposits of limescale and dirt of various kinds.
Freshly washed clothes may contain traces of detergents and other washing chemicals that, in contact with the hot plate, create additional deposits.
In short, on the plates of the iron, you can deposit anything! That’s why it is important to clean it periodically so as to prevent dirt deposits from turning into millennial mineral deposits :).
Products for cleaning iron plates
Among the home remedies, those dedicated to cleaning the iron plates are really numerous.
We can say goodbye to the classic detergents, although there are many ad hoc products on the market.
Among the specific products for cleaning the plates there are stick whose use is very simple: just rub them on the plate to be cleaned and then remove the residue with a dry microfiber cloth.
The sticks give off a terrible smell of ammonia that is not only unpleasant but inhalation is not even safe for our health.
To clean the plates of the iron you can use the classic dish detergent or, again, there are specific wipes for cleaning the plate.
They are difficult to find on the market, even these are easy to use: you wet, form a light foam, you pass on the iron and pull away the dirt.
These wipes should be used after every use of the iron so that the plates are always shiny and clean.
The Wipes Clean Iron Impregnated is offered on Amazon at a reasonable with free shipping.
Also, on the market, you can find an interesting Paste to Clean Iron Plate and Remove Burns.
Among all the products for cleaning the plate, it is the most suitable. It is non-toxic and at least does not harm your health.
How To Clean The Plates Of The Iron, DIY remedies
The products on the market are just one of the possibilities we have. One of the most popular home remedies for cleaning iron plates is vinegar.
How to proceed?
Heat a cup of white vinegar, when it is hot add a level tablespoon of table salt, stir and let it dissolve.
Use this solution to rub with a rough sponge on the plates. Dry with a soft cloth. Caution.
Use a rough sponge but not abrasive!
One of the old days remedies to clean iron plates is to soak a cork in warm vinegar and then rub the cork on the cold plate.
More and more often, people avoid ironing clothes, and tend to use the iron only for certain items for which it is unavoidable, such as shirts and work uniforms.
Whether you use it very little or if you use it almost daily, it is good to know that good maintenance is essential for the proper functioning of the tool; in particular, it is important to clean the plate of the iron, the part that comes into contact with our clothes during ironing.
Let’s see how to clean the iron and why it is important to do it regularly.
Why clean the iron?
Good routine maintenance is the basis for the proper functioning of almost all household appliances that we use with a certain frequency.
In the case of the iron, the tank and the metal plate that physically “irons” our fabrics must be cleaned on a regular basis. Regardless of the model of iron you are using.
The soleplate is – of all the components of the iron – the one that most easily gets dirty, and the one that most frequently causes damage to the clothes we are ironing due to poor maintenance.
Whether it is made of steel, Teflon, ceramic or aluminum, the soleplate should certainly not be neglected.
Whenever we find ourselves ironing plastic inserts, glitter, or prints on our clothes, it is possible for stains, burns, and sediment of sticky or burnt matter to accumulate on our iron.
Using hard, non-distilled water also increases the chances that the base of our iron will be scale encrusted or burned.
The residue that remains under the iron can become extremely harmful: with heat, in fact, all the dirt accumulated under an iron encrusted or burned can be transferred back to the freshly washed fabric that we are going to iron.
If the iron does not slide well on the fabric, or worse, leaves halos or streaks in its passage, it is absolutely necessary to proceed with the cleaning of the plate.
Fortunately, this is a rather simple and quick process, for which there are many inexpensive natural remedies.
How to clean the iron, then? Let’s see in a few steps what are the most popular methods to get a perfect result.
Vinegar a great ally for household cleaning
The qualities of white wine vinegar have been known since ancient times.
In particular when it comes to cleaning, in the kitchen as well as in the washing machine, used to remove encrustations as well as to polish steel or metal surfaces, vinegar proves to be one of the most precious allies for house cleaning.
If the underside of your iron is not made of steel, but of Teflon or ceramic, vinegar will still serve its purpose very well, as long as you do not use tools that can scratch the surfaces.
So let’s see how to clean your iron using vinegar:
Vinegar and salt solution: heat a little white wine vinegar in a small saucepan, and once the fire is turned off, add coarse salt.
This will dissolve, creating an optimal solution for the elimination of burns.
How to use the solution? Once lukewarm, just pass it on the cold surface of the iron using a damp cloth, even rough.
Cork: if you want to opt for an extremely quick solution, you can use vinegar in purity.
Just dip a cork in vinegar and pass it on the surface to be treated; better if hot.
Not too effective on stubborn stains or on a burnt or particularly encrusted surface. This technique is however excellent for polishing and sanitizing the plate.
Whatever method you prefer to use, it is good to never forget a fundamental step: after treating the surface with the product of your choice, you must turn on the iron, fill the tank with water, or even vinegar if the limestone is resistant, and let it “vent” on a discarded cloth.
In doing so, the impurities remaining in the holes of the plate will be transferred to the cloth and thus eliminated.
Last step, when cleaning the iron, is to pass a dry cotton swab over all the holes, so as to remove even the smallest residues.
Other natural methods to clean the iron soleplate
We have seen how to clean the plate of the iron with two of the most popular natural products, in terms of household chores, such as vinegar and baking soda.
But there are solutions if we want to be more imaginative, as far as the maintenance of our iron.
Candle wax seems to have proved to be an excellent solution for cleaning the underside of the iron, particularly in the absence of particularly stubborn stains and burns.
Simply drip hot wax from a lit candle onto the cold surface of the iron, wait for it to dry and remove it with paper.
Obviously, do not use spatulas, metal objects or points, not to risk scratching the surface that will come into contact with our favorite clothes.
Toothpaste is another commonly used product that can be used for the same purpose: the amount of a coin, rubbed with a cloth on the plate of the iron, can remove even the most stubborn residues from the surface.
Pay attention to the steam outlet holes, which must be cleaned thoroughly with a cotton swab, and rinse them thoroughly.
Even dish soap seems to be a good alternative to the use of more aggressive products such as specific detergents for irons, which are generally corrosive.
It is obviously important to use a much more diluted solution than the one we use to wash dishes, or we risk finding ourselves submerged by soap bubbles at the first occasion!
As for the procedures already described, it is sufficient to rub the solution with a rough sponge – as long as it is not metallic – on the parts to be cleaned and then proceed with rinsing using the usual soft, damp cloth.
The fine salt can instead be used to make a sort of scrub treatment to the metal surfaces of the iron.
This is useful in particular in the case of residues of burned fabric: collect a little with the help of a damp sponge and pass it so dry, on the surface.
It will not even be necessary to rinse.