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It is always good to clean the bottom of your iron at regular intervals to increase its efficiency and lifespan. Steam irons must be properly maintained. In order to avoid the iron dragging as you move it and to escape from the residue getting collected on the soleplate, you should keep cleaning the soleplate of the iron and the steam vents where residues tend to collect.
There are many simple ways to clean your iron by using household items which are always handy. These products are non-toxic in nature and will not damage your iron. Read on further to figure them out.
1. White Vinegar
White vinegar is a very good agent in removing scale that may have accumulated inside the iron. Pour white vinegar or equal parts of vinegar and water in the water reservoir of your iron until it is full up to one-third. Let it steam for about 5-10 minutes on medium-high heat setting to enable the vinegar to evaporate.
Later fill the chamber with plain water and again turn on the iron to help remove the traces of vinegar and remaining mineral deposits. Then simply wipe the bottom of the iron and the steam vents with a clean rag or a paper towel.
2. Baking Soda
Take 1 tablespoon of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix them together in a small bowl for the mixture to become a paste. Ensure that no water remains in it. With the help of a spatula spread the paste onto the iron and focus on areas with particularly sturdy build-ups. The steam vents should be coated as well. The paste should not be too thick, just lay it enough to evenly coat the soleplate.
After a while, wipe off the paste with a damp cloth until no paste remains and the grimy build-ups have been removed. You need to wipe the iron with a damp cloth several times as baking soda could leave a white residue on the bottom of your iron. Rinse the cloth between the wipes.
3. Common Salt
Common salt is very effective and helps in removing dirt and materials such as nylon or plastic. Place a lump of salt on top of a paper towel and run the iron while hot over it to remove dirt stains. The dirt gets attracted to salt which in turn leaves the iron clean. To get rid of plastic or nylon that sticks on the sole plate, simply put some salt over an aluminium foil and pass it through those bits of plastic to get the optimum results.
Keep rubbing the soleplate with white toothpaste until the dirt gets loosened. Then wipe it off with a dry cloth. In within minutes you can remove dirt and other material from your iron.
5. Dryer Sheets
Gently rub a few dryer sheets over the bottom of your iron. The setting of the iron should be turned on low at that time. Keep rubbing until you remove the accumulated dirt and grime. Towards the end again iron on a clean rag to remove any traces of residue from the dryer sheets.
6. Damp Cloth
Take a large rag and dip it in plain water. Wring out the excess water and wipe the iron's soleplate with this rag when it is slightly heated. This will help you to do away with the gunk from the soleplate. You can also you a small amount of mild detergent and a nylon mesh pad to eradicate resistant stains.
7. Vinegar And Salt
Take a 1:1 solution of vinegar and salt in a saucepan and mix it well. Heat the mixture of the pan on the stove and stir occasionally until the salt dissolves. Make sure that vinegar is not getting boiled. Remove the saucepan before the vinegar starts to boil.
Dip a clean rag in the heated vinegar-salt solution and wipe the bottom of your iron gently until it is clean. Scrub the steam vents as well to dislodge possible build-ups and wipe the outside of your iron down as well.
8. Plain Water
Fill the reservoir of your steam iron completely with plain water and turn it on. Keep it steaming until the reservoir is empty. This will simultaneously remove any remaining gunk in the steam vents. Wipe the soleplate with a dry cloth to clean off any remaining residue.