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Cleaning an Iron

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2008

There are many things that cause buildup on irons: dust in the air, detergent, starch, fabric softener -- and if the iron is too hot, the clothing fibers can get stuck on the soleplate. When there is a lot of buildup, it will actually cause the iron to drag -- that's when you know it's time for a cleaning.

Cleaning an Iron's Soleplate How-To
1. First, make sure that the iron has no water in it. Then, wipe down the soleplate with a damp rag. Set the iron to the highest cotton setting.

2. Squeeze about 2 inches of hot iron cleaner onto a terry-cloth towel. Run the hot iron over the towel and cleaner in a circular motion. Don't worry if you see smoke -- it's normal.

3. Lift off the iron and rub soleplate onto another clean terry-cloth rag to remove the cleaner residue. If the cleaner residue lingers in steam holes, repeat the process.

4. After cleaning, steam over an old cloth to ensure all the cleaner is removed from the vents before ironing again.

Resources
Martha used a cleaning kit and iron from Rowenta, which were sent as gifts to our viewer mail participant. For more tips on ironing, check out Martha's guide to ironing a shirt.

Comments (6)

  • 25 Sep, 2008

    I love Rowenta. I bought my several years ago after being disappointed with other brands. I would never use anything else. I use the hot iron cleaner for my sole plate as mine is steel. You can purchase it at a place like Bed Bath and Beyond. This is a really great idea and makes life a lot easier.

  • 3 Jul, 2008

    I have been trying to find a good iron - do y'all use a Rowenta - what do you recommend? Also, I want to find a good ironing board - everything is so flimsy - help. Thank you.

  • 3 Jul, 2008

    I have been trying to find a good iron - do y'all use a Rowenta - what do you recommend? Also, I want to find a good ironing board - everything is so flimsy - help. Thank you.

  • 30 Apr, 2008

    The Rowenta iron cleaner is listed on Amazon.com. It looks like you can also Rowenta iron cleaner is on Amazon.com and you can purchase it at some True Value stores. For a soleplate that isn't nonstick you can use rubbing alcohol on a dampened cloth. You can use pipe cleaners to clean out the holes. Some books recommend using extra fine steel wool but I haven't needed to do that.

  • 20 Apr, 2008

    if you click on the word cleaning kit above, it takes you to the Rowenta page where you can buy the tube.

    Now does anyone have a home remedy as I can't get this product or anything like it where I live and my iron needs hel desperatele too?

    Thanks!

  • 19 Apr, 2008

    She never says the name of the cleaner and I can't find it.
    My iron needs help!!!
    can you tell me what it is and where to get it?????
    strawberrym7@yahoo.com