How Do I Clean Residue Off An Iron?

Residue buildup on fabrics can prevent an iron from moving smoothly over them, leading to lumpy seams as well as becoming a potential fire risk.

Utilize baking soda’s natural scouring power to clean stubborn gunk from your iron. This method works on practically every type of iron without needing store-bought cleaning products that may void warranties.


Irons leave behind residue, such as starch or minerals found in tap water, that clogs the steam holes and causes it to spray rusty or brown gunk onto clothing. Regular iron maintenance will help keep it running efficiently and smoothly.

If your iron has burnt spots, take Tylenol (or another acetaminophen tablet) and press it against them while still hot (be careful not to get burned!). This will cause plastic burnt to dissolve while dissolving stains that were previously present allowing you to wipe them away with damp cloth later.

Toothpaste can also be used to remove stains on an iron. Containing baking soda, it works best when applied directly onto its soleplate with damp cloth rubbing to effectively eliminate scorch marks and stains on metal surfaces.

These cleaning supplies can also help you tackle an iron’s reservoir, which is often the source of clogs and mineral buildup. To do this, empty the tank and fill it with vinegar; pour in some table salt; run your iron over this salt until all clumps have dissipated; rinse out and refill with distilled water – repeat this procedure at regular intervals as recommended for optimal results.

Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Iron residue buildup can wreak havoc with your iron’s effectiveness and even pose a fire hazard if left unchecked, but cleaning it off is easy with ingredients already available in your home. Begin with an unplugged, cool iron and wipe away any build-up around its steam holes using an eraser, toothpick, clean toothbrush or cotton swab; for stubborn stuck-on gunk you could soak the iron for 10 to 15 minutes in vinegar; a solution of equal parts vinegar and baking soda might work just as effectively –

If the stains or burn marks on your iron are minor, try using a Magic Eraser on it. For something more chemically-based, try acetone nail polish remover. Soak cotton balls or pads in it before applying it directly to the soleplate; once this has set in, it should break down gunk and leave behind an iron that looks brand new!

If your burnt mark won’t budge, try pressing an acetaminophen tablet (Tylenol is ideal) against it to break down and prevent further burns from using an iron. For optimal results use this technique outside or in an area with good ventilation; don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards!

Baking Soda

Iron gunk buildup can be more than just unsightly; it can lead to snagged clothing, inconsistent steam production and scorch marks on fabrics. Luckily, there are household products such as acetone or white vinegar available that can help clean an iron. They can remove stubborn residue from its soleplate.

Baking soda is another simple solution for cleaning an iron, as its alkaline properties dissolve organic substances that build up on it and get rid of gunk. Mix some tablespoons of baking soda with water to form a paste and apply to your iron – once gunk has been lifted from its plate simply wipe down with a damp cloth and dry before further use.

Toothpaste’s mild abrasive qualities can also work effectively to remove stubborn gunk from an iron. Use a nonscratch kitchen sponge or scrubber to apply toothpaste directly onto the iron, then wait a minute or so before wiping off with damp cloth.

Gunk can collect in the holes where steam emerges from an unplugged, cooled iron. If Tylenol doesn’t do the trick, try using cotton swabs or even rubbing a dryer sheet over the plate in an effort to dislodge any buildup and restore smooth operation of your iron.


An accumulation of residue from ironing clothes can wreak havoc with your iron, diminishing its efficiency, clogging steam vents and leaving scorch marks that stain fabrics. However, you can quickly and easily clean off this build-up using products likely found within your own home.

One of the best solutions for iron cleaning is vinegar solution. Used alone or combined with baking soda, you can quickly get rid of most residue. To properly clean an iron soleplate, mix table salt or baking soda with some distilled white vinegar to form a paste and apply to areas with heavy buildup on it. Wait several minutes, and then use non-metal brushes or kitchen sponges (make sure that they’re non-scratch) to scrub at these areas until ready for cleaning again with damp cloths.

Vinegar can be used to clean out the holes where steam exits your iron, while rubbing alcohol can be used to quickly get rid of gunky residue on it. Simply spread some on and let it set before rubbing off!

Tylenol or any brand of acetaminophen can also help remove burnt residue from an iron quickly and efficiently. Simply heat your iron, press one or more pills against any hot spots, and watch as the acetaminophen works its magic to dissolve burnt debris – then simply wipe away with a clean cloth!

Dryer Sheet

Iron residue build-up can be more than an aesthetic problem; it can also compromise steam production, cause fabric burn marks and stain fabrics. Luckily, many items you likely already possess in your home can help get rid of product residue and restore performance to what was once expected from it.

Before using any of these remedies, ensure your iron is completely unplugged and cool. Next, use a toothpick or clean toothbrush to clear any buildup from its steam holes; an alternative approach might include using a non-scratch household sponge or scrubber; but be wary not to scratch its metal plate accidentally!

Alternatively, a dryer sheet can help unclog an iron. Use an old, fresh sheet to wipe down its soleplate before wiping any remaining residue off with damp cloth.

This method is particularly beneficial if your iron has become fouled with carbon buildup that cannot be cleaned away with table salt and vinegar, or if neither ingredient is available to you.

Your other options for iron cleaning include taking Tylenol tablets of any brand to clean it, using cotton balls soaked with acetone nail polish remover to scrub the soleplate, then wiping clean with damp cloths after each pass. Be careful when doing any of these methods as they could scratch metal. It is wise to wear an oven mitt when handling an iron. Additionally, regularly cleaning it with distilled water will prevent mineral deposits from building up over time.


If your iron is dragging instead of gliding across fabric or there are rusty spots on its soleplate, it may be time for a good old-fashioned clean-up session. There are tried and true methods using everyday household products such as salt, paracetamol and vinegar that may work effectively in this regard.

One effective and straightforward method for eliminating iron scorch marks is using an acetaminophen tablet (Tylenol). The acetaminophen in Tylenol acts as an effective abrasive, effectively dislodging hardened gunk without scratching or damaging metal surfaces. Be sure to set your iron on high heat setting, rub on an acetaminophen tablet while it’s hot, and wipe clean with damp cloth afterward.

An effective yet straightforward method for cleaning an iron is to rub it with a dryer sheet soaked in vinegar, which will effectively eliminate sticky fabric softener residue as well as burnt-on gunk from previous ironing sessions.

When dealing with more serious problems like melting plastic or chewing gum, place the iron in a bowl filled with ice cubes to harden and scrape off with a blunt plastic knife. Salt is also an effective abrasive that can remove hard-to-remove gunk from a metal plate of an iron by scattering some on paper laid down on a surface area covered by salt; set your iron to high power setting and move the plate several times in different directions over it several times before scraping off.