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Iron Rescue

Old 03-01-2017, 11:43 AM
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Default Iron Rescue

I know there have been numerous articles on how to clean your iron and I tried them all! Here is the story:

I burned some fabric onto the teflon sole plate...yep I did. After I got done saying a few choice words and feeling like an idiot, I scrapped it off and thought I had the plate clean....hah, fooled me! After ironing some fabric with Best Press, I noticed some black marks on my fabric. You guessed it...the starch had burned on the spot I had melted the fabric on. So started the "how to clean your iron" information search.

I tried the plastic scrubby with salt, I tried the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and the ironing on salted newspaper and even toothpaste as well as goof off.. Interesting enough, all they did was make a bigger burned on mess. By now I had a tennis ball size mess and the steam vents were all looking black and plugged up. Yikes!

Then I found an article that actually worked! I found a shallow pan, added enough water to cover the sole plate and a hefty dose of Dawn dish soap. I let it soak the suggested 20 minutes and saw gunk in the water...there was hope! I took a plastic spoon (no sharp edges) and scrapped the black mess and some actually came off. Back to the soak cycle....this time overnight because I forgot it. Wow! A ton of black stuff came off, more scraping, another day of soaking. I used the handle of the spoon to swizzle around the holes and they came clean! I never changed the water.

All in all, 3 days of soaking with about 10 minutes of scraping each time with a little rinse under the faucet and my iron looks and irons like new. I should say, I did let it dry out for about 5 days before I tried it out....I wanted to make sure that any migrating water had a chance to dry out.

If you have an iron you love and are a cheapskate like me, it is well worth the effort to try this method before chucking your iron. Hope this helps someone out.

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Old 03-01-2017, 11:51 AM
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Marilyn, thanks for the tip. My iron is in the same shape that yours was and I have tried just about everything to get it clean.
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:51 AM
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Thanks for sharing. I feel that it is not a matter of being a cheapskate... it is simply saving the iron from going to the landfill.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:18 PM
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saving the iron from going to the landfill
But where else would a bad iron go? They aren't recyclable, at least not in my town.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:19 PM
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Thank goodness we have a 'hazardous waste' day almost every month. Electronics, used oil, paint, poisonous or corrosive products can be dropped off at no cost.

Thanks for the info about good ole Dawn. I think the company should start advertising that Dawn is Not Just for Dishes!!
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:27 PM
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I have cleaned mine w/dryer sheets very successfully. Just set the iron on low and iron over the dryer sheet till the gunk comes off.

Glad to know about the Dawn trick too though, and glad your iron is clean again.
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:03 AM
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Another amazing reason to keep Dawn dish soap around the house. Is there anything it won't work on???
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:16 AM
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Default Another iron cleaning tip

I'm in the UK so can't buy Dawn here but I find a paracetamol tablet works - yes, really.
See the details here
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:18 AM
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I have also had good luck with a magic eraser (Mr. Clean makes one brand but there are others). I will say however my iron does not have a teflon sole plate so I can't attest to how well it would work or damage the teflon.

I made the mistake once of turning my new iron on before I had taken off the thin plastic sheet that protects the sole plate. Yikes!!! An internet search ensued and it said to get melted plastic off to put your iron in the freezer to harden the plastic and then it chips off. I had a full freezer so I sat it on a tray of ice cubes. It worked! I was able to chip almost all of the plastic off and the rest came off with the magic eraser. The dumb things we do sometimes....
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:44 AM
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Have you used a used dryer sheet to clean the iron? They are amazing. Heat your iron, not too hot then turn off and while still warm used one or two waded up USED dryer sheets. It is unbelievable how easy it is to clean an iron using them. If it all doesn't come off first time around, heat the iron again and repeat process.

I had read this and wondered about it. Of course the first time I did I used a new dryer sheet. Not a good idea because it left it with a greasy film.

At a quilt retreat the facility's iron was bad. I had taken some used dryer sheets and it cleaned up first try...it was much appreciated by all of us!
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