How to Clean the Sole Plate of Steam Iron

How to Clean the Sole Plate of Steam Iron

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To increase the efficiency and lifespan of steam irons, they must be properly maintained. This involves handling them with care as occasional dropping can crack the sole plate or damage the water tank . One of the most important tasks in the maintenance of a steam iron is cleaning the sole plate. Many people ignore this exercise and wait until the iron malfunctions or when the iron damages a cloth.

Cleaning the sole plate should be done regularly because it is easy for an iron to accumulate dirt and other materials. These include grease,grime, dust, pieces of burnt cloth etc. It is also common for scale to build up inside the iron especially when hard water is used in the tank. Scale can block the steam holes leading to ineffectiveness and high power consumption.

There are many solutions when it comes to cleaning the sole plate of a steam iron. Other than commercial cleaners that are easily available,there are many natural, safe and cheap methods that are very effective in cleaning and removing stains on the sole plate.

These methods often involve the use of common household agents that are nontoxic and cannot damage your iron. Some of the most common methods involve use of the following agents:

1. Using white vinegar

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This is effective in removing scale that may have accumulated inside the iron.


On medium heat, evaporate a mixture of white vinegar and water in equal parts in the iron?s water tank when it?s about a third full. It should evaporate in less than 10 minutes. Rid the tank off the vinegar and unremoved scale by filling the tank again with clean water and allow to evaporate. When done, wipe the sole plate with a paper towel and don?t forget the steam vents.

2. Use of baking soda

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Baking soda is effective in removing rust and stain on the iron?s sole plate.


Add two teaspoons of baking soda on a wet cloth and rub the sole plate repeatedly. Wipe off with a cloth or paper towel.

3. Use of toothpaste.

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To remove dirt and other material, rub the sole plate with white toothpaste until the dirt loosens and wipe it off with a dry cloth.

4. Use of common salt.

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Common salt is effective in removal of dirt and materials such as nylon or plastic.


To remove dirt stains, run the iron while hot over a lump of salt on top of a paper towel. The salt attracts the dirt leaving the iron clean. When plastic or nylon sticks on the sole plate, it can be tricky to deal with. Put salt over an aluminium foil and pass it through those bits of plastic.

Other methods:

1. Use of dryer sheets.

Use a few dryer sheets to rub the sole plate of the iron when on low heat. You will find that grime and dirt come off easily.

2. Wiping with a damp cloth and dish washing detergent.

A simple wipe on the bottom of the iron can easily remove dust and other accumulated dirt. Be keen to clean the steam vents to unclog them for efficiency.

3. Utilizing the self-clean function.

Some steam irons come with a self-cleaning option. Hold the iron in the bathroom or sink and hold the self-clean button for about a minute. Once done, drain the water and wipe dry with a cloth.

Do?s and Don?ts:

1. Do not use a steel wool or scouring pad as these can scratch the sole plate.

2. Avoid abrasive cleaners whether in the forms of cream or paste or sand paper.

3. Do not store the iron for long periods with water in the tank. It is recommended to empty the tank after each use.

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