Things You'll Need
To keep your iron from spotting material when you iron, always empty the water reservoir after ironing and fill with clean water each time you use your iron. To clean the reservoir, try a solution of white vinegar and water. Fill the reservoir and set the iron to the steam setting. Using a scrap piece of material, hold the iron above the cloth and press for a burst of steam. This will clean the steam holes. Empty most of the water from the reservoir and continue to emit bursts of steam. Any residue will spit onto the scrap material leaving your iron clean and ready to use. Repeat if necessary.
Whether you use your iron on a regular basis to iron your work clothes or you use it for craft projects and touch-ups, melting a piece of plastic on your iron is inevitable. With the slightest touch, plastic will adhere to the surface of the iron leaving a gooey mass of stuck on residue. There is no need to throw out your iron, melted plastic can be removed and your iron will be as good as new, again.
Set the iron on warm and let the iron heat up so that the plastic on the ironing plate is soft and gooey. Use a plastic spatula to scrape the residue off the iron. Use tweezers to tease the bits of plastic from the holes. Finish by ironing on a scrap of fabric to remove any remaining plastic.
Sprinkle salt on an old towel and iron with a warm iron to remove plastic residue. Run the iron over a scrap piece of fabric to clean.
Fill a shallow pan with ice water. Hold the bottom of the iron in ice water until the plastic freezes. Remove with a plastic spatula or other nonabrasive tool.
Use a fabric softener dryer sheet to clean your iron. Either moisten the fabric softener sheet and scrub the bottom of a the warm iron or place a damp washcloth on the ironing board and lay the dryer sheet on top of the wash cloth. Iron with a warm iron to remove stuck on plastic or other residue.
Keep your iron smooth and clean by ironing on a sheet of waxed paper and then running it over scrap material. Do this each time you iron to keep the surface free of sticky residue and built up starch. Keep a piece of waxed paper near your ironing area so you won't be tempted to skip this step.
Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.