How to clean an iron with salt, toothpaste, paracetamol and more – plus other iron-cleaning tips

Tick the boxes for gliding and gleaming with these top tips

Ironing piles can seem never-ending. And with shirts to press, bedding to get back into shape and smalls to smooth out, it’s no wonder our irons can occasionally look the worse for wear.

Related: Best steam irons – the top models to make ironing fast and easy

But before burnt on marks and sticky plates have you frantically googling in search of a new model, why not try giving your iron a good clean instead? You’ll be surprised at the shine you can achieve with the help of a little elbow grease and some low-cost cleaning products.

Ways to clean an iron

how to clean an iron

Image credit: Tim Young

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to clean an iron and you won’t be fail to be dazzled by the results. Before you get started ensure that your iron is turned off, unplugged, the water tank is empty and that the iron soleplate is cool.

1. How to clean a sticky iron

Limescale and mineral deposits can build up on iron soleplates, which can transfer to freshly laundered clothes leaving unsightly marks. If your iron plates have become sticky as a result of various residues first check if your iron has a self-clean feature and activate that. If that still doesn’t shift stains on your iron soleplate, try one of the cleaning methods below.

2. How to clean an iron with salt

Lay down a sheet of waxy paper – baking paper should work well – and sprinkle salt generously all over it. Set your iron to warm and glide it over the paper several times in a number of different directions before shaking off the excess salt. You should be rewarded with a gleaming iron soleplate.

3. How to clean an iron with toothpaste

Forget cleaning your teeth, toothpaste is the all-in-one wonder cleaner for the home that will set you back less than a pound. When it comes to using it on your iron, all you need to do is:

  • Smear a small amount of white toothpaste on any affected areas of your iron soleplate.
  • Leave it for a minute then use a clean cloth to wipe the toothpaste away.
  • To finish things off, fill up your iron’s water tank, pop your iron on an old towel or similar, set it to steam, leaving it for a few minutes to work through.

how to clean an iron

Related: How to clean an oven and hob – including the oven rack and glass door

4. How to clean an iron with paracetamol

Is your grimy iron soleplate giving you headache? Then why not reach for a paracetamol. But rather than downing a tablet with water, you can actually smooth over your iron to bring back that all important shine. This viral cleaning hack continues to take the internet by storm and is surprisingly easy to follow.

  • Set your iron soleplate onto its maximum heat setting and rub a paracetamol tablet over it using tweezers.
  • You can repeat this process with another tablet if black marks are proving stubborn before wiping away with a clean cloth.
  • Then turn your iron off. Take extra care to ensure you don’t get burnt.

Iron cleaner – do I need to use one?

While using an iron cleaner isn’t strictly necessary, you may want to opt for one if don’t want to rifle around in your cupboards for the products above. Among the iron cleaners that have proved a hit on Instagram include Fautless’ Hot Iron Soleplate Cleaner Cream. You can snap up this hardworking product for just £4.99 from Lakeland, where it has garnered an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Buy now: Fautless’ Hot Iron Soleplate Cleaner Cream, £4.99, Lakeland

Are you ready to get cleaning?

Ideal Home newsletter

All the latest from Ideal Home