How Do I Clean the Gunk Off My Iron? Tips and Tricks.

Ironing clothes can be a relaxing task for some and a tedious chore for others, and it is important to have an efficient iron to get the job done. Over time, however, irons can accumulate gunk that may interfere with their functionality, and this can also stain your clothes. If you are wondering how to clean the gunk off your iron, this article provides tips and tricks that can help.

What Causes Gunk Build-up on Your Iron?

The accumulation of gunk on your iron can be caused by several factors. These include:

  • Using starch: Starch can build up on the iron surface over time and leave a layer of gunk.
  • Ironing synthetic fabrics: Synthetic fabrics tend to melt and stick to the iron, leading to build-up.
  • Mineral deposits: Minerals in tap water can accumulate on the iron’s surface.
  • Ironing dirt or debris: Ironing dirty clothes or materials can dirty the surface of the iron.

How to Clean the Gunk Off Your Iron

1. Use a Cleaning Solution

You can remove gunk from your iron by using a cleaning solution. There are several solutions available in the market that you can use to clean your iron. Some of them are:

  • Vinegar solution: Mix equal parts of vinegar and water, dip a cloth in the mixture, and scrub the iron surface gently to remove the gunk.
  • Baking soda solution: Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with water to form a paste, apply the paste to the surface of the iron, and gently wipe it off with a soft cloth.
  • Commercial cleaning solution: You can buy a commercial cleaning solution specifically designed for irons that will help remove the gunk.

2. Use Salt

If you have a steam iron, you can use salt to remove the gunk. This is how you can do it:

  1. Turn your iron on the steam setting.
  2. Spread a layer of salt on your ironing board.
  3. Iron the salt in a circular motion for a few minutes.
  4. Turn off the iron, wipe it with a moist cloth, and remove any remaining salt.

3. Use a Magic Eraser

You can use a Magic Eraser to remove gunk from your iron. Here’s how:

  1. Wet your Magic Eraser with water.
  2. Gently wipe the gunk from the surface of the iron with the Magic Eraser.
  3. Wipe the iron with a damp cloth and dry it with a towel.

4. Use Toothpaste

You can also use toothpaste to remove gunk from your iron. Here’s how:

  1. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the surface of the iron.
  2. Gently scrub the surface with a cloth.
  3. Rinse the iron with water and dry it with a towel.

Preventing Gunk Build-up on Your Iron

It is always better to prevent gunk from accumulating on your iron in the first place. Here are some tips to help prevent gunk build-up on your iron:

  • Use distilled water instead of tap water to prevent mineral build-up.
  • Iron your clothes on the appropriate temperature set for the fabric to prevent melting and sticking of synthetic fabrics.
  • Avoid using too much starch and ironing it on the surface of the iron.
  • Iron clean clothes and materials to prevent dirt and grime from sticking on the surface of the iron.


Cleaning the gunk off your iron is not a difficult task, and it is important to clean your iron regularly to prevent it from accumulating. Using the tips and tricks highlighted in this article, you can keep your iron clean and functioning properly for a long time.

Most Common Questions and Their Answers

  • Can you use a steel wool pad to clean the surface of an iron?
    No. Using a steel wool pad or other abrasive material can leave scratches on the surface of the iron and damage it.
  • Is it okay to use tap water in my iron?
    It depends. Using tap water may lead to mineral build-up on your iron’s surface, but some irons can handle it. Always check your iron’s user manual to see if it is safe to use tap water or stick to distilled water.
  • How often should I clean my iron?
    It depends. You should inspect your iron regularly and clean it when you notice gunk build-up, or when it is no longer functioning optimally.
  • Can I use acetone to clean gunk off my iron?
    No. Acetone is flammable and can damage your iron. Always use an appropriate cleaning solution or material.


Barnett, A. (2021, March 23). How to Clean An Iron. The Spruce.

How to Clean the Soleplate of a Non-Stick Iron. (2021, July 20). Dummies.

How to Clean an Iron: A Step-by-Step Guide. (2021, July 7). Clean and Tidy Living.

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