Yesterday I wrote about my little fiasco with a curtain panel and my iron.
The polyester curtain panel left behind a sort of plastic-y residue on the iron that wouldn’t come off. In addition to the plastic, the iron has long been stained by, well, who knows what.
It was definitely time for a cleaning to see if I could salvage this iron. I turned to two sources for ideas: 1) this post from howtocleanstuff.net, and 2) a little book I have from Consumer Reports entitled, How to Clean Practically Anything. Both sources had instructions on how to clean the iron’s water reservoir as well as how to clean the sole plate. No to the former, yes to the latter, please. I had two separate problems with the iron’s sole plate. First, it was badly stained, and second, it had that plastic residue from the curtain that wouldn’t come off.
Here are the various methods I tried. And, of course, don’t try any of these methods while your iron is plugged in and/or hot (well, except for the second method, but I’ll get to that shortly).
1. Make a baking soda and liquid soap paste and rub it on with a damp cloth then wipe clean:
Result: It seemed to do nothing at all for removing either the stains or the plastic. This method was actually my own invention. Two separate tips for cleaning an iron said to use a baking soda paste and to use warm soapy water, so I thought it might work to combine the two. Guess I was wrong.
Then it occurred to me that maybe I should attempt to remove the plastic first before continuing to tackle the stains. To remove plastic:
2. Turn on iron and set at its hottest no steam setting. Pour salt onto aluminum foil and iron.
Result: This one was interesting. I expected the plastic to come off immediately. It didn’t. I turned off the iron and went away, defeated. When I came back after the iron cooled, I noticed that the plastic could be sort of peeled off with my fingernail. Alas, while a lot of the plastic came off, some of it remained. I repeated the salt on aluminum foil method, but couldn’t get the last bits of plastic off:
So, I turned back to trying to get rid of the stain and hoped that the plastic would work itself off while I was trying to rub away the stain.
3. Dissolve salt in a small amount of warm water and add white vinegar. Rub solution onto sole plate.
Result: I don’t think this one is even worth the photo I took. The solution did nothing for either the stain or the plastic. On to the next, and possibly strangest, method.
4. Rub toothpaste on sole plate and wipe off.
(Yes, that’s Charlie in the background of that photo pouring salt onto the floor for fun. See what happens when I get a little distracted?)
Result: I think the toothpaste actually helped a little, but only a little. The stain seemed to lighten slightly, but the remains of the plastic stayed firmly rooted to the sole plate.
And with that, I gave up. Was this iron even still usable? I did a test run on the curtain panel I’d ruined. The little remaining bits of plastic caught on the fabric and started to pull at the threads. Uh oh. But I still had to iron the replacement curtain panel before I could hang it. So I grabbed a dish towel and put it over the curtain panel and ironed it that way. It worked beautifully. And now I’m torn. I rarely iron. This one is still usable as long as I use the dish cloth. Do I replace this iron or not?