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Removing build up on a hand iron.

Jr._Pastore | Posted in The Archives on

Starch and other minerals continuously build up on the bottom of the iron. The iron then sticks to the fabric and doesn’t slide. How is the build up removed. I’ve tried petroleum distillates, light sandpaper, and solvents, but nothing works satisfactorily. Any suggestions??


  1. Sarah_Kayla | | #1

    Dear Philip -

    I have used lots of the goopy solutions that are supposed to remove starch & interfacing buildup. My current favorite method is to scrub the bottom of my iron with a wet Brillo pad with most of the soap squeezed out of it. After you use the soap pad you have to wipe the iron off pretty well so that no soap remains.


    1. Jr._Pastore | | #2

      *Sarah,Thank you for the suggestion. My wife has also used various "hot applied" remedies which don't work. We'll try yours.Phil

      1. Jillian | | #3

        *I have tried all the different cleaning products myself, but do not need any of them any more. Instead, I use a TEFLON SOLE PLATE, also called an 'iron shoe', on my iron at all times. I love it. I never get a build up. It helps to stop iron shine. And the iron WILL NOT stick to fusiables. I got my teflon sole plate from ATS at 1-800-847-1001 for my gravity-fed steam iron, but they are also available at local fabric stores for domestic irons but are not as good.

        1. Jr._Pastore | | #4

          *Jillian,Excellent suggestion. We will check it out. Many thanks.

          1. Karinds | | #5

            *Try running your warm iron over a candle and iron it onto a cloth. Do this a few times. Or try rubbing the plate with parrafin oil or wax.

          2. Jr._Pastore | | #6

            *Thanks, Karinds. I remember when my mother did this with the iron that weighed 10 lbs half a century ago. Must still work!!

          3. Louise_Partington | | #7

            *I am not sure this message is being posted to the correct location, but here goes. I am looking for information about electric irons. I have been using a Rowenta for a number of years, but the cord got very hot, infact it burned my fingers. I am now in the market for a new iron. I would like input as to the various brands and what the users would recommend. I use an iron for my personal ironing and quilting. I like a steam iron but not the models with the large separate water tanks. I appreciate any input. Thanks Lou [email protected]

          4. Lucky_Weddigen | | #8

            *I have used damp very fine steel wool (like the sapless Brillo pad suggestion) with success. Somewhere I read about using toothpaste on a warm iron, tried it and it worked. Use an old toothbrush or vegetable brush to scrub the sole plate with a squirt of toothpaste. Iron it off on a damp terry towel. Take care to make sure there is no residue left in the steam holes.

          5. Sarah_Kayla | | #9

            *I guess that all of these solutions break down into three catagories. the first is the "barrier method' that the teflon provides that keeps gunk from building up in the first place. Catagory 2 is lubricants which includes candlewax, and the hot apply stuff. catagory three is abrasives, brillo pads, paper over sand paper, toothpaste etc.i'm constantly amazed at what will work. I love having lots of tools available to solve problems.As for an iron, my favorite iron was a $35 Black & decker that my mother bought me in 1982 when I moved into my first apartment. I loved it. It fell on the floor too many times (don't ask!) and finally gave up the ghost a couple of years ago. I decided to move up in the world and bought myself a Braun Saphirjet, for more than $100,it looks much prettier than my B&D but actually is not as good a machine. The current crop of B&D's or at least the ones carried in my neighborhood didn't feel as good as my old buddy - they didn't have the same heft. I put up with my fancy iron but I don't love it.

          6. Jr._Pastore | | #10

            *Sarah,I tried alot of the wonderful suggestions, but was not pleased that the problem was solved. The solutions worked for a short period only. I then went out and bought a new one, and held on to the other in case a real winner solution surfaces. Our problem is that we spend alot of time at a second residence location which has a very corrosive environment. Everything rusts here, including stainless steel ( up. That's right!! ), so the polished bottom of the iron gets it's share of corrosion. Probably, the Talon coating would work the best.Thank you for your advice.

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