The Things We've Forgotten [To Clean] PT 4: The Iron

Look how shiny and clean!

It's amazing how a little bit of sunshine motivates.  The second the days start to get longer and the sun starts to take on a rosier glow, people start thinking about polishing up the caves they've been hibernating in for the past three months.  It's a lovely time of hope, expectation and window cleaner.  

But all that cleaning CAN be overwhelming. Especially if you want to do a deep, deep clean (and if you have, you know, a life). 

So while we make plans for that all-inclusive spring cleaning spree, lighten the load by picking one overlooked item a day to knock off your list. 

Overlooked Item of the Day: 

The Iron 
Dirty and Old!

Let's be honest. Has it EVER crossed your mind to clean your iron? Yeah, me neither.  But the other day as I was pressing some clothes, I noticed how grungy the plate looked.  And by "I noticed" I mean, when the iron left some brown marks on my white shirt, I hopped around like a troll, said a few creative expletives and stopped short of chucking the thing out the window. It occurred to me that, perhaps the fact that the iron's plate is dingy is not, in actuality, the iron's fault.  And perhaps I should pay attention to cleaning it once in every, oh, ten years or so. 

Below, the easy-peasy way to polish up your iron and keep it in non-tantrum-inducing shape.

Tools Needed: 

2 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Water
Clean Cloth 
Q Tips
White Vinegar (I know; you're shocked. I'm considering subtitling my blog "an ode to white vinegar.")

Okay, Let's Do This. 

1.  Unplug your iron. (I'm hoping this would be obvious, but you never know...)

2.  In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and water til it forms a thick paste. 

3.  Slather that gorgeous paste onto the face plate of your iron.

4.  Go watch cat videos on Youtube for 45 minutes (Please. You've gone longer.)

5.  After 45 minutes, use a clean cloth to wipe the paste from the iron.  Any small marks that remain should come off with a little polishing.

6.  After the majority of the paste is gone (there will still be some in the steam vents on the plate), dip your cloth in white vinegar (you can also use a clean paper towel).  Lay flat, and then "iron" (WITHOUT PLUGGING IN OR TURNING ON!) the rag or papertowel.  Any remaining paste should dissolve. If any still remains in the holes, dip a small Q Tip in the vinegar and then into the remaining paste.

Now on to the inside...  (Upkeep will make it last longer...)

7.  Fill your reservoir with 50% water and 50% white vinegar.

8.  Plug iron in, and turn to "Steam" setting.  Iron a clean thick fabric (I recommend something that doesn't matter too much like an old towel) for 3-5 minutes.

9.  Turn iron back off, unplug, and allow to cool.  Once cool, dump remaining solution out and refill with water.

10.  Turn iron back on to steam fabric an additional 2 minutes or until any vinegar smell is gone.  Turn off.

11.  Give the outside a quick wipe down, and you're done!  Now back to ignoring it for the next decade! :-)

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