How to Remove Residue From the Bottom of a Steam Iron

Updated November 21, 2016

The bottom of a steam iron may eventually develop residue over time after using products such as starch, or from placing a hot iron on delicate fabrics, which causes fabric to stick to the bottom of the iron. This residue can transfer onto clothing items, causing stains or discolouration. However, cleaning the residue from the bottom of the iron will help protect the iron and clothes and extend the life of the iron.

Lightly dampen a stain cleaning sponge and use it to scrub the bottom of the iron. One brand of stain cleaning sponge is the Magic Clean Eraser and can be purchased at most grocery stores or drugstores.

Mix together 1 tbsp baking soda and ½ cup water, creating a thick paste.

Apply a light layer of the paste to the iron, avoiding the steam holes on the bottom of the iron to avoid plugging the holes. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Use a clean sponge to wipe away the baking soda paste. Dampen a new sponge with clean water and wipe away any remaining residue on the bottom of the iron.

If residue remains on the bottom of the iron, heat ¼ cup vinegar and ¼ cup salt in a small saucepan. Use a clean cloth to rub the mixture onto the bottom of the iron, avoiding the steam holes. Wipe away the mixture with a clean, damp cloth.

Wipe the bottom of the iron with a clean, dry cloth. Wait for the iron to completely dry before using.

Things You'll Need

  • Stain erasing sponge
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Clean cloth(s)
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About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.