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How to Remove Melted Fabric From the Bottom of a Steam Iron

Updated April 17, 2017

One of the drawbacks of synthetic fabrics is the havoc they can wreak on household appliances, especially the steam iron. Too often, irons are not at the proper heat level when used on synthetic fabrics. The result can be a gooey mess of melted fabric at the bottom of the iron. Should this happen, there are a few simple steps to follow to get the iron back to form and free of mess.

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  1. Keep the iron on after the melted fabric is discovered. Remove clothing from ironing board or ironing surface, and set the iron upright.

  2. Check the heat settings on the iron. If the iron is not at its highest heat level, adjust the level accordingly. Allow the iron to sit at the highest heat level for a minute or two.

  3. Put on a pair of protective gloves that will allow safe handling of the iron while it is still hot.

  4. Use newspaper. When the iron is thoroughly heated and the melted material is soft, run the iron across a sheet of newspaper. Continue running the iron across the newspaper until the melted material has vanished from the iron plate. Unplug the iron and clean the plate when the iron is warm. Vinegar and water can be used, or a specially formulated iron plate cleaner.

  5. Remove material with a scraping tool. While the iron is hot, gently scrape the melted material off of the iron. This can be done using a flat, smooth piece of wood, cardboard or a wooden spatula. With some synthetic fabrics, leftover residue can be removed using a small amount of nail polish remover. Once the residue is removed from the iron surface, wipe the area down with a damp cloth.

  6. Iron a cotton cloth. Once the iron is at its highest heat level, run the iron over a dry cotton cloth until the residue is removed from the iron's surface. Clean the surface with a damp cloth or iron cleaner once all of the residue has been removed.

  7. Tip

    Melted cloth should be taken care of as soon as it is discovered. If an iron cools down while the melted material is on it, the material will harden. Once the material is hardened, it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove.

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Things You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Newspaper
  • Clean cotton cloth
  • Wooden spatula or scraping device

About the Author

Heather Clark is a professional writer with a bachelor's degree in communications from Austin Peay State University, where she was a features writer for the "AllState" campus newspaper. In addition to being a contributor for various websites, she is also a full-time staff writer/photographer for the "Courier," the U.S. Army news publication for Fort Campbell, Ky.

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