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How to clean steam iron sole plates

Updated February 21, 2017

Minerals, starch and fabric softener can build up on your steam iron sole plate over time. This residue can clog the steam holes, transfer to fabrics and burn onto your steam iron. A little extra effort is necessary to keep your steam iron working properly. Empty any water from the steam iron after each use to reduce mineral build-up and odours, and clean the sole plate after each use to remove residue.

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  1. Fill the reservoir with white vinegar and allow it to sit for five to 10 minutes.

  2. Turn the steam iron on the hottest setting. Press the sole plate down onto an old cloth and steam it until no vinegar remains in the tank.

  3. Fill the reservoir with water, and steam a second cloth until no water remains in the iron. Unplug the steam iron and allow it to cool.

  4. Dip a nonabrasive scouring pad in white vinegar, and scrub the sole plate thoroughly to remove any scorch marks or stains.

  5. Wipe the steam iron sole plate with a clean, damp cloth to rinse.

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Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • 2 or 3 cloths
  • Nonabrasive scouring pad

About the Author

Melissa Rae has been a writer since 2008, specializing in home-and-garden, business, technology and education topics. Rae holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Herzing University.

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