Saturday, September 11, 2010

My shiny happy iron

Do you know how sometimes seeing someone else's house makes you realize how utterly disgustingly messy your own house is? I had a similar thing happen with my iron.

It started by reading this post at Crafty Gemini, where Vanessa tells how she used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to clean the soleplate of her iron. Up until then, cleaning the sole plate was one of those "extras" - you know, like changing the oil in your crappy car when you're in college. Things you figure people who really baby their car do, but you don't baby your car so you don't do it.

Enough about the crappy Datsun 210. We're talking about my iron. I read Vanessa's post and I realized how yucky the bottom of my own iron was. Not just discolored and with bits of old burned on starch, but NASTY. Like, areas of black gunk all burned on.

What was I waiting for? I needed to clean it. NOW. And it needed to look all shiny and happy just like Vanessa's iron.

So I dug around under the kitchen sink and found the remnants of some old, pitiful, thrice used Magic Eraser and get to it. It got off a lot of ugliness, given how little life it had left in it. But the burned on gunky stuff was still there.

And so I broke out the Dritz iron-on cleaner. I squeezed some out and wiped and wiped, and squeezed out more and wiped and wiped. It got it a little bit cleaner, I suppose, but the smoke was starting to hang thick in the studio and I was afraid I'd set off the smoke alarms if I did it any more.

And so I hit the Google - "how to clean an iron" - and came up with a couple of tips. One said to wipe the (unheated) plate with vinegar. It did nothing. Nada. It was like wiping it with water. The stubborn burnt stuff remained. The next tip said that if the stains were "stubborn", to mix warm vinegar with salt before wiping it on the soleplate. Did that, and it achieved absolutely nothing. The gunky stuff was still there.

And then, I came across a how-to at Real Simple telling to make a paste with baking soda and water and wipe that on the unheated sole plate. This, my friends, was the magic bullet. I got a lot off with a simple wipe across the soleplate, but the more stubborn of the stubborn stains required some scrubbing. Like, an HOUR of scrubbing. Scrubbing and wiping and scrubbing and wiping and "man, my arm is sore". At the end, I got every bit of it off and my iron is the shiny happy piece of equipment you see here. YAY!!!



elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

Alright . . . I was perfectly oblivious to the brown, rusty gunk on the bottom of my iron, and now iron envy has set in. I feel a compulsion to clean it. Thanks alot. ;)

Tiffany said...

I have a nice iron only because my husband insisted that we didn't cheap out on the $15 Walmarto version, and admittedly it has lasted longer and done a much better job. :) Bar Keepers Friend might work if it was a stainless steel sole plate. That stuff is magic.

Crafty Gemini said...

Glad you were able to get all clean! Thanks for giving my tip a shout out! :o)

Lisa said...

OMG, thank you for this! My husband was about ready to kill me for getting gunk all over our fancy iron from my crazy craft projects! Now we'll be able to clean it! Thank you! : )