The iron remains to be an important appliance in the house. Even though most clothes nowadays are made for wash-and-wear, it is still important to wear garments that are well pressed, or at least wrinkle free, to make a good first impression. Taking these few simple steps will help keep your iron safe and in top working condition for a very long time.
- Check the manufacturer’s manual. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before using your clothes iron. The manual will give you the appropriate cleaning and maintenance instructions for your appliance. Store the manual together with your iron’s original sales receipt in a safe place. This will come in handy when you encounter problems and your iron is still under warranty.
- Use the correct kind of water. Some clothes iron features anti-calcium filter that helps prevent mineral build up. If your iron doesn’t have a filter, it is best to use distilled or de-ionized water for ironing. Always check its manual before using any kind of water in your iron.
- Clear the vents. If you notice that you are getting less steam from your iron, this could be because something is clogging the steam ducts. Before unclogging the small holes, make sure to turn off and unplug your iron. Get the dirt out by inserting a cotton swab or pipe cleaner through the holes and pushing the dirt and lint into the water reservoir. Once you are done, rinse the reservoir with water and then drain it. Do not use wires or any sharp tools to avoid scratching the soleplate.
- Rinse and drain after every use. Never leave water inside your iron’s reservoir especially if you use non-distilled water for ironing your clothes. Make sure that you drain out all the water as soon as you are done using the iron. If you notice mineral deposits or brown water in your iron, fill the reservoir with a solution of water and white vinegar. Let it stand for an hour then pour it out. Rinse it well and repeat the process if necessary.
- Clean the iron’s soleplates. If your iron snags on the fabric of your clothes, check the soleplate for brown or whitish stains. Dirt and burned up starch can adhere to the metal plate and cause your iron to become sticky and stain your fabrics. To clean this, simply dip a cloth in white vinegar and wipe the stained area until all the stains comes off. For stubborn buildups, heat the iron on low setting for a few minutes then turn it off. Apply a small amount of baking soda paste on the stains and rub it off with a rag. Never use a scouring pad or a metal brush for cleaning, as these will only damage the metal plate.
- Make use of good ironing accessories. Buying ironing accessories is not necessary but it can extend the life of your clothes iron. A good iron mat, for example, will not only keep the iron from burning should you forget to turn it off, it also prevents your iron from tipping over and getting dented. Cord holders are also handy because it keeps your iron’s electrical cord from tangling and from constantly rubbing on your ironing board.
As with anything that you constantly use, the more care you take of your iron, the better it will work and the longer it will last.