How to Clean Your Dirty Iron | Without Scrubbing

All posts may contain affiliate links.

I have a couple of irons in my house and I have to say that, no matter what the brand, all irons get dirty from time to time!  They get a build-up of grime and grit along the pressing surface. This build-up can prevent your iron from gliding smoothly over your fabric or worse, transfer. Luckily, there is an easy solution. Let me show you how to clean your dirty iron.

How to clean your dirty iron


Now, let me start out by reminding everyone that I am not a fan of scrubbing or cleaning. (Sewing yes, cleaning not so much.) So when I say no scrubbing required, I mean it. Today, I’ll be cleaning the iron my husband uses. Honestly, this one is always getting dirty!

By watching the video you can see that it only takes a few simple steps to actually clean your iron. Now, for the sake of interest, I fast-forwarded through some of the film time but my “all in” time for cleaning was about 5 minutes. That includes heating time. It really just depends on how dirty your iron really is.

How to Clean Your Dirty Iron


You will need a few basic supplies to clean your dirty iron.



Learn how to clean your dirty iron with this video. No scrubbing required!

If you are still skeptical about if this will “really” clean your dirty iron you might want to check this out. I wrote an article a few years back and shared the step by step along with a bunch of photos.  You can see that iron was SUPER dirty!!

Clean your iron in a flash with Iron Off by Dritz. Quick Tip by The Sewing Loft #sewingtip

There are many reasons why your iron will become scorched and dirty. They can range from burning fabric to melting residue from appliques but no matter what the reason is you now know how to keep it clean!


ps- if you are looking for a new iron you might want to check out my Oliso Smart Iron. Then, when you are ready to buy a new one, I suggest you look at all the different options Oliso offers here.

Learn how to use the Oliso Pro Smart Iron and enter to win your very own.


Hello! Are you new here?

Do you want to learn more about sewing? If so, be sure to sign up for our newsletter HERE and never miss a stitch! Daily Sewing Tips, Everyday Projects and Fantastic Inspiration delivered straight to your mailbox!

Bonus– free download with newsletter sign up.

Feel free to connect with me on FacebookPinterest, or Instagram.  I look forward to getting to know you and stitching up a storm!


  1. I’m wondering if there’s a way to keep your iron from getting dirty in the first place. What is it that we are doing that gets the iron so gunky and how could we avoid it? The cure is great to have but is there any prevention we could do?

    • Thanks for the note Linda. That’s actually a great question. The best piece of advice I can offer is to use a pressing cloth. Growing up I was always taught to use one but personally, I rarely do. Mostly because I’m in a rush and forget to reach for it. For me the biggest offender of the grit is applique adhesive but as for my husband, I have no clue. I do not care for the iron he uses and rarely use it. I press all of my clothing in the studio using the Oliso and so far, it has no grit or grim on it. I will add that it has a different type of plate using iTouch® technology: Patented Scorchguards™. I’ve had it since May 2017 and it is still clean as a whistle!!

  2. Tina Sheppard says

    Just a quick question, did you end up with a residue in the divots on the base plate where the steam comes out? I do like to use steam and I was just wondering .

    • Great question Tina. When I started my iron did not have any calcium build up or gunk in those divots. And after the rubbing process the grim was transferred directly to the rag instead of just moving around on the iron plate. It really was nice and shiny just like the picture at the end. Plus, for anyone reading the comments and wondering how to avoid mineral deposits inside their iron, Consumer Reports shared this tidbit about using distilled water. It is worth the quick read.

    • Brenda L King says

      Tina, I use the iron Out for cleaning my iron and sometimes it needs cleaning in the actual steam vents. I just put a dab of the Iron Out cream on a Q-tip or directly on the vent and rub it around to get the gunk out of the vents. It works very well. Also, in case you wonder if the Iron Out really works this easy? Yes, it certainly does! Thanks, Heather for posting this info and I love all of your great advise!

  3. Thanks for the iron cleaning info. I also cleaned my iron plate be rubbing the hot iron over a Tylenol tablet. I worked really well.

  4. I had an iron that fell off of an ironing board while at retreat. No one saw it fall on the indoor-outdoor carpet, but someone finally smelled it! The iron was totally black on the bottom with the melted carpet. I thought I would probably have to throw it away when I got home. However, I heated the iron up on high, placed a piece of paper towel on the ironing board, then placed a dryer sheet on it. Then, I ironed my iron on the dryer sheet. It took a couple of dryer sheets, but I finally removed ALL of the black residue. After cleaning my iron, I ironed it on a paper towel to be sure it was clean before using it on fabric. Wonderful, inexpensive way to clean an iron! Give it a try!

Speak Your Mind