How to Clean the Bottom of an Iron

As we go about our weekly ironing, there are many things that cause the soleplate to get dirty and stained, making it harder for the iron to run smoothly across the fabric. Here are some tips on how to clean the bottom of an iron from Rowenta, Inc.

(NAPSA) – Does your iron have mysterious brown stains on the soleplate that you can’t remove? If so, you’re not alone – it’s perfectly normal to get build-up on the soleplate of an iron, particularly if you use it frequently. This build-up reduces the glide, makes it harder to iron and adds unnecessary time to the process. What most people don’t know is where these stains come from and how easy it is to remove them without damaging the soleplate.

Taking the Mystery Out of Soleplate Stains

The stains on the bottom of your iron can be caused by a number of things:

Starch Build-up

If you use starch and don’t let it absorb into the clothing before you start pressing, most of it will end up on your iron rather than on your clothes. You can avoid this problem by spraying the reverse side of the garment you’re about to iron with starch and roll it up into a ball for on to two minutes so the starch has a chance to be absorbed. If you hear a sizzling sound when you touch the hot iron to the starched garment, you didn’t allow the starch enough time to be absorbed.

Detergent and Fabric Softener Build-up

The detergent and fabric softener you use in the laundry process never is completely removed from your clothes when they are washed. This invisible residue will build up over time on the bottom of your iron, eventually becoming the “brown stuff” on your soleplate. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid it.


The dust in the air falls and builds up on the soleplate of your iron just like it does on your furniture, and just like with your furniture, there’s very little you can do to avoid the problem.

Sewing Materials

When using fusibles, webs, iron-on interfacing and trims for sewing projects, they frequently melt onto the bottom of your iron. These materials can be messy and there is not much you can do to avoid them melting onto the soleplate.


When you iron synthetics at a higher temperature than recommended, they can melt onto the bottom of your iron. This problem can easily be avoided by paying attention to the care instructions on the tag in your clothes as well as the temperature setting on your iron.

What You Can Do

Always read your iron use and care instructions to see what your iron manufacturer recommends for cleaning the soleplate. NEVER use abrasive materials such as steel wool; these types of materials will scratch the soleplate, permanently damaging it.

Rowenta, the manufacturer of high performance irons and garment care expert, recommends cleaning the soleplate with a nonabrasive hot iron cleaner, such as the one found in the Rowenta Stainless Steel Soleplate Cleaning Kit. This wax-based cream easily removes any build-up, melted fusibles or fabric from the soleplate.

How to Do It

Simply empty the water out of the iron and set the temperature at the hottest setting. Squeeze a small amount of cleaner onto the cloth and rub the iron in a circular motion over the cloth on the cleaner, making sure the entire soleplate is covered with the cleaner.

When all the dirt is gone, rub the iron on a second cloth to remove excess cleaner. Before ironing clothes again, use the steam and burst of steam as you iron over an old cloth or towel to ensure all of the cleaner is removed from the steam vents. Always use care when handling a hot iron.

For other garment care tips and product information, visit the Rowenta Inc. Web site at

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One Response to How to Clean the Bottom of an Iron

  1. NancyU says:

    I am happy to find a product that will get the excess fabric tape stain off the iron.

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