Cleaning an iron is a household task that’s easy to forget about. However, with all the shirts to press, sheets to smooth and pants to unwrinkle, it’s no wonder our irons get worn out. Giving your iron the TLC it needs can be simple and way cheaper than opting for a newer model.
There are many different ways to clean and shine your iron using some elbow grease and a few items you may already have in your home. Keeping your iron clean is necessary to keep the chore easy and productive, so check out these tips to clean an iron without any fancy cleaning products required.
1. Clean with baking soda
Baking soda is used to clean almost anything, whether it’s your household appliances, fruits and veggies or your iron. You can create a stain-fighting paste using two tablespoons of baking soda mixed with one tablespoon of warm water. Gently rub the paste on a cool iron plate, coating areas that have mineral deposits. Wipe the paste off using a damp cloth.
Pro tip: Avoid getting the paste in the iron’s steam holes. If you manage to get it in there, use a damp cotton dipped in distilled water or a wooden toothpick to clean it out.
2. Clean with sea salt
Believe it or not, using salt to clean your iron can get the job done. Turn your iron on the hottest setting and lay out a brown paper bag or newspaper on your ironing board. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the paper bag or newspaper and begin to iron the salty surface. Continue this process until the salt takes away all the dirt on your iron. After this, wipe the salt residue away with a damp cloth.
Pro tip: Iron in circular motions to maximize the amount of dirt you take off.
3. Clean with a towel and vinegar
If your main issue with your iron is corrosion, the towel and vinegar trick will make it look good as new! Soak a towel in vinegar and then set the iron onto the towel with the soleplate facing down. Let the iron sit in the vinegar-soaked towel for 30 minutes before wiping it down.
Pro tip: Place your soaked towel in a bin or other container to avoid vinegar seeping into unwanted areas.
4. Clean an iron’s steam holes
A common problem with dirty irons is the steam holes getting clogged. A good indication of some much needed cleaning is when the iron sputters and leaves mineral-filled or rusty water spots on clothing. Mix ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of distilled water into the iron’s reservoir and inspect the steam ducts in an upright position.
Use an old toothbrush, wooden toothpick or cotton swab to clear away build-up. Test the iron by heating it up and depressing the steam button until the steam flows out freely. Let the iron cool before pouring out the mixture into the reservoir.
Pro tip: Never use metal to clean the soleplate of your iron as this could scratch or damage it.
5. Clean with nail polish remover
Not only does nail polish remover clear away nail polish, but also the gunk on your iron plate! Heat up your iron and dip a cotton ball into some acetone nail polish remover. Use a heat-protecting glove like an oven mitt and wipe the cotton ball along the surface of the hot iron. This method helps dissolve any unwanted residue on your iron. Let your iron cool and wipe away excess nail polish remover.
Pro tip: Perform this cleaning method outside so that your household doesn’t breathe in the strong chemical fumes.
6. Clean with paracetamol
An unusual yet excellent hack for cleaning your iron (especially with burnt residue) is paracetamol (like Tylenol). In fact, any acetaminophen tablet will do. First, turn your iron on the highest setting. Once the plate is hot, use an oven mitt or other heat-protecting glove to press the pill directly onto the burnt area of your iron. The pill should melt into a gel which then dissolves the burnt spot on your iron. Use a damp cloth to clean the soleplate and repeat if necessary.
Pro tip: Don’t use tweezers or pliers to press the pill onto your hot iron. One slip could result in scratching your iron or burning your fingers!
7. Clean an iron with wax paper
Similar to the salt trick above, you can use wax paper with coarse salt to clean your iron. Place wax paper on your ironing board or a cutting board and sprinkle about a tablespoon of sea salt over the wax paper. Heat the iron to its highest temperature and iron the salt without applying much pressure. The residue will stick to the salt and your iron will be good as new!
Pro tip: Make sure the steam function is off while you perform this cleaning trick.
8. Clean with toothpaste
Toothpaste not only clears the plaque on your teeth but the muck on your iron as well. All you need to do is smear a small amount of white toothpaste on any affected areas on your iron’s soleplate. Leave the toothpaste there for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth.
Pro tip: Finish things off by filling your iron’s reservoir with distilled water and setting it down on a towel. Steam your iron leaving in for an additional few minutes to work through.
9. Clean with dryer sheets
Dryer sheets have more uses than freshening up your drying clothes. One way to use a dryer sheet you may not have heard of yet is to clean your iron. Simply rub the soleplate with dryer sheets while the iron is on its lowest heat setting. As soon as you feel the dryer sheet get too hot, grab a fresh one. Repeat this process until the iron is clean.
Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to wear a heat-protecting glove or mitt when touching an iron soleplate. You should be fine while in the lowest setting, but be cautious.
10. Clean an iron with ice cubes
If you accidentally left your hot iron near something plastic, you probably have a bit of a mess to deal with. However, melted plastic is easy to get off an iron by using simple items like a big bowl, ice cubes and a plastic knife or spatula. Place your iron in a bowl or pan full of ice to harden the plastic. If your plastic is already hardened, you can skip this step. Now take a plastic knife or spatula and scrape the plastic away, then wipe it down with a damp rag until you feel the iron’s surface to be smooth.
Pro tip: It’s crucial to get plastic off your iron before you use it again, otherwise the plastic will melt into your garments.
How often should I clean my iron?
The answer to this question heavily depends on how often you use your iron. On average, you should make it a habit to clean your iron every other month to remove mineral deposits. If your iron begins to dull or you see any build-up on the soleplate, then you can do a quick cleanse to avoid having to do a deeper clean.
What is the black stuff on my iron?
Most people notice their iron is dirty when they see “black stuff” on the soleplate. The “black stuff” you see is a result of burn marks, dirt, dust, spray starch and fabric fiber buildup. Additionally, if you leave water inside your iron, it could begin to rust cause rusty spots. It’s important to maintain your iron to avoid it from damaging or ruining your clothing.
Maintaining a clean iron
To maintain a clean iron, there are a few things to consider. First, try using distilled water rather than ordinary tap water in your iron. Tap water contains minerals which over time results in rust and mineral build-up. Another consideration to avoid rust and mineral build-up is to make sure you empty the reservoir and place it in an upright position before storing it in your laundry room.
To keep your iron’s soleplate sleek and shiny, never iron over metal zippers, buttons, snaps or any other decorative item. The plate will last much longer and keep your iron maintenance low. Maintaining an iron may seem low on the to-do list, but it’s a great laundry hack that will save you a lot of time in the long-run.
Keeping your house organized is no easy task and the space under the sink is no exception. It’s often easy to forget about the storage under the sink as it’s mostly covered and hidden.
However, it can and should be just as organized as any other part of your house. Here are 10 under the bathroom sink and under kitchen sink storage ideas.
Under kitchen sink storage ideas
The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in any house or apartment. The only thing that makes a kitchen more enjoyable is when it’s clear of clutter, under the sink included.
Here are some clever under the kitchen sink storage ideas for you to try.
1. Hang bottles with tension rods
Tension rods are one of the best under sink storage solutions. They can be used on virtually every surface and also can be fitted to almost any size area. Once they’re in place you can hang cleaning supply bottles from them to free up space from the bottom of the cabinet.
One of the best things about tension rods is they’re not permanent and they can easily be removed and reused through the house.
2. Use file holders to add storage
File holders aren’t just nifty organizers for the paper on your desk — they make great storage for under your kitchen sink. They’re pretty inexpensive and easy to find at your local paper store or Target.
All you have to do is adhere them to the inside of the cabinet door and you’ll have yourself some extra storage. It’s a great place to put extra towels, dish brushes or sponges for easy access.
3. Organize with bins
When organizing, you can never go wrong with a good old bin. They make a great space to neatly organize and group everything into their own neat place. Once everything has its place you can easily stack them to create even more cleared up space.
Another tip is to label them so that you don’t have to waste time sifting through each one when you’re looking for one thing.
4. Expand storage with a Lazy Susan
Let’s all thank Susan for being lazy and inventing the lazy Susan. It’s one of the most helpful and fun storage hacks on the list. They come in a variety of sizes to fit under any cabinet and make finding what you’re looking for super easy. The best part is you just place all your supplies on it and you’re done!
5. Install cabinet towel holders
Similar to tension rods, cabinet towel holders offer extra space in your cabinet while keeping it organized. They’re very easy to find and even easier to set up and can be used in a variety of spaces around the home, including under your kitchen sink.
All you have to do is remove the packaging and attach the hooks to the door part of your cabinet. Once you’ve done that hang anything from them like cleaning supplies, extra towels and even your cleaning gloves.
Under bathroom sink storage
Similar to the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink is another space that can be difficult to organize. Fear not we’ve got you covered there, too! Here are some great tips for how to organize under your bathroom sink.
6. Store hair tools with PVC piping
When you think of PVC piping under the bathroom sink, storage probably doesn’t come to mind. PVC pipes are a great way to store hair tools such as curling irons, flat irons and their cords. Since they come in a multitude of sizing, you can perfectly fit your tools to the pipe. When you have a perfect size the only thing left to do is attach it to the inside of the cabinet doors.
7. Declutter with sliding shelves
Sliding shelves are a great way to de-clutter under your bathroom sink. They create more space to store items, such as hair products and tools, toilet paper, etc. One of the best things about sliding shelves is the easy access to everything without having to dig through all your things.
8. Create extra space with cabinet door bins
Creating extra storage in small areas is a great way to accomplish all your organizing goals. One way to add extra space is to add cabinet door bins. They’re extremely easy to adhere and also can be removed easily when you’re done using them. They also hold quite a bit and are a great place to put your products, brushes, towels and more.
9. Utilize bins and caddies
As mentioned above, a bin or a caddy is one of the most useful tools to create a clutterless space. Get a large bin specifically for towels and toilet paper and they usually take up the bulk of under sink storage. Use smaller bins for other supplies and stack them to create ample, organized space.
10. Hang caddies over the cabinet door
Hair tools can take up a lot of space under your bathroom sink. One of the best ways to combat bulky hair tools is an over-the-door caddy. They make some specifically for hair tools that easily slip over the door for easy access and assembly.
Do’s and don’ts of under sink storage
You can store a number of items under your bathroom and kitchen sink. Although, there are some items more suitable for under sink storage than others.
Things to safely store under your kitchen sink
- Sponges, cleaning brushes, gloves
- Cleaning supplies, such as glass cleaner, dishwashing pods, soap. When storing cleaners underneath the kitchen sink, keep in mind who is in your household. If you have small children that enjoy exploring cabinets you may consider placing cleaners out of reach or adding childproof locks on the door. Another idea is to place all your cleaning supplies on a rubber tray in case of spills for easy cleanup.
- Trash bags
- Trash can
- Recycling can
Things to safely store under your bathroom sink
- Toiletries, such as extra toothbrushes and paste, deodorant, contact solution
- Toilet paper
- Hairstyling tools
- First aid kit
Things to avoid putting under the kitchen sink
- Bug spray
- Oven cleaner
Things to avoid putting under the bathroom sink
Organize under your sink
Organizing is never an easy task, however, with the right guidance, it can be a little easier. Use these under the bathroom and kitchen sink storage ideas to create a nice organized space for yourself.
Permanent markers are essential in every craft room and household.
They are great for creating lasting memories through artwork, writing labels on metals and plastics to help keep your home organized and even covering up scuffs on shoes.
Although the name suggests otherwise, if you accidentally get permanent marker on a surface you didn’t intend, or one ends up in the hands of a very young, but very inspired creative, there are ways to remove it.
Permanent marker can be removed from a variety of surfaces using basic household cleaners and materials. So grab an old towel or washcloth that you don’t mind the strain potentially transferring onto, and follow the instructions below to learn how to remove permanent marker from any surface.
How to remove permanent marker from plastic
If you had used a permanent marker to label a plastic item and now want to alter that label, you can use a dry-erase marker to remove the writing. A dry-erase marker works well for getting permanent marker off of plastic because it contains rubbing alcohol.
Follow these steps:
- Color over the permanent marker with the dry-erase marker
- Wipe away
- Repeat the process if needed
How to remove permanent marker from clothes
If you got a permanent marker stain on one of your favorite clothing items, don’t fret. There are a number of different methods you can use to get it out of different clothing fabrics. Below are tips for removing permanent marker stains from cotton, leather and wool.
Hairspray is an effective way to remove permanent marker from cotton. Be sure that the hairspray contains alcohol, as not all hairspray products do, and this component is critical for removing the stain.
Follow these three steps to clean your cotton item:
- Apply hairspray to the area until it feels wet
- Let it sit for 15 minutes
- Put clothing item in the washing machine without other items in case the stain bleeds
- Run on warm with detergent
You can remove permanent marker from leather, without damaging the fabric, using white vinegar.
Follow these three steps to clean your leather item:
- Dab vinegar onto the stain with a cloth
- Let it sit for a few minutes
- Use the same cloth to wipe off the stain using a circular motion
Hairspray is also an effective way to remove permanent marker from wool. Instead of tossing the item in the wash after setting the stain with hairspray, you can handwash it to prevent damage to the item.
Follow these steps to clean your wool item:
- Apply hairspray to the area until it feels wet
- Let it sit for 15 minutes
- Hand wash the item with cold water
How to remove permanent marker from wood
Not only does toothpaste fight stains in your mouth, but it can also fight stains on your wood furniture or floors. The abrasive quality of toothpaste helps to gently remove the dye without dissolving it. It’s best to use a baking soda toothpaste, but if you don’t have one you can simply mix baking soda with the toothpaste you have. Skip the gel toothpaste, it won’t work.
Here’s how to do it:
- Apply toothpaste to a cloth or you can even use an old toothbrush!
- Rub into the wood, going with the grain
- Repeat as needed
How to remove permanent marker from skin
It turns out that hand sanitizer not only can clean your hands of germs but also can be used to remove permanent marker from your skin:
- Squirt a dab of hand sanitizer into your hand or on a cloth
- Rub directly into the stain
- Wipe away with a cloth
How to remove permanent marker from other surfaces
If permanent marker ended up on one of your upholstered furniture pieces, a stainless steel appliance, wall, carpet or glass item, you can remove the stain using the techniques we breakdown below.
Use rubbing alcohol to remove permanent marker from upholstery. It’s best to blot the area with the rubbing alcohol instead of rubbing as it’s possible to actually massage the stain further into the fabric.
Follow these simple steps using rubbing alcohol:
- Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth
- Blot the area
- Wash away the remaining rubbing alcohol using a clean damp cloth
Similar to plastic, dry-erase markers work well to remove permanent marker from metal. So if permanent marker ends up on one of your stainless steel appliances, follow the steps below. Keep in mind, you may have to repeat this process a couple of times to fully remove the stain.
- Color over the stain with a dry-erase marker
- Wipe away
Toothpaste for the win, again! Toothpaste also works great for removing permanent marker from walls without causing damage. As previously mentioned, skip the gel toothpaste and ideally choose one that contains baking soda. Then follow these steps:
- Apply toothpaste directly to the wall stain
- Allow it to sit for 5–10 minutes
- Scrub the mark in a circular motion
- Wipe the remaining toothpaste away with a damp cloth
To remove permanent marker from the carpet, just like with upholstery, you can use rubbing alcohol. Remember, blot the area with the rubbing alcohol instead of rubbing so you don’t rub the stain further into the carpet. Follow these steps below:
- Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth
- Blot the area
- Using a damp, clean cloth, wipe away the remaining rubbing alcohol
If permanent marker ends up on one of your glass items, such as a window or mirror, you can remove it with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol by doing the following:
- Apply remover of your choice to a cloth
- Rub the strain
- Use a clean cloth and a multipurpose or glass cleaner to wipe away
In addition to working well to remove stains from walls and plastic, dry-erase markers can be used to remedy a situation where you may have mistakenly used permanent marker on a dry-erase board. In two steps, you can pretend as though nothing ever happened:
- Write over the stain with a dry-erase marker
- Wipe away with a clean cloth
Few things in life are truly permanent
You may have to repeat the steps laid out above a few times to be successful, but with a little effort and patience, you can remove most permanent marker stains. For additional cleaning hacks, be sure to check out our cleaning and maintenance tips.