Close up woman ironing

How to Clean a Ceramic Iron – 7 DIY Cleaning Methods

If you’re a mum or dad who’s often doing laundry for your family, it can be easy to forget to clean the appliances you use to take care of it all.

If you have a ceramic iron, you’ll need to clean the soleplate (base) quite often because otherwise, dirt and oil will start to build up. Here are a few tips to get the job done properly.

Before you begin, there are a few important things to remember:

  1. Always unplug the iron before using cleaners on the surface.
  2. Avoid scrubbing with coarse sponges or steel wool—these will scratch the surface and damage it.


Method 1: Hydrogen Peroxide

  1. Heat the iron to a medium temperature.
  2. Soak a cotton rag in hydrogen peroxide and wring out the excess moisture.
  3. Iron the wet cloth until dirt starts to come off.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the iron is completely clean.


Method 2: Lemon Juice

lemon juice and chopping board

This works well when dirt has become stuck to the plate.

  1. Cut a fresh lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl.
  2. Dilute the juice with water so that there is a 2 to 3 ratio of juice to water.
  3. Soak a rag in the liquid and wipe the surface of the plate.


Method 3: Soap

  1. Use ordinary household soap (a bar works best). Apply a thin coat of the it to the plate of the iron.
  2. Wait about 30 minutes, then use a cloth to gently wipe all of the soap residue off.


Method 4: Dishwasher Detergent

  1. Mix 1 tbsp of dishwasher detergent with warm water.
  2. Soak a piece of fabric in the liquid and wring out just enough so it’s not dripping.
  3. Place your iron on the cloth and let it sit for several hours.
  4. Clean any remaining residue off with a rag or gentle sponge.


Method 5: Ammonia

Important: Make sure to be very careful with this chemical, especially around pets who may try to ingest it. Never mix it with bleach—this can be very dangerous.

  1. Heat your iron, then unplug it to cool slightly.
  2. Dilute a small amount of ammonia with water in a 1:1 ratio.
  3. Soak a rag in the liquid and squeeze out any excess.
  4. Wipe the warm iron.


Method 6: Newspaper

Use this for scorch marks left on your iron.

  1. Heat up your iron to its highest heat
  2. Place a sheet of newspaper over the top of some fabric or a towel.
  3. Run the iron over the paper for several minutes to remove burnt marks.


Method 7: Bicarbonate of Soda

cleaning iron soleplate with bicarbonate of soda

  1. Make a thick paste of 3 tsp. of bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp. of water
  2. Rub the mixture over the surface of the cold plate. Work very gently here so as not to scratch the plate.
  3. Use a damp rag to remove the paste. You may need to go over the plate several times to remove all the soda.


Extra Tips

  1. To clean hard-to-reach spaces of the iron, dip a cotton swab in liquid or a cleaning solution from above and scrub the small areas.
  2. For sticky areas, work quickly when the iron is still warm, as the spot should be softer when heated.
  3. If you have a small area you want to scrub, try using a soft bristle toothbrush. It will be gentle enough not to scratch the iron but still strong enough to remove grime.