Ironing your clothes after they have been washed and dried is a great way to keep them looking smart and wrinkle-free.
An ironing board is essential when it comes to ironing, but unfortunately, the cover will become stained and dirty over time, affecting its overall performance.
To ensure your ironing board cover is kept in the best condition, it’s essential that it is regularly cleaned and changed.
But how often does this need to be done? And how do you even go about washing an ironing board cover in the first place?
In this article, we will teach you how to wash an ironing board cover without causing any damage, how often it needs to be cleaned and replaced, and what causes those nasty brown stains to appear on the surface.
Can I Put an Ironing Board Cover in the Washing Machine?
When cleaning your ironing board cover, you need to be careful not to damage the fabric.
Although some covers can be put in the washing machine, others must be hand washed for the best results.
The product’s care label will usually indicate which method is best.
However, a broad set of cleaning instructions is as follows:
- Set up your ironing board as usual.
- Wipe the surface of the cover to remove as much dust as possible.
- Remove the cover from the ironing board and locate the care label on the underside.
- If the cover is machine washable, place it in the drum with mild detergent. Use a gentle wash cycle and cold water to clean the cover, and then remove it from the machine.
- Alternatively, hand wash the fabric by adding some mild detergent to a damp sponge and wiping it over the cover.
- Hang the ironing board cover on a clothes airer or lay it on a flat surface to dry.
- Once completely dry, place the dry cover back on the ironing board and run a hot iron over it to remove any wrinkles.
Depending on how soiled your ironing board cover is, you may have to treat some stains before washing it.
You can use a commercial stain remover for this or make your own by combining 120 ml of water, one tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda, and two tablespoons of white vinegar.
Simply apply the stain remover to the affected area, leave it for five mins, and then wipe it off with a damp cloth.
You may also wish to wipe down your ironing board while the cover is being washed.
This doesn’t require any special cleaner or technique; you can merely use an all-purpose spray cleaner and sponge to wipe any residue from the frame.
How Often Should You Change an Ironing Board Cover?
Many people don’t realise it, but ironing board covers get just as dirty as any other object in your home.
Any accumulated dirt can transfer to your clean clothes and significantly reduce the cover’s lifespan. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to wash it at least once every two months.
However, even with regular bi-monthly cleaning, the average household will need to replace their ironing board cover once every three years.
They rarely need to be changed more frequently than this, and some even come with a two-year warranty to ensure they last at least that long.
This being said, this statistic is based on a household that irons once a week, so it may change based on your ironing habits.
For example, those who iron clothes for work every day will need to change the ironing board cover more frequently, while those that use it sparingly could use the same cover for several years with no issues.
If you start to notice that the cover is fraying around the edges, it is generally time to buy a new one.
Although it won’t impact the cover’s performance, many people also replace it if it becomes covered in stains that won’t come out in the wash.
Why Do Ironing Board Covers Turn Brown?
When you regularly use an ironing board cover, it is not uncommon for the fabric to start turning brown.
This will occur even if you regularly wash the material, as it is not caused by any build-up of dirt and is not a sign that your cover needs washing. Instead, these brown patches are burn marks caused by the heat of your iron.
When using your ironing board, the cover is exposed to temperatures of 180 to 220 degrees Celsius. Although there is typically another layer of fabric in the way (your garments, sheets, or whatever else you’re ironing), this heat will eventually take its toll and cause unsightly burn marks.
Unfortunately, preventing these marks from forming on your ironing board cover is nearly impossible.
However, you can reduce the chances of it occurring by not placing your iron face-down on the surface between ironing items or while it is heating up.
It is also important that you avoid doing this on your clothing as well, as this can also leave behind iron marks that you need to get out.
In many cases, you will not be able to remove the burn marks from your ironing board cover. This being said, you might be able to fade them using the DIY stain remover mentioned above.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.