This Bathroom Staple Is The Key To Removing Grime From Your Clothes Iron

Sure, it's possible to get wrinkle-free clothes by lowering the heat setting on your dryer, but nothing quite compares to the look of a crisply-ironed dress shirt. That is, unless said shirt gets stained during the ironing process. Unfortunately, if you notice that your iron is sticking to the fabric as you're pressing out creases, it may be time to give your trusty garment tool a deep clean. Over time, dirt, dust, spray starch, and fabric fibers can gunk up your iron's soleplate. Thankfully, restoring your iron to its original shiny glory doesn't have to break your household budget. Simply head to the bathroom for a staple that will easily remove this grime: toothpaste.

Nothing is more frustrating than placing a clean garment on a pressboard only to immediately soil it with one swipe of a heated iron. The electric wrinkle eraser is supposed to solve laundry problems, not create them. However, if you don't regularly maintain your iron's soleplate, it's easy to transfer muck to freshly-washed laundry. Moreover, each time you fire up your iron, the heat bakes debris further into the soleplate, compromising the device's efficiency and potentially causing a fire. To prevent this from happening, aim to clean your iron at least once a month if you use it weekly, or every six months if you iron sporadically.

How to use toothpaste to clean your iron

Since the soleplate is the part of the iron that actually comes into contact with garments, it's critical not to scratch it by scrubbing it with abrasive materials. It's the reason toothpaste — with its soft texture -– is a safe method of removing grime. However, be sure to select white, non-gel toothpaste, as it doesn't contain dyes and features a slightly coarse consistency which helps remove dingy film. Additionally, avoid using toothpaste that features baking soda or whitening agents as they can damage the iron's soleplate.

Start the cleaning process by unplugging your iron. The soleplate needs to be cool and the water reservoir completely empty prior to applying the toothpaste. Next, place a small amount of paste directly on the soleplate and allow it to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, with a clean, soft cloth, gently rub the toothpaste on the soleplate using a circular motion. If your iron is covered with severe scorch marks or caked-on goop, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gingerly scrub at the stains. Once the grime lifts, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off any remaining toothpaste and gunk. Finish by placing the iron over a sink or towel, adding water to the iron's reservoir, turning on the steam setting, and pressing the button. Doing so will allow the steam function to flush out any residual toothpaste or gunk that may have been lodged in the iron's steam holes.