9 Surefire Methods to Clean a Scorched Iron

Don't throw away your scorched iron! Clean it using easy methods with materials you already have around your house.

Updated December 1, 2023
Scorched Iron

Scorched irons may remove wrinkles, but they don't do much else for your clothes and can even harm them. So when your iron is scorched, you need to clean it right away. Fortunately, it's super easy to clean a scorched iron so you can continue to use it to de-wrinkle your clothes. 

How to Clean a Scorched Iron

When you burn the bottom of your iron, the first to do is unplug it. Let the iron cool and remove as much of the burned fabric from it as you can. If you can't remove the scorched fabric in one piece, then use a pair of tweezers to lift small bits of melted material from the sole plate. Once you've gotten all the burned fabric from the sole plate of the iron, clean it using one of the following methods.

Iron Some Salt

This is the mildest way to clean the scorch marks from your iron, so it should be the first thing you try. You'll need parchment or scrap fabric, table salt, and a damp cloth.

  1. Put down a piece of scrap fabric or parchment on your ironing board.
  2. Plug in your iron and heat it on the warm setting (no steam).
  3. Pour salt in a thin layer over the paper or fabric, and iron the salt with the warm iron, using circular motions. Do this for one to two minutes, adding more salt as needed.
  4. Turn the iron off and let it cool.
  5. Wipe it with a damp cloth. 

Wipe With Warm Vinegar

If the scorched marks are really bad, you'll have to be more aggressive in your cleaning efforts. You'll need vinegar and a damp cloth.

  1. Heat up some white vinegar and dip a soft cloth in it.
  2. Gently wipe the cloth on the scorched sole plate until the marks are gone.
  3. Finish by wiping the bottom of the iron with a cloth dampened with clean water.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda or Salt

If vinegar alone does not erase the marks, try this next. You'll need hot vinegar, baking soda or table salt, and a damp cloth. 

  1. Mix a few teaspoons of table salt or baking soda with the hot white vinegar.
  2. Stir the mixture until the salt or baking soda dissolves.
  3. Soak a clean cloth in the cleaning solution and then wipe the iron's sole plate.
  4. Continue wiping until the stains are gone, and then clean the bottom of the iron with a clean, damp towel before storing.

Wash With Laundry Detergent

If your iron has a nonstick sole plate, then you have the option of cleaning the marks with a liquid laundry detergent. You will need cotton swabs, a damp cloth, a towel, a bowl of warm water, and liquid laundry detergent.

  1. Add a drop or two of detergent in a small bowl with warm water.
  2. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and scrub the sole plate.
  3. Dry the bottom of the iron with a towel before using the appliance again.

Use Dish Soap & a Cotton Swab to Clean Vents

There are times when scorch marks cover iron vents. To clean this type of mess, combine water and some gentle dish soap, such as Ivory, to create a soapy mixture. Dip cotton swabs into the cleaning solution and rub on the scorched sole plate and in the dirty vents. Once the stains are gone, use a clean cloth to dry the iron.

Iron a Rag Soaked in Hydrogen Peroxide

A simple way to clean a scorched iron is to soak a rag in hydrogen peroxide, place it on an ironing board, and iron over it until the stains lift.

Use Metal Polish

If you scorched an iron that doesn't have a coated iron plate, you can salvage it by applying a few drops of metal polish. Rub the polish on the scorch marks with a rag until they disappear, then get a clean cloth and wipe off any damp spots.

Work With Lime Juice and Baking Soda

Lime juice works quite well at lifting burns from the iron. The acid from the lime and the gentle abrasive action of the baking soda will leave your iron looking like new.

  1. Unplug the iron and let it cool.
  2. Squeeze one lime and add enough baking soda to make a paste.
  3. Place the paste on the soiled areas of the iron.
  4. Leave on the iron for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Test a section after 5 minutes to see if the paste is lifting the stain.
  6. Gently rub the lime and soda paste until the bottom of the iron is clean.
  7. Wipe the excess paste with a damp cloth and allow the iron to air dry.

Apply Candle Wax

While melted candle wax is a problem when it spills on carpets and tablecloths, it works great for cleaning burnt spots from the plate of an iron.

  1. Set the iron to the lowest setting. Be careful to not touch the plate — it's still very hot.
  2. Rub the candle over the burn marks and scorch stains.
  3. Using a thick cloth (you can protect your hands by wearing oven mitts), apply pressure to rub the wax and the stain off the iron.
  4. Wipe the iron clean by setting a thick, dampened cloth onto a flat surface.
  5. Iron the cloth to "wipe" off the remaining wax and to create a shine on the iron's plate.

Safely Remove Scorch Marks From Your Iron

One of the best ways to avoid deep cleaning your iron is to never turn it on and leave it unattended. Not realizing how hot an iron is when you press clothes, linens, or other materials is a surefire way to accidentally scorch a sole plate. Also, to keep your iron in tip-top shape, be sure to clean it on a regular basis to prevent materials from building up and clogging vents. Don't use abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes to clean a scorched iron, as you can easily damage it further in the process.

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9 Surefire Methods to Clean a Scorched Iron