How to clean Iron with Vinegar in 4 Easy Steps

Ironing is a chore that many of us would rather avoid, but there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of freshly pressed clothes. Unfortunately, our trusty iron can lose effectiveness over time due to mineral buildup, burnt-on residue, and fabric stains. Vinegar is a simple and affordable solution for your iron to be in the best working condition. It is a handy ingredient used in cooking, cleaning, and descaling your iron, restoring its performance and extending its lifespan. Let’s explore the wonders of Vinegar to learn how to clean a steam iron with white Vinegar.

After trying various ways to clean your iron, I tested Vinegar and it did exceptional wonders. This is when I realized, using Vinegar to clean your iron is an eco-friendly, affordable, and effective alternative to harsh chemical cleaners. With just a few household items, it’s a quick and easy process that anyone can do, whether you’re an experienced ironer or a beginner. Let’s find out the secret of how to clean iron with vinegar.

Essential Supplies for cleaning an iron with Vinegar

Essential Supplies for cleaning an iron with Vinegar
  • White Vinegar
  • Water
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Small bowl
  • Old towel or cloth

Step-by-Step guide to clean iron with Vinegar

Step 1: Mix the Vinegar Solution

In a small bowl, mix small portions of Vinegar with water. The solution should be mild and easy to apply.

Step 2: Apply the Vinegar Solution

With a very soft piece of cloth or sponge, apply  vinegar to the surface of the iron. Be sure to cover the entire iron surface, including the soleplate and the steam vents.

Step 3: Let the Solution Sit

Let the vinegar solution rest on the surface of the iron for about five to ten minutes or until the dirt and mineral deposits have loosened up.

Step 4: Wipe Away the Solution

Wipe away the vinegar solution from the surface of the iron. Be sure to remove all keys, especially from the steam vents.

Removing Stubborn Stains and Residue from your Iron

Vinegar is acidic, meaning it can dissolve and break down mineral deposits and stains that can accumulate on the soleplate of your iron over time. These deposits can decrease efficiency and even damage your iron if improperly removed.

Vinegar is a natural cleaning solution that is safe to use on most types of irons. Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, It won’t damage your iron’s surfaces or cause harm to your health. It is also present in most households, making it a convenient and affordable solution for cleaning your iron. Salt is also an effective ingredient for cleaning the soleplate. Our page has a detailed guide on How to clean an iron with Salt.

Proactive Maintenance

When Salt is left in the steam vents, it can mix with water and create a thick paste that can clog the ducts. This can reduce the amount of steam the iron produces or even cause the steam to stop working. The salt residue can also leave behind stains or marks on clothes when ironed, which can be challenging to remove.

Therefore, it is essential to ensure no salt residue is left in the iron’s steam vents after cleaning it. This can be achieved by thoroughly rinsing the iron with clean water after cleaning it with Salt or any other cleaning solution. By doing so, you can help to maintain the efficiency and prolong the lifespan of your iron while ensuring that it does not damage your clothes.

Exploring Alternatives: Other Methods for cleaning an Iron

If you want to clean your steam iron, baking soda can be an effective and easy solution to remove mineral deposits and other buildups from its steam vents and soleplate. The same is the procedure for cleaning a Rowenta iron.

  1. To clean your steam iron or Rowenta iron with Vinegar or baking soda,  fill the water tank with a half-water and a tablespoon of baking soda.
  2. Switch on the steam setting, allow the iron to heat up, and release steam for 5-10 minutes, depending on the iron’s condition.
  3. Turn off the iron and empty the mixture.
  4. Add clean water in the water tank and repeat the process of releasing steam for another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Clean the soleplate with a clean cloth or sponge to remove any residue, and use a vinegar solution for stubborn stains.

Safety Precautions and Best Practices for Iron Cleaning

  1. Use a clean cloth or towel: When wiping your iron’s soleplate, use a clean cloth or towel to avoid transferring any dirt or debris back onto the surface.
  2. Repeat the process as needed: If your iron has a lot of buildup or stains on the soleplate, you may need to repeat the cleaning process several times to achieve optimal results.
  3. Remember the steam vents: While the soleplate is the main focus of the cleaning process, it is also essential to clean the steam vents on your iron. Dip a cotton swab in Vinegar to clean these areas and remove any buildup.
  4. Avoid using Vinegar on non-stick surfaces: If your iron has a non-stick soleplate, avoid using Vinegar to clean it, as it can damage the surface. Instead, use a non-abrasive cleaner specifically designed for non-stick surfaces.

Preventing Build-up and Extending Iron’s Lifespan

● Ensure the iron is stored in a dry place to prevent rusting caused by moisture.

● After using, allow the iron to cool down before wiping the soleplate with a damp cloth to remove dirt or stains.

● Using distilled water is recommended to prevent mineral buildup inside the iron.

● After every use, empty all the water from the reservoir.

● Use a protective cover for the iron to prevent dirt from settling on the soleplate and other parts of the iron.

● Iron clothing in the correct order, beginning with the ones that require the lowest

temperature setting, then gradually increasing the heat as necessary. This can help prevent scorching or burning of clothing, which can lead to stains on the iron.

● To remove any stubborn stains or buildup on the soleplate, periodically use an iron cleaning solution.

● Do not use harsh chemicals that can harm the soleplate and other components of the iron.

Frequently Asked questions

The bottom of an iron can get dirty due to mineral buildup, fabric residue, starch buildup, and dirt and dust. Regular cleaning is essential to prevent residual and affect performance. Vinegar is an effective and affordable solution to clean the soleplate, leaving it looking clean and functioning optimally.

Take white Vinegar and water in a bowl to clean a burnt iron with Vinegar. Turn on the iron to a high temperature and apply vinegar on its soleplate. Rub the fabric over the burnt areas of the soleplate and use a toothbrush or cotton swab for stubborn areas.

The best method to clean the bottom of an iron depends on the type of residue or buildup. Vinegar is a versatile and practical option for removing mineral buildup, fabric residue, and starch. Baking soda paste can help remove burnt-on residue. A mixture of Salt and Vinegar helps remove stubborn stains and buildup.

Yes, Vinegar can effectively descale an iron by removing mineral buildup that can accumulate over time. The mineral buildup is often caused by hard water, and it can affect iron performance by clogging the steam vents and reducing the effectiveness of the soleplate.

To clean the iron with a magic eraser, first, allow the iron to cool completely. Wet the magic eraser with water and gently rub it over the soleplate, using light pressure as needed. Add some water for stubborn areas or burnt-on residue. Wipe the soleplate with a clean cloth.


Cleaning iron with Vinegar is a simple and effective solution to restore your iron’s
performance. All the electrical appliances need maintenance from time to time. Protecting household items from harsh chemicals and using Vinegar to solve these minor problems is essential. Vinegar is effective and affordable. Remember to take all the preventive measures beforehand.

Carol Roemer

About Author

Carol Roemer is an ironing expert and with her amazing experiences, she has made it possible for her readers to make ironing an enjoyable task. She loves trying new tricks and keeps  her readers informed about every successful hack.

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