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Need to Clean a Sticky Iron? Grab the Newspaper

A woman uses an iron.
Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve been ironing your clothing only to have the iron’s plate stick to the fabric, it’s time to give this laundry appliance a good cleaning. Surprise! You do need to clean your iron.

Thankfully, all you need to fix a sticky iron is a newspaper or paper towel.

The sticking you’re experiencing is typically caused by fabric softeners used on clothing, plastics, or coatings that have begun to wear down due to heat. Over time, they adhere to the bottom, and when heated, those remnants become tacky, making your iron feel nearly impossible to use.

So, how do you fix it?

According to cleaning service Molly Maid, you’ll first want to start by looking at your iron’s instruction manual if you still have it. If not, head to the internet and see if you can find your make and model’s directions for cleaning online.

If, however, none of that works, the common trick is to use newspaper or paper towel. You’ll turn your iron up to the highest setting but turn steam off completely. Run the soleplate over newspaper or paper towel until it no longer has a stick. If it does, try adding a pinch of salt onto the newspaper or towels and repeating it.

The next time you’re ironing your clothes and get that sticking feeling, you might already have all you need to remedy it.


Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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