Cleaning a burned iron

Sometimes I burn things. Like dinner, clothes and most recently a while ago my iron. I iron most everything on super hot since I own a lot of cotton. Well, I was ironing some of Husband’s things and forgot to check what it was made out of and slightly burned one of his “donotirononsuperhot” dress pants. Luckily it was on the inside of the pant but my iron, well you can see from the picture,  became really sad looking.

I’ve been scouring the internet for weeks trying to find an at home solution and I came across a few but they didn’t work. Quite a few sites recommend salt on paper, or tin foil (I tried both), but the salt didn’t even make a dent on the burn marks. All it did was leave little salt rings in the steam holes. Awesome. Another site said to place the hot iron on a cold rag and the burn will peel off. Yeah, no dice either, just lots of sizzling steam. I felt like I was down to two options, buy a special cleaner or buy steel wool and risk scratching the plate. So I chose neither, researched a little more and stumbled onto the advice to use this beauty product and q-tips.

How to Clean a Burnt Non-stick Iron

Yup, nail polish remover. Actually, the advice said to use acetone but mine obviously is not. However, it worked really well as you can see by the q-tips and cotton circles. Anyhoo, I had just finished ironing Husband’s work shirts when I was too impatient to try out this piece of advice. I took a  q-tip, dipped it in the nail polish remover and began to rub the burn spot while the iron was still very hot. *I do not recommend you do this while the iron is very hot.*

burned non-stick iron

As I rubbed the burn mark kind of just peeled off onto the q-tip.

I couldn’t believe how easy the burn mark came off, so I continued. Here is how I recommend you clean your iron with nail polish remover, but first a word of caution. *Warning* the iron will be warm and may cause burns. Do not directly touch the warm iron with your skin. Oh and inhaling the fumes may cause lightheadedness because fumes stink. I was fine.

Step One: Don’t burn yourself. Turn your iron on low as the burn mark will come off easier when the iron is warm.

Step Two: Dip a paper q-tip into the nail polish remover and with moderate pressure rub on the burn mark. Use a new paper q-tip once the head turns black and repeat until iron is clean.

Step Three: Once clean, wet a cloth and iron the wet cloth to “rinse off” the nail polish remover.

Ready for my results?

Cleaning a burnt iron

Improvement! This took 20-30 minutes to remove all of that black.

I know my results are not perfect but my iron is significantly improved; it may or may not have been 10:00 pm when I started this project and tiredness got the best of me. I’m very happy with this outcome. I think I could get the rest off if I cleaned it again.

Happy Cleaning!

What DIY methods have worked for you?


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52 Responses to The Real DIY to Clean a Burnt Iron

  1. When the iron is cool, try GOOP…easier on your lungs and breathing, probably safer as well.

      • Linda Bynum says:

        I am going to try this! BUT… Just a suggestion,
        Tooth paste!! Not the kind with the little beads, the smooth kind. White not the different color kind. I don’t recommend any minty kind but that’s because I don’t want my iron to smell minty or my clothes. Use on hot, steam as well. Rub it on with a damp cloth and wipe it off on a damp rag, then do a final clean up with a dry rag. You will have to do it several times, but it will be shiny and new one. I worked in a sewing factory in the late 80’s. That’s were I learned this. Or you can buy iron cleaner, it comes in a tub and looks like toothpaste. We ran out one day and the supervisor had tooth paste in her purse. I worked in the ironing and packaging part of a mans expensive button down shirt making factory.

  2. Goop or Goo-be-gone would work, too. Both are available in hardware stores or the cleaning section of the grocery store. It’s in a spray-bottle, and it’s bright orange stuff. Works wonders on getting off things like this!

  3. That’s a great tip! I will use it the next time I need to clean the iron. I am now following you on Twitter, FB and Pinterest. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me a sweet comment on my Free DIY Cherry Blossom Branches. I appreciate your kind words. I believe I have heard of your company before, and definitely remembered seeing the green hair in the ads. I look forward to keeping up on all your great tips. I hope you’ll visit me again and maybe even follow me back!

    • I followed you back and repinned your “removing plastic from the stove” (I did that exact same thing last week). I look forward to more of your posts. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Lisa D says:

    I never knew how to clean my iron. I will have to do this when I get home. Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting my blog. I see you are in the carpet cleaning business? cool. I have worked for Stanley Steemer for 19 years now. We have a little bit in common. Come visit again soon. Have a great weekend.

  5. This is wonderful! We just burned something this past week and I tried scraping it with my fingernail and soaking it with water. Fingernail polish – with six sisters we have plenty of that! THANKS so much! Have a great weekend. -The Six Sisters

  6. Stitches says:

    Wow thank you! I needed this so bad!.

  7. Awesome tip! My iron is sort of new, but I saw those black spots on my parents’ iron, so I know I’ll need it eventually!

  8. Crystelle Boutique says:

    Oh my I sooooo needed this post! Like you I have tried a lot of tips on the internet without good results. I was considering buying a new iron! But now I am going to pull out the nail-polish remover instead…. YAY! so excited! Thank you so much for sharing!

    hugs x

    ps Love your witty writing style!

  9. Taelia88 says:

    Wow! Such a smart idea!! And the outcome is amazing!
    Great post!!
    Have a great week!!

  10. lisa says:

    This is a new one for me – and I need it :
    Hope you can stop by the enchanted oven.

  11. This is a great tip.

    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

  12. Marie says:

    I’m no stranger to burnt clothes……or burnt food. My iron definitely looks like that and needs a good cleaning. If I hadn’t seen this post, I would have probably just bought a new iron! Thanks for the great tips!

  13. somewhatsimplesteph says:

    Your before pictures looks like my iron right now! I need to do this! 🙂 Thanks for linking up!

  14. Great idea! Thanks for sharing last weekend at The Best Blog Recipes Weekend re-Treat!

  15. Judy says:

    Glad to know this Angela.

    It is nice to meet you. I followed you via Twitter,Pinterest, and liked your FB.


  16. […] The Real DIY to Clean a Burnt Iron {And it’s Not Salt} […]

  17. Totally worked for me, though I used a cotton ball instead and when I went to wipe off the iron with a wet cotton cloth even more of the burn stain came out! Thanks for helping me avoid a salty mess 🙂

  18. Great tip! I’m pinning to share… and remember myself.

  19. Suzy says:

    I’m going to have to try this!! I recently burned something on to my iron so I’m not sure if it will work, but I’m going to try! 🙂 Thanks!

  20. Cindy says:

    Have you tried a vinegar and baking soda paste? Or I have used comet in the past. It’s worked for me.

  21. mjhooper2013 says:

    What is a paper q-tip? Mine are cotton fluff.

  22. […] again! I have something I must admit, and no it’s not that I burned my iron again, because I did, I rarely wash my makeup brushes. The horror! I even store my makeup brushes with my […]

  23. El2014 says:

    Our new iron had scorch marks on it so when I read the information on cleaning an iron, I immediately got up and tried it. It took about 10 minutes and it all came off! Thank you for sharing this information with all of us. I have tried salt, wax paper,and aluminum foil–all to no avail, so I was very happy to find something that worked.

  24. Nicole says:

    I finally got my iron clean with this technique, except I used a scrubber folded in layers so I could apply more elbow grease lol and I used a mixture of vinegar and water towards the end and it worked just as well as the acetone I was using:) thanks!

  25. Nicole says:

    Oh, and my iron actually does have a self cleaning function! But it just shoots out a lot of steam and water to clean out the inside and the holes, so science isn’t quite there yet lol!

  26. Helen Shellard says:

    Paracetamol (capsule shape as they are titchy) on a switched on iron (iron has to stay on) shifts burn marks too. Peels off.

  27. Adil says:

    Now I can easily clean my burnt iron with these effective and practical iron cleaning tips. Thank you for sharing a great blog post. Looking forward to more.

  28. Ram Katha says:

    A well written post, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing slightly analysis on that. And he indeed purchased me breakfast because I discovered it for him .. thus let me reword that: Thankx for the treat! however yeah Thnx for spending the time to talk concerning this, I feel strongly concerning it and revel in reading a lot of on this topic. If potential, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with a lot of info? it’s very useful on behalf of me. two thumb up for this blog!

  29. You can definitely see your excitement in the pieces you write. The world hopes for more passionate bloggers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they think. Always follow your heart.

  30. Gloria says:

    This worked! Granted I spent the good part of an hour with tiny little q-tips…but it definitely worked. Thank you!

  31. hytklb says:

    I have a dirty little secret that lives in my laundry room. It’s a secret that I hardly use…so I never really cared. But then I realized, if I hardly use it, why oh why is it such a nasty dirty little secret?? It’s my iron. And boy is it horrible. We have had it for a little over 5 years now. Maybe use it once a month, if that. The only time I usually pull it out is for decorating projects like sewing curtains or something so I don’t know why it’s so dirty. I guess all the iron on hem tape has had it’s way with it

  32. catherine Hall says:

    I use nail polish remover for loads of things (don’t use on wood or polished surfaces or some plastics, spot test before you do) such as the white rubber part of sneakers, and the rubber part of the fridge door , plastic window frames and sills.
    , stainless steel etc.

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