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Cleaning a Dirty Iron

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cleaning a Dirty Iron

I use a LOT of interfacing when making my purses. Consequently, I use my iron a LOT. I consider my iron to be as important a tool as my sewing machine...well, okay, a close second :-). Anyway, because I use my iron so much, the sole plate is constantly getting dirty.

When I first started making purses I never thought about cleaning the sole plate of my iron, but when it stopped gliding smoothly over my fabric and even started leaving gunk on my new and precious creations, I decided I'd better figure out how to clean darn thing.

I did some research and tried several things and the best solution I found was size 00 steel wool and wax paper. Now I clean it the second I notice anything on the plate, even if it's hot.

Cleaning your iron when it's cold is best because you can hold it up against your body and put elbow grease into the scrubbing. I take the steel wool and hold it in an old piece of fabric or an old kitchen dishcloth that I've reserved for just this purpose. While scrubbing, tiny pieces of steel wool break off and stay in the fabric. You don't want to wash this with anything else or the pieces might end up on something that will scratch you or something you don't want to be scratched. Just reserve the cloth for this purpose and never use it for anything else. Also, you might want to go outside or stand somewhere that you can easily clean up the steel - not on carpet. I usually do it in the kitchen over the sink.

If the iron is hot, as long as your cloth is thick enough, you can scrub it but you have to be careful not to burn yourself. I do this only when I'm in the middle of a project and the gunk is going to mess up my fabric. Again, be really careful.

Lastly, after I have scrubbed all the gunk off, I iron a piece of wax paper. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy but it makes your iron glide over fabric like nothing else. It's a beautiful thing.

Till later ~


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At September 1, 2011 at 3:51 PM , OpenID tillymintboutique said...

Great tips and definately something I should do! I do agree that the iron is one of the most important tools for sewers!

Sarah x

At September 1, 2011 at 6:19 PM , Blogger Reba said...

Yeah, it drives me crazy to have the iron drag and that interfacing really dirties your iron. It messes up your ironing board cover too - you can probably see how dirty mine was from the pics in the pattern (so embarrassed now) LOL. I did buy a new cover - FINALLY!

At September 6, 2011 at 1:34 PM , Anonymous Susan said...

You are genius, it worked great! THANKS!

At September 6, 2011 at 6:36 PM , Blogger Reba said...

YAY! Always thought I was smart but I love being called a genius, LOL. Glad the tip worked for you.


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