Cleaning gunk off flatiron

Anyone know how to clean the stuff that accumulated on my flatiron? I've never used it for anything other than cottons (high heat), and I think the gunk first appeared after putting tap water in it for steam. I've never used it with water again.
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Hi Karl--this link discusses how to remove starch residue from an iron--they recommend either baking soda/water paste or 50/50 vinegar/water solution. Maybe it will work for your cleaning job.
http://www.ehow.com/how_18787_clean-starch-residue.html
--r3
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I don't have an easy solution, perhaps you can use some white vinegar in the iron to dissolve the mineral buildup. My iron is over 25 years, and still in excellent condition. The manufacturer says it can use tap water, but I always use distilled--never any mineral buildup.
Have you ever boiled a cup or two of tap water down to a tablespoon? You'd be amazed at the gunk residue left behind. The deposits left behind depend on your water department's water supply. Not that the residue is bad for your health, but it will play havoc on your iron, hot water tank, plumbing, etc.
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Tap water is bad, unless the mfg clearly says it is ok. Mineral deposits can build up inside the iron, blocking the steam vents, possibly even the water feed to the steam plate if it's allowed to sit.
To clean your sole plate, go to any fabric store, look for the notions wall, where the pins, needles, snaps, etc are. Look for a product in a tube called Iron-Off, made by Dritz. It is a creamy paste, won't hurt your soleplate and will remove any sort of gunk. I've been sewing for years, and always end up with residue from fusible products, starches, etc. This stuff has NEVER failed me; been a staple of my sewing supplies for 20 years. It's about US $5 tube. One tube lasts me well over a year.
To use it, first get your iron at hot as it will go, no steam. While it's heating, squeeze 2-3 inches onto a thickly folded bath towel.
Once the iron is full hot, TAKE EVERYTHING OUTSIDE or the smoke will set off your smoke detector :) Your iron will stay hot long enough to get the job done. Then rub the iron around and around in the paste, and the gunk and the paste go up in smoke. If the iron is really bad you may need to reheat the iron and do it again. It helps to put the towel on the ground, so you can apply a little muscle.
Tips...I've found a terry cloth bath towel works the best; the rough surface works better than a smooth cloth, for instance an old t-shirt. I haven't had it ever stain a towel, but I've always used old rag towels anyway...so don't use you good bath towels.
I've heard it works for soldering irons, too.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)(4507
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We used to sprinkle salt on wax paper and "iron" it.
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