Clothes iron face cleaning?

I have an iron whose face is all gunked up. Not sure how this happened but I am wondering if it can somehow be cleaned rather than me having to go out and purchase a new iron. When the iron is heated/hot it drags on the clothing item and sometimes transfers some of the gunk onto the clothing.
Can I just use steel wool and/or a brillo pad on the face or will this scratch/ruin the iron face?
Thanks, Walter
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"Walter Cohen" wrote

Spray starches or 'finishing' sprays most likely.

Yes you can use such with a reasonably light hand. It wont look 'as pretty' as a new iron but it wont cause any real harm to it's use. Use a pattern of 'front to back' and 'back to front' etc or you may cause sticking problems if you go side to side. Basically you want the very *minor* scratches to be in the same direction as how you use the iron.
You could also try a damp plastic 'greenie weenie' or other scrubbie on it. It's not too bad, that might work.
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Got a Bed Bath & Beyond store nearby? Same company which makes irons (Rowena or some such name) sells a cleaning kit containing stuff in a toothpaste tube. Works nicely. Otherwise, I'd use a coarse **PLASTIC** dish scrubbing pad and a little Bon Ami powder. Have q-tips handy for getting any powder residue out of the steam holes.
Someone in the house caused this problem, so you'll need to track down the culprit, or get them their own iron so they don't screw up the one you need to use. The offender will cause the problem again - that's a sure thing.
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I've even used #400 sandpaper to speed the work. The scratches are so tiny that it doesn't impair performance. A very fine drywall mesh screen would work to and not build up the gunk on the mesh.
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is it corrosion or hard water deposits? the plan of attack is different, depending. Most of the responses I've seen seem to be appropriate for corrosion. for hard water stains I would fill a shallow pan with CLR and just soak and scrub.
nate
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I've used 0000 steel wool to clean my irons many times over the years.
What's the gunk? If it's melted something or other, try some GooGone, lighter fluid or WD-40 on the steel wool after heating the iron up to loosen it.
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That should work for surface corrosion or pitting.

HOWEVER, don't heat it any hotter than you can touch the iron with your flat palm! Lighter fluid will, at best, instantly evaporate, or may flash and burn.
The 0000 steel wool with the solvent will likely work for many/most "gunk." Kerosene was the old-fashioned solvent of choice, but GooGone or WD-40 are good modern alternatives.
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just get some iron cleaner.
s

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Why? What's in it?
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wrote...

I don't know, but it works really well. Made by Rowenta, a mfr of irons. Brownish ointment in a tube.
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You may have used tap water in the iron and the water had minerals in it. This can cause brown hard stuff to come out on the clothes - it's crumbly looking. You can try putting white vinegar in the iron and heating it - then empty it out. Buy a bottle of distilled water at the grocery and use it in the iron instead of tap water. It will take several uses for the iron to let go of the mineral buildup. You can try to polish the face of the iron with silver polish. The iron may look bad but it won't hurt your clothes ... the brown stuff that comes out will stain them - but it washes out.
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wrote...

Rowenta warns NOT to use distilled water.
Other reasons for deposits on the iron are:
1) Too much heat for certain fabrics, obviously due to human error.
2) Soap & fabric softener don't rinse out of clothes for various reasons, all due to human error.
Solve those problems and the iron will be fine.
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shit that cleans irons i guess. You wanted to know what to use to clean an iron. Iron cleaner.
s
wrote...

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Too logical to be believable. :-) http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com /(cl2iifmesmtqnuygczaqk345)/productdetails.aspx?sku`94999&source=GoogleBase
wrote...

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On Tue, 6 May 2008 08:48:55 -0400, "Walter Cohen"

Fill the iron with white vinegar; then take a glass baking dish (rectangular), set the iron in and poor a 1/4 inch of vinegar into the dish. Allow this to work over night. In the morning, remove the iron, heat and steam the vinegar out of the water reservoir.
This work great for mineral deposits. Just let the iron soak over night.
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It probably happened because someone is using it too hot - either s/he's setting the temperature too high or the thermostat is kaput

out
The iron's not very useful as it is, so it can't hurt to try - I'd start with something very non-abrasive, like Windex and a sponge, and work my way up using things like toothpaste and brush, plastic scrubbies, etc. I wouldn't use steel wool - if steel dust gets imbedded in the plate your stuff could get rust spots on it as well as gunk. You may end up ruining the faceplate, but if you're patient and careful, you should be able to clean it.
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My grandmother always cleaned this off with bar soap. Get the iron hot and rub the bar of soap on it. This is an old time trick so I would use an old time soap like IVORY.
Jimmie
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Walter Cohen wrote:

I learned this from a quilting show. Find a cardboard box that is large enough to move the iron around in it freely. Cut a brown paper bag to cover the bottom of the box. Pour table salt into the box and rub your heated iron over the salt. It will clean off all the gunk. Use an old t shirt to brush the salt off the bottom of the iron back into the box. Then move the iron over a piece of waxed paper. This will help the iron glide more easily. The box with the salt can be reused many times.
Pat in NJ
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