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Domestic Ineptitude

You know all those cute bloggers out there in the world that are able to create the most adorable things you have ever seen, and then one day they show you their home and it, too is spotless and gorgeous and they themselves are adorable and you think they must be Superwoman or something?

Well, I am NOT one of those kinds of bloggers. My studio is a mess-- ALL THE TIME. I can't cook- not even chocoate chip cookies turn out when I am at the oven. My house is fairly clean, but it is not decorated-- at all. And most days, I wear a t-shirt and jeans and don't bother with my hair.

So, that being said, I need some help. My iron is dirty (I hate ironing but have found that it is a necessary evil when sewing). And I can't get it clean. So, I am hoping there are a few 'domestic goddesses' out there, reading my blog that can share some of their infinite wisdom with me.

How do I get this stupid thing clean?!?!?


Kelli said...

Mine is filthy too! This is what I came up with (from :

# To clean the soleplate: First, turn off your iron and let it cool completely before cleaning. Haley’s Cleaning Tips by Rosemary and Graham Haley suggests rubbing the bottom of your iron with salt on a damp cloth. You can also use soapy water and a nylon mesh pad. For stubborn stains, try using toothpaste on a soft cloth. Cleaning Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin recommends cleaning starch build-up with a cloth damp with white vinegar or a solution of equal parts white vinegar and salt (heated up so the salt dissolves). How to Cheat at Cleaning by Jeff Brendenerg suggests cleaning the soleplate with a paste of baking soda and water. Wipe the paste onto the soleplate with a damp cloth and then wipe it off with the other side of the cloth.

* WARNING: Never use a metal scouring pad on the soleplate since this can scratch and damage the iron.
* If your iron does not have a non-stick surface, try this tip from the author of Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean, Linda Cobb: Heat the iron to the hottest, non-steam setting. Sprinkle a brown paper bag with salt and run the iron over the bag.

Hope this helps - good luck! Now I'm off to try some of these on my own iron.

Bridget said...

Look up Faultless Hot Iron Cleaner on Google. They sell it for cheap on Amazon or I have bought it at Wal-Mart. Easy to use and works like a charm.

Holly said...

I am considering buying a new iron. Just to avoid this problem (that and my iron is older then myself),
Good luck though!
Sounds like Kelli covered a lot of good tips!

Shona said...

This summer I heard (and saw) someone clean an iron with dryer sheets. It seemed to work. You might give that a try before buying a new iron :)

Lisa said...

I've used Faultless Iron cleaner too. They even sell it at the grocery stores here. At our walmart or target it's where they sell the irons and ironing boards

9patchnurse said...

I have used dryer sheets, after they've been through the dryer. I rub them on the 'warm' iron. But I think all of those other suggestions work too. Good luck, irons are expensive. Also, my house is more messy than not and I can't keep my sewing room organized to save my life. You would feel right at home.

Ryan said...

Simple 3 step process:

1. Go to Costco
2. Buy new iron
3. Discard old iron

Works like a charm! I do it about every 8 months. :)

Do I qualify as a domestic goddess???

Brooke said...

I really need to check who my gmail account is signed in as more often. :) The above comment was of course, me, not the dumb dumb boy I live with. He doesn't even know where the iron lives.

wishes, true and kind said...

I am not a domestic diva, either! I usually only iron when I am sewing, and my husband has taken his shirts in for cleaning/pressing ever since we've been married.

I say, get a new iron! Enjoy!

Judy Hartman said...

I laughed when I saw this post. Your iron looks like mine often does, usually from fusing fabrics together for crafts. I use Dritz brand Iron-Off hot iron cleaner. You squirt it from a tube on to a rag and iron over it. It always works. I get it at JoAnn's fabric store.

Miss Prickly said...

I don't know how to clean the iron, but I just wanted to comment on domestic ineptitude.

I say HOORAY for domestic ineptitude. The guests in our homes can relax, and not feel like they have anything to live up to.

Barb said...

I am laughing because I am looking around my sewing room and it is in shamble....just got a new desk and have not moved a thing back in and well....just a mess.

I have heard that downy sheets will help clean your iron.

Peggy said...

Wow, I was just going to leave a reply when I reread Kelli's reply. All the things she wrote about work great. I've used them since I was a child as it was one of my chores (if Mom hadn't already gotten it done!! ha ha!) Mom's favorite was the baking soda paste and it has always worked. Over the years I've tried the commercial cleaners but being cheap, uh make that "thrifty" I've gone back to the old stand-by of baking soda or salt. I mean if I am going to spend the money, why not spend it one something more practical like really good chocolate or a pretty piece of fabric.

Hope this helps! Just to clarify, you have a studio? OH, I am so jealous... We just moved and are now living in a much smaller house. Read 3 bedrooms, 2 bath (for which I am so grateful), living room, and dining/kitchen. It may be tiny for a family of 5 but I love it! I get to watch the neighbors lambs and cows daily (without the chores or smell!!)

(p.s. I don't know about others but if you were ever to see a picture of my house on my blog it is only after it's been cleaned! I mean magazine clean, usually looks nothing like that even 20 minutes later... but I am trying to change that!)

Bia, from Brazil said...

LOL. I´m horrible in cleaning. I try heating it up to maximmun and pressing it hard against the corner of the iron board and down. Must remember to have some fabric you don´t want anymore between the iron and the ironing board cover. Try this before going out and buying a product. If you have to go out buy a new iron.

My sewing room is alwas a mess too. Even when I tidy it up!

superstitches said...

Let's hear it for the constant mess in the studio. I'll never be able to post pics because I can't get it cleaned up enough. Of course, with that amount of creativity why waste time cleaning when you could be creating. I've used iron-off by Dritz somewhat successfully to clean my iron. I am going to try the baking soda paste next time as I don't like the smell of burning iron-off. You could always buy a new iron and use the old one just for messy craft projects and the new one just for fabric.

Pam Hoffman said...

Haven't seen this...

Fill the iron with vinegar and run it.

I haven't done this (my iron doesn't get USED enough to get dirty!) I have read it - in an electronics manual of all things (i have a 2-year degree in Electronics!).

Same thing with your coffee maker - run vinegar thru it to clean it up and make the coffee taste good again.

The acid helps clean things off and they smell better (say you add some to your laundry).

BE SURE TO RINSE BOTH thoroughly after the vinegar!!

Good luck, let us know what happens!


Pam Hoffman

Anonymous said...

They're not that expensive these a new one :) x

Lisa said...

I second (or third or fourth) the nomination for Faultless Hot Iron Cleaner. Works like a charm!

Lisa Marie said...

Step 1: Turn iron on to cotton setting.

Step 2: Pour table salt on a paper bag/ large piece of paper/ anything paper safe to iron.

Step 3: Iron the salt until it grits off all the gunk.

I've been doing this for years and it works like a charm. Really helps for when you get fusible gunk on your iron.

Good luck!

sarahbellum said...

yep, baking soda paste (if it's not coated w/ teflon). Haven' tried salt but sounds like that would work, too

julie said...

Oh! yes,, I'm with Ryan/Brooke.
Go buy a new one. Trin the fat off the household budget. I'm sure you could all go on a fresh fruit and veg diet for a week or two. Just joking. I also do the salt clean. Always works for me.

Kathy said...

I would buy a new iron and at the same time buy some Iron Off. I use it when I have an "iron accident".

Lisa Marie said...

Hi 5 Julie!
The best part about the salt clean is that you have everything you need already in your house!

Brooke said...

I have used the baking soda paste to clean off the grime, as well as dryer sheets. I have also put vinegar in the iron and steamed blasted it out...doesn't smell great, but does clean out all those weird deposits. the I fill with water to and repeat with steam blasting. I have a rowenta so I wouldn't just go and buy a new one. One I love my iron (I know sounds strange) and two well I love my iron.

Dee said...

You're supposed to clean the darn thing? LOL

If you feel up to following all this awesome advice, best of wishes. Me? I wouldn't unless I couldn't afford the trip to Costco. Mine has been dropped so many times, I'm waiting for it fall apart and then I'm taking a trip to Costco!

Domestic diva, I am not. I'm a khaki and tshirt kinda gal. Yesterday, I didn't even shower! I know, shocking. The superwomen need a hobby. Sewing is not a hobby for them, it's a statement. Sewing for relaxation and destressing goes hand in hand with a busy mom and a houseful of kids and pets.

Hang in there! I love you just the way you are.

Brittny said...

At JoAnn's they sell iron cleaner on the notions isle. I used to do the salt and wax paper thing but it never worked that well then I bought the iron cleaner and it works so fast! On the back it said it would smoke and stink so I didn't try it for a while but I now know it is truly amazing.

Karen said...

I keep a Magic Eraser (the Mr. Clean things in the cleaning aisle) by my ironing board. When my iron gets dirty, I spritz it pretty good with water, and run the hot iron over it till clean. Only takes a time or two. Works great :)

Emily said...

Oh yeah, I'm so with ya. Jeans and t-shirt today, well, I washed my hair last night and put some hairspray on it this morning. Does that count? My iron has been dirty for about 9 years, as long as it doesn't mess up my fabric, I'm ok with that. House, well, 3 kids, but I try, usually.