Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Tuesday: What Do You Do with a Dirty Iron?

Like that famous sea shanty goes: What Do You Do with a Dirty Iron? Fusible web and fabric fibers are a bad mix when it comes to keeping your iron clean. A hot iron picks up fibers and fusible glue in a flash. Then the iron (the dirty little thing) spreads a streak of gluey slug all across your quilt top. This is a permanent glue! It's hard to get that gunk off the quilt top. So, short of throwing your iron overboard, what do you do?
Here's how to clean your iron. One solution is to purchase an iron cleaning product like Iron Off. Squirt the cleaner on a piece of old fabric that is draped over the edge of your ironing board. Now scrape the hot iron across the edge. Another option, you probably have right now in your house, is a fabric softener sheet you use in a dryer. Put a fresh dryer sheet between 2 pieces of fabric. Again scrape the hot iron across it on the edge of the ironing board.
Housing Department #4
Note: No matter what method you use, your iron will smoke. DO NOT clean your iron under a smoke detector or the fire department will come to your house! (Ask me how I know.)

Stay tuned to next week's How to Tuesday when we'll discover how not to fuse flowers to the bottom of your iron.

12 comments:

Ruth Anne Olson said...

I've been there. Anyone who has ever fused has probably been there. This cleaning product has worked well for me. I also bought a spare iron.

WoolenSails said...

I decided to try some fusing yesterday, but I had heat and bond, it is a bit stiff, but works. The nice thing is I can tell which side is which, lol. Think it would be great for machine quilting, but hard with hand sewing.

Debbie

Nancy said...

Thanks for this info. My iron looked exactly like this... right down to a spiky yellow flower stuck to it! Wrong side looked like the right side, and that was the result.

deborah said...

I've even used a brown paper bag to clean my iron. It worked...hate that gooey gunk, don't you?

dj said...

Love your sense of humor! How many times have I left a flower on the bottom of my iron???
Have you tried "Bo-nash Iron Clean" sheets? They are wonderful! I always have one on the end of my iron board on a paper towel.

Laura Bradley said...

I feel so much better to know I am not alone with my dirty little iron! I have gone through 3 irons last year..I have gotten to the point where I buy irons from the thrift stores case I wreck them. No point yet for me to buy a fancy expensive iron as I am not responsible enough yet! I didnt think the iron off worked too well but I am going to try the dryer sheet. Thanks! I also started using a protector piece of plastic(made for that purpose) when I am fusing and that has helped a lot!

mageez said...

Hi Laura. also please let people know that if a person has any kind of asthma or breathing issues it is best to ask their husband, child or friend to do the cleaning. and not to return to the area until it's had time to air out. ask me how i know!
maggie

Laura Wasilowski said...

Good advice Maggie! When I teach, we always ask before we clean the irons just to make sure everyone is OK with it.

Dotti said...

Someone once told me about using those fab softner sheets to clean the iron...but...they did not tell me to sandwich them between fabric...which of course let to a bigger and better mess. DANG (is what I truly meant to say...but that's not what came out)! (GRIN) Oh well...that iron never worked quite right after it fell to the floor!

Maud said...

Haven't we all done this? And I would hate for anyone to see how nasty my ironing board cover looks.
Kind of like pot-holders...we know they are clean but they just look nasty. My mom tends to throw mine out when she comes to visit! LOL
Maud

Sue McB said...

Love that photo - proves you are just like the rest of us - even experts to silly things sometimes! Did not know about the softener sheets, will try it next time I do the same thing.

Jenice said...

I clean mine with a wet Magic Eraser. You just lay the wet magic eraser on a towel and rub your hot iron on it. Viola...nice and clean.