How to Repair Common Iron Problems

An iron stood on end, expelling steam.
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 30
What You'll Need
New power cord
New thermostat
Soft cloth
Nylon pad
White vinegar
Oven cleaner
Distilled water

An iron is a small appliance used to straighten out wrinkled clothes and kill any microbial activity occurring inside the clothing. Very little repairs are usually needed for a well-made iron, but sometimes you will need to fix broken handles, faulty cords, and clogged holes where steam is released. You can easily repair problems by following the steps described below.

Step 1 - Identify the Problem

It's important to know what sort of problem exists and what is required to repair it before starting. Read the manual provided with your iron first to be sure there is nothing wrong with your settings. Next, check the thermostat and electric cord if the iron does not heat or heats up exceedingly high when the power is switched on. If steam is not coming out properly or the water is being spat out when the iron is on, check the bottom of the iron (sole plate) and holes from where steam is released for debris or obstructions. Last but not least, check the sole plate surface if the clothes are clinging to it to see if there is any residue or debris burned onto it.

Step 2 - Take Appropriate Precautions

Switch off or disconnect the iron and leave it to cool off completely. If you start repairing the iron while it is still plugged to the circuit, you might get an electric shock.

Step 3 - Replace the Power Cord and Thermostat

Before you get into replacing the power cord, make sure you can find a new one for your particular appliance. Try local appliance repair shops, online sellers, or take it into a hardware or appliance store to see if there is perhaps a universal cord that will work.

Remove the cover panel first using an appropriate screwdriver. There will often be another set of screws just inside, securing the cord in place, and you'll need to remove these as well. Then, remove the wire nuts connecting the power cord to the wiring inside the iron and set it aside. Connect the new one in the exact same way as the old and screw it back into place. This is also the best time to replace the thermostat if it too is having problems.

Finally, screw the cover panel back into place, and switch the iron back on to check that it is heating properly.

Step 4 - Clean the Sole Plate

Anything that is stuck to the sole plate can cause problems with the function of your iron, so it's important that this piece is cleaned whenever it's stained or dirty. For stains, dampen a cloth, put salt on it, and rub the bottom of the iron, or simply use a nylon pad with water and soap. If the blemish is stubborn, some toothpaste can be rubbed on with a soft cloth.

When the sole plate gets buildup on it from ironing starched clothing, use white vinegar to remove it. You can also mix an equal amount of vinegar and salt and use it on the sole plate after heating the solution. Do not employ wire gauze pads, abrasive pads, or even abrasive cleaners, as these may scratch the non-stick coating on the iron and damage it permanently.

Step 5 - Remove Burn Marks

Cover the whole iron with paper except the bottom. Then, take the iron out into an open air space so the oven cleaner fumes do not spread inside the house. Directly sprinkle oven cleaner on the sole plate. Leave it for three minutes before you wash and rinse with cold water. Remove the paper when you're finished.

Step 6 - Clean the Water Container and Steam Holes

Fill the reservoir about a quarter full with white vinegar, and then empty it by steaming the iron. The vinegar fumes will open the holes that were earlier clogged by mineral deposits. Continue repeating this process until the holes are totally devoid of deposits.

To clean the container itself, fill it with distilled water and wash it thoroughly, making sure no vinegar remains in the reservoir or the holes.