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Why black marks appear after ironing?

One of our clients in Cambridge phoned us yesterday as her iron has left black marks over her lovely white blouse. Why have these black marks appeared? What can she do about it?

Have you got a limescale build-up? Or noticed brown water marks left behind on your garments? If yes, it is time to clean your iron.

Below I have got some great tips on how to clean and care for your iron so you can get the best results in the future.

A dirty or a scorched iron will most defiantly cause problems, you may have noticed that there are pieces left on the bottom plate, limescale/mineral deposits, sticky or oily marks may also be seen. If not regularly cleaned your iron can leave brown marks, even stickiness from the iron, as it can transfer onto your garments... possibly ruining them beyond repair!

Removing sticky marks

Newspaper can make an excellent iron cleaner; you may also use a paper towel or a dry cotton cloth. Turn on the iron to the highest setting (do not turn on the steam option), run the hot, dry iron across the paper or towel until clean. If you need a little more abrasion for the more stubborn marks, sprinkle some salt onto the paper and repeat the process. To remove and leftover reside, simply run the iron over a clean damp towel once it is cooled down.

Removing oily marks

Unplug your iron and make sure it is cooled. Dampen a cloth using only distilled white vinegar, wipe the entire bottom plate, then rinse with a clean damp cloth. If the oily marks are still present dip your cloth in ammonia, wipe the plate, then rinse with a clean cloth, making use to toughly dry before using again.

Removing stains

Firstly, make sure the iron is off and cooled. Make a paste, from baking soda and water. Apply to all marked areas on the plate, then scrub off with a damp cloth.

Toothpaste can be used as an alternative. It must, however, be a non-gel toothpaste. Cover the marks for 2 to 3 minutes. Then polish with a soft cotton cloth in a circular motion, rinse off the toothpaste, finally turning on the iron and switching to the steam option, let the steam run for a minute to remove any toothpaste left in the vent. Wiping one final time when cooled again.

Removing limescale/mineral deposits. Brownish water problems.

If your iron is leaving brown water spots on your clothing, especially when using the steam option, it is defiantly time to clean the water tank.

To do this, you need to empty the tank, then refill with ¼ of distilled white vinegar and ¾ of distilled water. Turn the iron on, select full steam and run the iron back and forth until the water tank is empty. If you have a spray option, spray until the water is no longer miscoloured. Refill the iron with distilled water and repeat to make sure all the limescale residue had gone. You can also use a cotton earbud in the vent holes to be sure there is nothing left that can transfer onto your garments.

Here at Farthings Dry Cleaners in Cambridge and Trumpington, we are always keen to help you with your laundry and dry cleaning.

To prevent your iron from any future limescale build-up more marks, only use distilled water. The reason being it does not contain any dissolved minerals. It is also good practice to empty the tank after every use before storing.


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