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Home improvements: keep your iron in tip-top shape

Make sure you don't transfer dirt and grime onto your newly-laundered clothes by keeping your iron in tip-top condition.

Make sure you don't transfer dirt and grime onto your newly-laundered clothes by keeping your iron in tip-top condition.

Without wanting to state the obvious, make sure your iron is off before you start. If the surface is looking oily, dip a clean cloth in ammonia or vinegar and wipe it down. If that doesn't work, try mixing vinegar with baking powder and scrubbing with a soft cloth. Dip another cloth in warm water and wipe the surface clean afterwards.

If the surface of your iron is waxy, heat it up and then wipe it with a scrunched up piece of newspaper. Again, wipe it over with a dampened cloth once you are done and the iron has cooled.

If there's a build-up of dirt in the vents of your iron, use cotton buds dampened with water and ammonia to clean them out. Do not use knives or other sharp objects to try to scrape dirt off as this will damage your iron.

Finally, clean out the water reservoir by filling it with equal parts of vinegar and water. Turn the iron on and, once it has steamed for a few minutes, use the spray feature repeatedly. Turn the iron off, empty it out and repeat the process using only water until you are sure there are no traces of vinegar left.

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