Today I Cleaned My Iron for the First Time, and It Blew My Mind

my iron, it has 300 steamholes; speaking generally, irons are pretty useful things

Disclaimer: just kidding, it didn’t really blow my mind.

Earlier today, while figuring out which t-shirt to put on before getting some dope tacos at the Taco Stand in La Jolla with my friend Kevin, I came to the realization that all of my t-shirts were wrinkled as fuck — practically unwearable.

kevin (my friend)

So, I decided to do some last minute, pre-lunch ironing — a straight-forward, no hassle solution to my predicament, right? Well, turns out there’s more to ironing then just putting in water, plugging in the iron, and ironing sometimes.

Here’s the rub: turns out you can’t fill your iron with shitty tap water for years without expecting it to cake the iron’s pores with calcium and mineral deposits — deposits that spew out alongside the steam. Yeah, sure, I blasted away the wrinkles on my t-shirts with no problem, but I ended smooth t-shirts riddled with tiny bits and pieces of mineral build up from my iron. I’ve noticed this happen before, but it wasn’t bad enough to bother me. This time though, there was enough shit coming out of iron to piss me off. Supposedly, my iron is “self-cleaning”, but clearly it wasn’t “self-cleaning” enough.

So, I committed to resolving this issue; after lunch, of course. (Turns out Lucha Libre near downtown San Diego was a shorter drive than the Taco Stand in La Jolla, so we ended up going there instead. Great burritos by the way, would recommend.)

lucha libre burrito (leftovers)

After lunch, I skimmed some guides I found on the internet after a hasty Google search, I realized that this wouldn’t be an easy endeavor. Some sites recommended required the iron with a vinegar and distilled water (neither ingredients I had at my disposal in my meagerly equipped man-cave-apartment), running the steam function, wiping the iron plate down, and then picking at the holes of the iron with a q-tip dipped in distilled water (my iron’s holes are way too small to be cleaned out with q-tips).

So, with most logical options exhausted, I considered taking a toothpick and try to pick out the gunk and rinsing out the loose bits somehow. As I transported my iron to the kitchen sink I noticed some words on the side: “anti-calc” and “self-cleaning”. “Bullshit”, I thought, “How would I have ended up with calcium-ed out t-shirts if that was actually true?” But then with my next thought, for the first time while owning this iron, I considered the possibility that I had to activate “self-cleaning mode” somehow .

I grabbed my laptop and did some research, and turns out there was.

me turning on self-cleaning mode

Apparently, cleaning out the calcium caked in my iron was as easy as turning it on, letting it heat up, unplugging it, and pressing pushing the steam lever to “self-clean”. After I followed those steps, my iron started to produce steam profusely and sputtered out the tiny chunks into my sink.

look at this, it’s calcium, and it was getting on my shirts

To be honest, I always thought it was some passive feature, not something I actually had to activate. But yeah, the “self-clean” on my iron is a very cool, powerful feature that I can envision myself using for the rest of my time owning this iron. Overall, I believe “pleasantly surprised” would be an apt summary of my reaction to my discovery of this feature.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading this anecdote the self-cleaning feature on my iron. Stay tuned for next week, when I’ll be discussing my rice-cookers “keep-warm” feature (Some enthralling stuff, really.)