Cleaning Irons


Disclaimer: This information is offered with NO liability or responsibility on the part of PITCA.

The following information is either from our personal experience or gleaned from various conversations and meetings. There are certainly other methods...but it's a starting point! Important Note: Test...Test...Test! Before you risk ruining a good iron, test the methods on this page on a low-value iron. If you have a high-value iron...we strongly recommend NOT cleaning it in any way. Removal of patina or paint can greatly devalue an otherwise high-value iron!

Cleaning Strategies:

There are three basic schools of thought regarding cleaning irons:

  1. Do nothing to the iron...keep it as you found it.
  2. Lightly clean and polish without removing the patina.
  3. Completely clean the iron and make it look like new.

Personally we generally prefer strategy #2, but we know many collectors in both of the other categories. It depends on your personal taste and whether or not you intend to sell the iron in the future.

 Coming Soon: Updated Cleaning Recommendations


Wax Cleaners & Polishers

(1) A Marvel wax pad by the Marvel Supply Company of Williamspost, PA. "They will not injure the Finest Fabrics and will last a long time." The pads were saturated with Pure Bees Wax, Para Wax and a specially compounded Polishing Oil. 

(2) A cardboard box containing a beeswax cake insert. "For Cleaning, Smoothing and Waxing Flat Irons." Measures 5" long, 3 1/2" wide and 1" deep. Produced by the Bodine Roofing Company of Mandfield, Ohio and Patented April 13, 1897. 

Images provided by PITCA members Anne & Bob Daly.