Why is my iron not heating up?

A cold iron is no use at all. It can be easier just to buy a replacement, but in some cases the problem can be easily fixed. Follow the guide below to see if you can get it working again.

Check the iron's settings

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Most irons come with an adjustable temperature gauge - this is so that you can use hotter settings for 'Linen' and 'Cotton' items, than for pressing synthetic materials or delicate fabrics.

  • Consult the iron's manual - does your iron have an 'auto-off' safety setting? Make sure the iron hasn't turned off
  • Move the temperature dial up to the warmest setting; it may be turned down too low
  • Wait for a few moments and then try ironing the garment again

Plug the iron into a different socket

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  • Your electrical socket may have blown. Try plugging the iron into a different outlet
  • Check your household fuse box, to see if a fuse has blown
  • If your iron is still cold, check the iron's on/off light - is this illuminated? If the power socket works but the iron's light doesn't, the heating element has burnt out. Heating elements aren't worth fixing - if this has shorted then you will need a replacement iron
  • Using an extension cable? Try plugging the iron directly into the wall socket - the extension cord may have malfunctioned

Check for an empty reservoir

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Irons use steam to remove creases and kinks. If the water tank is empty, the iron won't work properly.

  • Switch the iron off and leave it to cool down
  • Switch it back on again, top up the water level, and try again

Clean the iron's water reservoir

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  • Empty the reservoir and fill it at least a quarter full with white vinegar. Plug the iron into the mains and set it to 'steam' mode. Once hot, run the iron over a clean cloth until the iron's metal surface is clean of deposits. This needs to be done regularly to keep the iron in good working condition - especially if you live in a hard water area.
  • Not sure if you live in a hard water area? Contact your water supplier to be sure!

Check for limescale deposits on the soleplate

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The soleplate is the iron's flat, metal surface. If the soleplate vents become clogged with limescale, the iron won't heat or produce steam properly.

  • Switch off the iron at the plug, and leave it to cool down
  • Once cool, turn the iron over and inspect the soleplate. Look for crusty deposits covering the soleplate vents
  • If the deposits are covering the steam vents, this may account for your ironing problem. Wipe the soleplate using a cool, damp cloth which has been dipped in a pot of white vinegar

 
 
 
 
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