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Unusual Uses for Steam Irons

Filed Under: Essential Skills, Know-How

You use your steam iron to press perfect pleats into your pants and iron the wrinkles out of your dress shirts. But did you know that irons can help with repair projects and cleaning and maintenance around the house? Here are some of my favorite unusual uses for steam irons

steam ironGetty Images

Ah, the power of steam. Just look at all the ways heat and vaporized water can come in handy around the house.

REMOVE WAX FROM LINEN

A steam iron is the perfect tool for lifting melted wax from linens. Lay a couple of paper towels over the wax and then press them with the iron. The wax will transfer to the towels as it melts. Move the towels each time you pick up the iron to prevent redepositing the wax.

FLUFF UP CRUSHED CARPETS
We've all been there: you move a piece of furniture, and you have that ugly compressed carpet where the furniture used to be. The cure for a crushed carpet? Use a spoon to loosen the fibers up; then hold a hot iron over the area and let the steam fluff up the carpeting.

IRON ON VENEER
An iron is the perfect choice for applying iron on veneer edging or patches. The heat from the iron activates the glue on the veneer. All you have to do is cut the veneer to the size you need, cover it with a piece of heavy paper or a cloth to protect the surface and then press with your iron to activate the glue.

FIX DENTS AND DINGS ON WOOD FURNITURE
To fix dents on wood furniture, poke several holes in the wood with a pin, lay a slightly damp cloth over it and hold the steam iron just above the area. This lets in enough moisture to swell the wood to its original size.

REPAIR A LOOSE VINYL TILE
Vinyl floor tiles sometimes slip out of place. Cover the tile with aluminum foil and run a hot iron back and forth over the area; the heat will reactivate the tile adhesive. Then, just stack a couple of books on to hold the repair down for a couple of hours. Safety tip: Aluminum foil can get hot so don't get burned.

FIX BROKEN OR DAMAGED VINYL
The same iron that can help adhere a loose vinyl tile can also can help remove a broken one. The same principle applies: using heat to reactive the glue. Lay the aluminum foil over the tile and run the iron over it to loosen the adhesive. Then use a wide putty knife to remove the tile. A little vinegar will remove any adhesive residue. Then simply replace with a new tile.

IRON MORE EFFICIENTLY
Put a layer of aluminum foil under the cover on your ironing board, the heat from the iron will reflect off of the foil and help you iron twice as fast!



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