A cold iron is no use at all. Mostly, it's 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.

The Knowhow

Work through the steps below to troubleshoot a cold iron:

Check the iron's settings

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? Many irons switch off automatically after a set period of time - this is a safety measure in case you forget to turn off your iron. If you don't have an auto-off setting:
    • 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

Try the iron's plug in a different socket

  • 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 water reservoir

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

Check for limescale deposits on the soleplate

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.

Check the manufacturer's instructions for furtherdetails

Updated On:

Jun 19, 2012

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