Woman in a light blue t-shirt and jeans looks surprised at a large, iron-shaped burn hole in a white shirt she's holding, with an iron resting on a green and white checked ironing board in the foreground, inside a modern living room.

How To Remove Iron Marks From Clothes – 5 Simple Hacks!

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You’re getting ready for an important day at the office, your phone pings and you accidentally leave the hot iron sitting on your favorite shirt, and all of a sudden, you’ve got a scorch mark! 

It’s definitely frustrating, but there’s no need to toss that shirt aside just yet. 

I’m here with some easy ways to remove those pesky iron marks from your clothes, turning a potential disaster into a success story.

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Removing Scorch Marks Has Variable Difficulties

Before going any further, you need to understand that not every scorch mark can be removed. A light scorch mark will be fairly easy to deal with, and can sometimes be completely handled. However, heavy scorch marks may not completely disappear, especially on white clothes.

Nevertheless, there are multiple approaches you can take. There are five solutions in this article. Skip to the suitable one after you read the following pointers:

  • If you have hydrogen peroxide, soak a piece of cloth in it and cover the affected area with it, then go to solution 1.
  • If you’re using liquid detergent, immediately apply some of it on the burnt area, and scrub with your fingers while reading solution 2. 
  • If you have baking soda on hand, mix one tablespoon of it with two tablespoons of water to make a paste. Read solution 3 while making the paste. 
  • If you have lemon juice, mix a cup of it with one cup of water and go to solution 4.
  • If you have white vinegar, soak a white piece of cloth in it and start scrubbing the affected area while reading solution 5. 

Materials Needed

Before we get started, let’s make sure you have all the necessary materials on hand:

  • Clean white cloth or towel
  • One or more of the following:

How To Remove Iron Marks From Clothes

Solution 1: Hydrogen Peroxide (for Light Clothes)

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful cleaner, antifungal, antibacterial, and natural bleaching compound. This makes it a good asset when you have an iron mark on your clothes. 

Here’s how to use it:

Step 1: Hydrogen Peroxide Application

Soak a clean cloth with the hydrogen peroxide solution, then place it directly on the burnt area to allow it to start its action.

Optional Step: Add a Few Ammonia Drops

If you have a bit of ammonia solution to hand, sprinkle a few drops along with the hydrogen peroxide. Both of them are safe to be used (and mixed) on your clothes.

However, they’re not safe to breathe or be touched. Keep your nose away, and be sure to wear gloves if using this method.

Always wash your hands as soon as you’re done. 

Step 2: Use Another Dry Cloth

You need to cover the soaked cloth with another dry cloth.

This is because you’ll apply heat to it later on, and you don’t want the heat to evaporate the hydrogen peroxide too fast.

This also prevents hydrogen peroxide (and ammonia) from staining your iron.

Step 3: Iron the Two Layers

At this point, you should have a burnt piece of clothing, with a cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide on the scorched area, and an ironing cloth on top of all of them.

Set your iron to medium setting, and apply on top of these layers. Make sure to go back and forth to ensure consistent application of the hydrogen peroxide. 

Step 4: Replenish Evaporated Liquids

As you iron the layers, keep checking to see if the hydrogen-peroxide-soaked cloth has dried out.  If so, resoak it in the solution and then reapply the previous steps again. If you had applied ammonia, you should add a few drops of it as well. 

Keep doing that until the burn stain either completely disappears or at least stops fading, which means the maximum damage control has already been reached. 

Solution 2: Treating and Washing

This step includes adding a detergent and, if applicable, bleach, then washing the clothing item in the washing machine. 

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Rinse With Warm Water

Immediately take your burnt cloth and wash it with warm water. This makes it easier for the cloth to absorb the materials you’ll add soon.

Step 2: Apply a Detergent

Pour some liquid laundry detergent over the affected spot and rub it with your hands. If you only have powder-form detergent on hand, mix it with some water to form a paste that you can scrub with.

Optional Step: Soak in Diluted Bleach

If your clothes are safe to be used with bleach, soak them for 15 minutes in a diluted oxygen bleach solution. Use one cap of bleach for every water gallon.

The label on your clothes should tell you whether the cloth is bleach-safe or not. If it doesn’t, or if the label is torn or faded, it’s best not to use bleach.

Typically, silk, wool, and non-colorfast fabrics shouldn’t be subjected to bleach. 

Step 3: Clean in the Washing Machine 

Your clothes are now treated and ready to be washed. Take them and place them in a washing machine and use the wash cycle mentioned on the garment care label.

You may add other pieces of clothes for cleaning if they’re compatible with whatever program you’ll use for the burnt clothes.

If you have soaked your burnt clothes in bleach, make sure that whatever you add to the same washing cycle is also safe with bleach. 

Solution 3: Try a Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is notorious for being a natural stain remover. Since it’s available in most households, it can be a fantastic solution. You only have two steps here.

Step 1: Make the Paste

Mix baking soda with hot water to create a thick paste. The ratio should be 1:2 (baking soda to water).

Step 2: Apply the Paste

Once you get a paste form, apply it immediately using a piece of cloth to the scorch stain and scrub thoroughly. Make sure that the burn mark is covered with enough baking soda that you can no longer see the mark. 

Let the paste set for 30 minutes before washing it off. 

Solution 4: Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another fantastic natural bleaching agent that may help remove ironing stains. Keep in mind that lemon juice isn’t safe to use with non-bleach-safe fabrics. 

That being said, here’s how to use it:

Step 1: Mixing

Mix one cup of lemon juice and one cup of cold water in a bowl. 

Step 2: Cleaning

Scrub the affected area with the solution, and make sure not to stray away from it to avoid enlarging the spot by accident.

Keep scrubbing for 3-5 minutes. 

Step 3: Rinsing

Keep the solution in place for another 10 minutes, then put the piece of cloth in a container with hot water. Keep it there for 30 minutes. 

Solution 5: Use White Vinegar

Like lemon juice, vinegar is another potent cleaning solution that can be found in most households. Emphasis on white vinegar here. Apple cider and red wine vinegar will create new stains.

That said, here’s what you should do:

Step 1: Soaking

Soak a white cloth in concentrated white vinegar, then rub the marked spot for 3-5 minutes.  

Make sure that by the time you’re done, the marked spot is completely wet with white vinegar.

Step 2: Let it Rest

Let the cloth rest for 15-20 minutes, then wash it with cool water. 

Limiting the Damage

Sometimes the damage is a little too much for any of the suggested solutions to handle. But, you can limit the visibility of bad scorch marks by using an emery pad.

This should be used as a last resort, as there’s a risk of causing further damage and accidentally poking a hole through your clothes.

However, if all other methods have failed, then you are likely to throw away the burnt clothes anyway, so it won’t hurt to try one last thing. 

Of course, if you can afford it, and none of the above methods have worked, contact your local dry cleaners. They might have an alternative method to get rid of the iron stains without damaging your clothes. 

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Always be careful when using heat sources in the first place, especially on delicate materials, and try to avoid stubborn burn marks before they happen. 


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