The Luck of the Iron-ish — Buy Nothing New for a Year!

-8I’d like to iron out one of my pet peeves for you today. Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day, and while rushing around to put together our perfect green outfits for family brunch, I realized that my favorite (read: only) green shirt was a bit wrinkly in the closet. I decided to strike while the iron was hot, and smooth out all of the wrinkles (seriously, I’m done with the puns, now) even though the shirt would ultimately be worn under a sweater which went under a sport coat. Whatever. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to getting all decked out, because when you work in a thrift store, the occasions you have to get all gussied up come along few and far between.

“To the iron, Batman!” I thought, and hurried away to the pantry to grab our iron and ironing board. Being in a rush as I was, I just plugged it in, turned it on and walked away. Coming back a few minutes later, I haphazardly -9grabbed my shirt, laid out the sleeves and BAM! on my first pass over with the iron, managed to leave behind some marks from the burnt whatever that previously damaged the surface of the iron. First, you must understand a couple of things:

1. I don’t like to iron. Neither does Melissa. Even when I had a job that required pressed shirts daily, the cleaner did a great job of preparing those for me.

2. Every time I must iron, inevitably, I forget that the surface of my iron is covered by this evil stuff that has a tendency to only come off on light-colored expensive shirts, and only when I am in a rush.-10

3. This is the second iron that we have had with a destroyed surface. The first one being a far more expensive iron, which prompted us to settle for a $20 cheap-o that eventually met the same fate.

4. I somehow never take the time to fix the damage, or more importantly, the habit that was the initial cause of iron destruction, presumably turning my iron too hot on polyester clothing? I don’t know. Actually, that is not entirely the truth. Last time I did this, I took a metal scrub pad to the surface of my iron, which left the staining behind, but took off a nice chunk of the Teflon coating. How wonderful!

So….back to St. Paddy’s Day. Knowing every wasted moment meant that the corned beef and cabbage was getting colder, and the Guinness was getting warmer, I decided to hide the sleeve stains and make a dash for brunch! The iron situation could be dealt with later. Fast forwarding to “later,” I did a quick internet search which resulted in a bevy of solutions for cleaning a soiled iron plate. Everything from toothpaste to salt on a paper bag, to oven cleaner, to “good ol’ fashioned elbow grease…” and one site that had just about all of them wrapped up into one.


After trying every single method (and then some) I am sad to report that the iron plate is still fairly messed up. To add insult to injury, we just had an iron in brand-new condition at the shop last week that sold for $3.99. Again I say “NAY!” to those that think my resolution is “oh so easy” because I own a thrift store. So, here are my options:

A: Deal with it. I really don’t iron that much, anyway…so who cares, right?

B: Find a used iron in great condition somewhere. This should work just as well as finding a used phone or a used smoke detector.

C: Continue trying internet solutions while rubbing away the remaining bits of that pesky Teflon coating, yet leaving the burnt stuff behind.

Here’s to wishing that this blog post was an exclamation of my success over the tarnished iron plate. Slainte!


  1. stephenie says:

    Since you don’t iron that much…what about the Borrow component of this pledge? I have a fairly decent iron 🙂

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Stephenie! Our friend and avid supporter Leslie saved the day by giving us an iron of hers that she had slated for the donation bin…what a coincidence!

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