Most ironing board covers are made of cotton and felt, and some covers have Teflon or silicone coating. The coating makes cleaning starch and sizing buildup easier, and will not stick to fabric. The best ironing board covers retain their shape, will not wrinkle or pucker, and are of thick construction. Today you can find reversible ironing board covers that are made with special fibers that retain and reflect heat, reducing ironing time.
But, if your ironing board cover has sizing and starch buildup, or if it is peeling or dirty, those materials can transfer quickly to the garments you iron. Each ironing board cover has a care label, just as garments do. Always follow the manufacturer's directions when cleaning an ironing board cover, but if you've lost the care label for your ironing board cover, follow these steps for cleaning it:
- Completely set up your ironing board, taking care to secure the metal bar rigging underneath.
- The cover is secured by way of a drawstring and/or clip fasteners and adjustable straps. Loosen the drawstring and straps, and remove the cover and pad beneath. Lay the pad on a flat surface, such as your kitchen table.
- Completely clean the metal board surface with spray cleaner or clear water, and then dry thoroughly. Most boards are vented with holes. Make sure that you completely dry the board to prevent rust. Allow the board to further air-dry while you clean the pad.
- If your ironing board cover is obviously covered with a stain and scorch protective coating, use a sponge soaked in a mild cleaning detergent to wipe away grime and debris, and then hang the cover to dry before reattaching it to the ironing board.
- If your ironing board cover is made of 100% fabric—such as felt or cotton—then it is safe to wash it in your clothes washer on the delicate cycle with a mild detergent, such as Woolite. Hang the cover to dry.
- Once your cover is dry, no matter the composition, replace the cover and pad onto your ironing board, and secure it with the drawstring and/or strap. Make sure that the cover is snug to the point of being severely tight against the board.
- With your iron set to the highest setting, and using steam if available, iron your cover applying pressure to the board.
Make quite sure that the board is completely dry before replacing the pad and cover. Continue to iron the cover, leaving behind no wrinkle in the fabric. If the care instructions of your cover state that you can dry the cover and pad in your clothes dryer, do so.