Pressing Iron Not Heating Up: Tips to Resolve It

The pressing iron is easily one of the most essential appliances in any household. Basically, you use it in straightening and smoothening garments for a crisp finish.

Pressing irons are built to be simple and easy to use and they do an efficient job of ironing most clothing.

In a few cases, however, they might not work quite as well as we’d expect them to. The most obvious sign of an ailing pressing iron is when it isn’t heating up.

Heating is the major task of a pressing iron. Thus, if the appliance cannot heat up enough, then you have a problem on your hands.

Not to worry though; in this post, we will help you see the most common reasons why your electric pressing iron is not heating up and provide possible fixes for it.

Common Reasons Why Your Pressing Iron Is Not Heating Up

  • The plug is defective
  • Wrong heat settings
  • Soleplate smeared with limescale
  • Pressing iron’s water reservoir is empty

The plug is defective

One of the most common reasons why your pressing iron is not heating is a plug that is defective. Now, the pressing iron uses lots of power to heat up and if the plug’s amp isn’t high enough to withstand that power, it could get defective.

Normally, you’d notice the smell of burning rubber while using the appliance. However, that isn’t always the case with a faulty plug. Once the iron doesn’t heat up, you should check the plug to be sure the problem is not from there.


To confirm if the plug is the problem, take it out from its initial power source and plug it into a different socket.

If it starts heating up from there, then there’s likely a problem with the previous socket. You should call an electrician to have a look at that power source.

However, if after changing power sources the pressing iron still doesn’t work, then you should get the plug replaced.

Wrong heat settings

The pressing iron comes with a thermostat (usually as an adjustable knob) that you can use to regulate the intensity of heat the appliance produces.

In some cases, either you or someone else may have unintentionally set the thermostat to low heat and as such, the appliance doesn’t heat as you’d expect it to.


The solution is simple. Just take a look at the thermostat or heat settings and check that it isn’t set to low. The different temperatures are specific for different fabrics.

So, be sure that when you’re setting the heat intensity, it matches perfectly with the garment you intend to iron to avoid damaging your clothing.

If you’re having difficulty determining what setting is for what garment, especially if it isn’t explicitly explained on the pressing iron’s knob, then you should refer to its manual to have a better idea of it.

Soleplate smeared with limescale

The electric pressing iron’s surface, its soleplate, when clogged with limescale, can hinder the appliance from heating up the way it should.

This is one of the most common reasons for the pressing iron not heating up. It usually happens as a result of negligence in terms of maintenance.

Limescale tends to build on the surface of the iron over time, particularly on steam irons. When this happens, the soleplate gets clogged and as such, the appliance will not heat up or produce steam the way it is meant to.


Resolving this issue requires cleaning which shouldn’t start only when you realize the appliance isn’t heating up. You’ll need to develop a routine of cleaning and maintaining your pressing iron. This will prevent limescale from building up on it.

To clean it, first, turn off the electric pressing iron, unplug it from the power source and leave it to cool. After it has cooled, check the soleplate or the iron’s surface and look for what looks like darkened crusty deposits that may also be covering its vents.

Get a clean cloth and dip it in a mixture of water and vinegar. Use the cloth to wipe the soleplate till every limescale deposit is gone or less visible.

Pressing iron’s water reservoir is empty

Steam irons come with water reservoirs. Thus, they can be filled with water which is turned into steam during the ironing process.

Some steam irons have been set to not heat up fully when the water compartment is empty. You should check your steam iron if there is water in its reservoir.


If the steam iron is already on by the time you notice the water reservoir is empty, quickly turn it off and unplug it from the socket.

Allow it to cool then open the reservoir and fill it up with water. Plug the iron back into the socket and turn it on. Try to iron your garments again and check to see if the heat being produced has improved.

Final Words

Sometimes the pressing iron may still fail to heat up after going through the potential causes and fixes in this post. This means that the issue is more complicated than it seems.

If this is the case, you should get a professional technician to have a look at it. If it is a recent pressing iron, you should check the manual to see if the problem is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

However, if the iron is an old one, we recommend upgrading and getting a new one.

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