Thread Number: 32632
Ironrite Mangle Help Please :-)
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Post# 491813   1/27/2011 at 09:03 (3,730 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        

Hey all,

There's a nice looking Ironrite mangle, with wooden cabinet, for sale in my neighborhood. I've gotten them down from $140 to $85. What should I specifically look for on this? Are these easy to work on if all is not well? Sorry I don't have a pic, I'll see if I can find the post again.

Post# 491814 , Reply# 1   1/27/2011 at 09:11 (3,730 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
Found the pic

Found a pic

Post# 491820 , Reply# 2   1/27/2011 at 09:55 (3,730 days old) by austinado16 ()        

That's pretty cool! Nice score, especially since it's local and you don't have to drive or worry/pay shipping.

I'm no expert on them, but I've had a couple other brands and worked on a 3rd that my wife's Aunt owns.

Just make sure that the entire shoe gets hot. Some models have dual heat controls so if that's the case in an Ironrite, make sure both sides are getting the same temp.

Let it warm up for a few minutes and then you should be able to run a towel through it using the knee pedal and the hand lever (if it has both). Just listen to the gear box for any weird noises and make sure that it lifts the shoe and stops turning the drum when you tell it to.

They're pretty bulletproof, so it probably still works like the day it was built.

I still miss the early 50's Whirlpool version that I sold a year ago.

Post# 491835 , Reply# 3   1/27/2011 at 10:57 (3,730 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        

Awesome! Thanks for the tips! It's my VERY FIRST piece of vintage laundry if I can find myself a Westinghouse Laundromat I'll be set lol

Post# 491837 , Reply# 4   1/27/2011 at 11:07 (3,730 days old) by westie2 ()        

Be sure and carry it up right when you take it home.  Laundress what else should he do.



Post# 491838 , Reply# 5   1/27/2011 at 11:13 (3,730 days old) by sudslock1 (St Louis)        
A few things

When you go to pick it up turn it on and make sure the shoe heats up and that the roll turn smoothly. Second thing is to make sure that you empty the oil before you lay the machine down if you moving it on its back or side. This should be done anyway because most likely the oil hasn't been changed in a long time. Third, make sure to check the cord for any cuts or worn insulation. I'm one for keeping things in period but not when it comes to electrical safety. If in doubt about the cord and/or plug then replace them. If the roll cover is in bad shape then you will want to get a replacement (easily found on ebay). If you have any questions feel free to email me or post on here as there are a few members on here who love and work on Ironrites.


Post# 491843 , Reply# 6   1/27/2011 at 11:32 (3,730 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        

Thanks for the additional tips, I wasn't sure if I could even move it any other way but upright. What type of oil should I refill it with? I assume rewiring the cord is probably as simple as rewiring a lamp.

Post# 491887 , Reply# 7   1/27/2011 at 14:07 (3,730 days old) by sudslock1 (St Louis)        

There is a slight debate on the oil but it really is nothing more then standard gear SAE 30 to 50 weight non-detergent oil. Usually can be picked up at your local auto parts store for a few bucks. There are some higher end oils that can be purchased but if you keep up on the "oil changes" like you are suppose to then you should be okay with just standard oil. Ironrite labeled oil is nothing more then 50W motor oil packaged by Gulf Oil. If you use the machine quite a bit you should change the oil every couple years. I would say probably every 3-4 years with light use. I've included the link to a good little instructional movie you should watch and it will teach you how to use your new treasure.


Post# 491889 , Reply# 8   1/27/2011 at 14:13 (3,729 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

Wow, those are rarer than hen's teeth in this part of the country.  Looks like a nice one. Where did you find it?

Post# 491896 , Reply# 9   1/27/2011 at 15:12 (3,729 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
So much great info!

@Sudslock1 - thanks for the oil info, I can't wait to get home to watch the video. The machine is going to need some cleaning up, and the wood is de-laminating from having been painted, so I'll have to find SOME way to make it presentable and functional.

@Whirlcool - my ex found it on a craigslist ad for a garage sale! It's so hard to find vintage machines in this part of the country, isn't it?! It'll make finding a Westinghouse as likely as winning the lottery lol

Post# 491954 , Reply# 10   1/27/2011 at 20:45 (3,729 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        

Well I got it home - the seller even moved it for me! I'd say it was well worth the $85. Unfortunately the cabinet has been painted entirely beige, along with the handles. Not sure what I'll do about that. But it works, just need a new muslin cover for the roller and probably need to re-cord it, as it's the original and it sat out in a car port (!) for 30 years.

Post# 491975 , Reply# 11   1/27/2011 at 22:35 (3,729 days old) by sudslock1 (St Louis)        
Cool chance

Well I think cause the cabinet is not original that gives you a good opportunity to really customize it and make it unique. I would say sand down the cabinet and perhaps do a nice ebony finish with some gold accents and get some Oriental handles and have a far east look. Or perhaps paint it white or some other cool color and make really look awesome.

Post# 492023 , Reply# 12   1/28/2011 at 05:47 (3,729 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
Black with gold accents

You know, my ex suggested that too! He's the artistic one, me? Not so much lol Since it'll be living in my library I'm thinking that may be the way to go. I'll be sure to post pix whenever I do it, though.

Post# 492051 , Reply# 13   1/28/2011 at 07:43 (3,729 days old) by michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        

tackacedon, Go to the link below I have copies of the Ironrite Service manuals and several of the owner's manuals posted at that site.  The webmaster has scanned the items in that I had sent him and they are available pdf. 


I think you will find that they are very helpful.  The Model 88 that you have is a Model 85 that was placed in a wooden cabinet (most likely mahogany veneer on your unit). This was the way that Ironrite marketed the Model 85 making it more attractive to place in a dining room or other living areas where a white pink or ecru unit would be not as acceptable.   I think I would agree with sudslock about sanding and painting your 88


If you are planning on using the ironer there are several  excellent aftermarket pads and covers that are being made by a small outfit in Montanna.  Ebay is where he sells the items.  He also sells the "oil" but really, again, sudslock is correct it is nothing more than 50W (non detergent) motor oil.


Remember,  if you are planning on using this as an ironer, these get HOT you have to be careful with buttons on shirts, tags on shirts and tags on linens etc.  In years past the garment or linen may have been made of all cotton or linen, the tags and buttons were sewn on with all cotton threads.


Now, many times that is not the case and you will find that the buttons may be still made of a material that can withstand heat and pressure....the thread will not. Tags will melt on linens and garments. 


The shoe is the cast iron chromed part that actually heats.  One thing that is seldom mentioned is cleaning that part.  If by chance you do melt something on the iron it will adhere to the shoe (just like a hand iron that has been run over something at too high a temp), get some Faultless Iron Cleaning Cream (grocer, Walmart, Target, near the spray starch), heat the ironer up and raise the roller.


Take an old towel and place some of the product on the towel...carefully place this on the hot will smoke like crazy (and this is normal for this product) will feel the drag on the towel from all of the gunk at first, but it will dissipate and leave the shoe nice and slick.  Make sure you then run a clean towel over the shoe to remove any of the residue before ironing.  It is a good idea to do this every so often anyway just as you would on a sole plate of a hand iron.  Rowenta makes a version of this creme as well.  It is expensive and frankly I think it is identical in composition (most likely a rebadge of the Faultless product).


Waxed paper will NOT work on an ironer, Salt will Not work on an ironer.


You will see the elements inside the shoe when you turn it on, they will glow red.  I try to limit the amount of product that I place on the cleaning towel so it does not run down into the area where the elements are located.


Also I noted that you are going to change the plug / cord...I believe there is advice on the Jitterbuzz site for that as well.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO michaelman2's LINK

Post# 492062 , Reply# 14   1/28/2011 at 09:02 (3,729 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
Thank you!

michaelman2, thanks for the great info, I'm such a nerd I can't wait to really read up on everything I can get!

Post# 492116 , Reply# 15   1/28/2011 at 14:12 (3,728 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

When you get your ironer cleaned and set up, please let us know how your first ironing session went!

Post# 492131 , Reply# 16   1/28/2011 at 15:49 (3,728 days old) by michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        



So glad I could give you some pointers.  Remember that about the non cotton items that can adhere / melt on the shoe.  It will really make a mess if you then try to iron something after that has happened.  I try and clean the shoe often as I use my primary ironrite a good bit.  Also the older manuals from the 1940s give detailed pictures of the use of the ironer.  The video that was mentioned above is a BIG help.  Skip the blindfold (once you watch the movie you will see what I mean).

Post# 494667 , Reply# 17   2/7/2011 at 12:02 (3,719 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
Slowly but surely...

It's coming along, I'll post some pics of it slightly taken apart for cleaning and refinishing. Thus far I've removed the old cord and the oil - which thankfully wasn't a globular mess! Now for the next issue, where the heck to get 50 weight non-detergent oil?!

I've been to and called several AutoZones and O'Reilly's. Neither of them carry it. I've heard you can use hydrolic jack oil, but I've mostly heard use 50 weight non-detergent oil. Anyone have any tips where to find it or a good substitute?

Post# 494677 , Reply# 18   2/7/2011 at 13:03 (3,719 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I suggest looking in the yellow pages under Oils-Lubricating. A place that specializes in those products should have what you're looking for. The problem may be buying only a small quantity.

Post# 494692 , Reply# 19   2/7/2011 at 14:11 (3,718 days old) by RocketWarrior ()        
Barbie Trailer

...or, maybe you could turn it into a Barbie Trailer.

Post# 494713 , Reply# 20   2/7/2011 at 16:36 (3,718 days old) by westingman123 ()        
Oh, my!

What happened to poor Skipper's leg? Is that Midge topless? Scandal!

Back to the Ironrite-once you've done tablecloths and 100% cotton sheets on one, you will NEVER want to hand iron a big piece again. I have the ironer Mama bought in 1953, it's the BOMB on big work. I never got the hang of shirts, though. I used to watch Mama iron Dad's work shirts, it was like seeing an orchestra conductor at work.

Post# 494735 , Reply# 21   2/7/2011 at 17:50 (3,718 days old) by sudslock1 (St Louis)        

Here is a link to Ebay. They have it in 50w and it comes only in a gallon but it is rather cheap so you could change your oil extra often! Also, 50w non-detergent oil is heavily used in aviation so you may want to look at a supplier of oil for airplanes. You could also go right to a supplier like Shell Oil and they would keep such stuff in stock. Hope that helps.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO sudslock1's LINK on eBay

Post# 494739 , Reply# 22   2/7/2011 at 18:02 (3,718 days old) by sudslock1 (St Louis)        
Skygeek to the rescue!

Here you go. You can buy it by the quart.


This post was last edited 02/07/2011 at 21:38
Post# 494798 , Reply# 23   2/7/2011 at 21:08 (3,718 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        


Post# 495023 , Reply# 24   2/8/2011 at 19:45 (3,717 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
Some pics of what's going on

Got the cabinet off, the veneer is peeling, so I think I'll work if off in those places and refinish

Post# 495025 , Reply# 25   2/8/2011 at 19:46 (3,717 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
Here is the machine with it's top of lol

Post# 495026 , Reply# 26   2/8/2011 at 19:48 (3,717 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
The sole-plate

Not sure if you can tell, but it appears a tad rusted, michaelman2 mentioned Faultless Iron Cleaning Cream, hoping this may help otherwise I'll have to find a way to restore it to a shine.

Post# 495027 , Reply# 27   2/8/2011 at 19:49 (3,717 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
And here's the roller with the burlap off.

Post# 495040 , Reply# 28   2/8/2011 at 20:14 (3,717 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Pitting/Rusting Of Ironer "Shoe"

launderess's profile picture
No, Faultless and or other cleaners for irons/ironers probably will have little to nil impact on that sort of damage. They are best used for removing starch and other soils from surfaces.

OTHO, rust is something that can start on a metal's surface then eat/work it's way downwards.

Because the ironer shoe will heat and get hot, the usual methods for treating rust with special chemicals and or paints aren't an option. Only option that *may* work is having the thing replated, but don't even know how you would go about it.

What can be done is after cleaning, smooth the surface down with the finest grade of steel wool or similar *GENTLE* abrasive, then apply ironer wax to the shoe. You want to remove as much rust as possible, while also protecting the surface from futher damage.

I'd ditch the old burlap and start with new, using the old as a pattern. The Ironrite service manual tells how to attach. Pads for the 25" roller Ironrite are easy to find on fleaBay and elsewhere.

Post# 495069 , Reply# 29   2/8/2011 at 21:06 (3,717 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        

I'll try an ultra fine sand paper, or maybe even a mr. clean eraser. I'm surprised at how good shape the burlap, padding and cover were in...even the oil. It seems like someone actually took good care of this thing before they stuck it outside. Just hoping I can get the rust off, which is it surface rust, and make it usable, I'll just be crestfallen if it won't be usable.

Post# 495084 , Reply# 30   2/8/2011 at 21:42 (3,717 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Just Be Careful

launderess's profile picture
Whatever you use.

Test in a small hidden area of the shoe before going whole hog.

Should worse come to the worse, look around for another part to replace. Ironrites are allover the place, and of course there is the "Ironrite" guy on eBay.

What you don't want to do is make scratches or worse on the soleplate.

Post# 496827 , Reply# 31   2/16/2011 at 11:38 (3,710 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
Chrom polish...

I've got some left over from my car, I wonder if that'll work....and how to make sure it's all cleaned off afterwords...

Post# 499078 , Reply# 32   2/24/2011 at 17:49 (3,701 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
A little hard work, a little determination and..

Voila! A rusty ole shoe (that stank of cat pee) is now shining like the top of the Chrysler building!

There are still a few black spots on it, not sure if they'll come off. Special thanks to Mr. Mangle.

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