Any suggestions on whom to rebuild my old Ironrite?

hamptonmeadowMay 8, 2006

I need to find somebody who understands motors because these are very old motors. There is a website where one can buy rebuilt Ironrite motors and all the parts but can a regular kind of repair shop do this?

What is an Ironrite? It is called a mangle, and it is great for ironing sheets. I found it on freecycle.

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I have an Ironrite. I assume you have found, which is an Ironrite fansite?

I'm assuming you want to fix it up and get it working .....?

It's possible you might be able to take the motor to a motor repair shop and see if they can figure out what's wrong, and then fix it. Not all Ironrites are really ancient; I believe they were made until the 60's.

It is also possible you have a dead heating element. That might be more problematic, but still fixable at an old-time repair shop where they actually fix, as opposed to just swap parts out.

There is also the very important issue of the special, highly refined oil that is needed. To be honest I can't remember (senior moment and I am away from home tonight so I can't check) exactly where on the Ironrite it goes, but you must use it. You can buy it, or at least read about it on the fan site.

Another thing to check out is the condition of any wires, or service cords. And finally you might want to consider replacing the padding and the winding cloth with fresh new ones. Sometimes when the machines are stored for a long time the fabric and wadding get a little smelly. I bought my new padding from the fan site, but now that I see how it's made (and installed on the machine), I will make my own next time.

It takes a awhile to learn to use an Ironrite, but it is so fast for sheets and other flats once you have the hang of it. I have an orginal manual (they are often for sale on eBAy) that gives instructions for doing frilly, flounced ladies blouses, but I don't bother. For me, it's sheets and table linens where I can get really cooking.

I find it very useful to have a hanging rack nearby to park things as I finish them, so I don;t take the time to do the final folding until after I'm done ironing.

Which machine is yours? Mine is a model 85

Have fun!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 12:07AM
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cimberlie_desade has parts for various models of Ironrite ironers, incuding motors last time I checked. As for having a local repair person look at yours, wish you the best of British luck. If it is a vintage (before 1960's) most of today's young pups do not know and or want to be bothered with repairs.

Ironers aside from Miele have not been made since Ironrite, General Electric, Maytag and the rest stopped production by the late 1960's, thus it is going to be a bit difficult to find many repair people who are familiar with them.

You may just have to resort to buying another Ironrite, which sometimes can be cheaper than repair (if one can find the parts/repair person). Often on eBay or Craigslist, Ironrites listed for sale often are not taken even when offered at "give away prices". Of course the trick is finding one near where you are.

You may be able to get away with another motor of the same power as a replacement. My Ironrite's motor is a General Electric, and not particular to Ironrite ironers as far as one knows. Take down all the information regarding power, cycles and so on, then call various appliance repair/part stores and see if they can help. Check also vintage appliance collector sites, often posters there are a great resource.

Best of luck

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 5:05AM
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I am very familiar with the Ironrite web site. My Ironrite is working and I could probably use it with just a few little repairs (it fell over in the truck transporting it, a big no no due to the oil and the motor).

But as was pointed out I want it "refreshed" as in rewired and the motor checked and new pads. I want to know it is safe and
won't catch on fire etc.

You are right, there isn't any machine fixing shop around me that can take this on. They just aren't geared for this. I need to find an older person, who remembers them, or used to fix them.

Thanks for the suggestions! They were actually very helpful!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 8:45AM
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The refurbishment of the ironer is not complicated. No rocket science to repair. Any good handyman can do the job. An appliance man is not the route to go. They work on new stuff and recommend replacement if they have to substitute parts. Look for a fix-it shop if you want a guarantee. I have an undetermined model, but when I wrote to the site, I did not get a reply. The unit has been unused, in storage for 36 years. Anyone interested as is?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 10:36AM
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Hey Bob, want to drive it to Minnesota?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 3:28PM
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A quick note to let you know that the Ironrite site is no longer being hosted. The webmaster is a very nice lady that helped me several times but has a full time job and was unable to continue the site. I have several Ironrites and had bought them with the idea that I could "part out" the machines. I have 2 model 95's and 2 model 85's and a model 88. I use my 95 all the time. It has become a bit difficult to use and tried like the dickens to find someone to work on it, no luck. I even tried American Express Concierge service (they say they can find a solution to ANY problem)..they could not help. I am in the Atlanta area and have the units for parts, even have an old service manuel but I do not have the mechanical ability to do the repairs. I love this machine but am at a real loss as to how to find someone that knows how to actually do a repair. Any suggestions are GREATLY appreciated...Mike/Atlanta

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 8:10PM
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Mike/Atlanta, would you be willing to copy the service manual. I have the user manual that came with a machine but would like to have the repair/service manual. I just got the 85 and made a new cover, replaced the pad and even the burlap because it came unglued from the roller. It smelled awful and is now much better.

I do have a broken spring that operates the right knee lever that needs to be replaced. As it is I have to reach my hand down to move the lever back after I hit it with my knee. Othewise, the roller starts, moves up and starts again and again. A hassle, but the machine works beautifully otherwise. I plan to take it apart when I have more time and I'm certain that I can find a spring to replace it. As far as oil, I changed that out before moving it into the house. One website said to use a 'machine grade gear oil'. I have Pennzoil gear oil 80wt, 90gl and it appears to work just fine. The oil does not have to be replaced often, several years if Ironrite gets average use. Changing it was tricky because of the location of the drain plug, but other than that, took a short time.

Any help with a service manual would be appreciated. Thanks. Lynn

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 6:40PM
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I would also be very keen to get a copy of the service manual for an 85. I would be glad to pay for the copying, the shipping and your trouble. Is it the sort of thing you could take to Kinko's and ask them to copy?

What's wrong with your 95?


    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 12:33AM
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Oh no, has gone into the netherlands? This is a serious problem. They had motors, information, parts etc. I am absolutely freaked out. Now what
am I going to do about the pad set?

This is so depressing. I haven't tried to use it but was told it works fine. It tipped over(big dent)on the way home, and I don't know what damage that did. And I am told that the oil can leak out of motor if it tips over. That could mean oil has spilled anywhere in the machine.

Are we all stuck? I refuse to buy a Miele for a couple of thousand dollars.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 11:27PM
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Hi I would be happy to take the service manuel to Kinkos and have this copied. Anyone interested please just write to me at and I will work out the details with you. HotelCalifornia: The spring that you mention is the same problem that I encountered. A friend used the spring that is found on the back of a plate hanger and modified it to fit my 95. Molly, I had the same problem as Lynn, my right knee spring was "sprung" and the roll would just go up and down. Hamptonmeadow: I still have the guys email that was listed on the old Ironrite site. Keep in mind that the people that had that site were just collectors and people who love the machines. There is a guy on Ebay (Ironrite guy) I have written him several times and have never rec'd a reply. I am not wild about the Miele for price and function reasons. Hampton, I would take a look at Lynn's suggestion above and drain the oil then replace it with what she advises.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 9:23AM
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The website is no longer working. Any suggestions on where I can purchase a new heating element?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 11:04AM
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I recently purchased a model 88 in the wood cabinet ironrite iron, I am looking for a manual on it any suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 1:30AM
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this lady on ebay sells copys of the manual there good for all ironrite machines the ironrite stayed the same as far as useing it and speaking of the iron guy he doesnt answer emails bought a rooler cover from him 30.00 my sister was over too my house told her i bought this cover she looked at me 30.00 she saide dont u rember mom and I used too make them for moms machine under 10.00 wow ironrite guy think he doesnt have ironrite parts

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 1:32AM
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I recently found an Ironrite in Montana, packed it up and drove it all the way home to Arizona. I had wanted one for years, after my mother had one when I was a little girl, which she gave to me, but I stupidly thought "I don't want this" and sold for $5 at a yard sale. :-(
Now I have this used one, which obviously needs some work. But as I have read in all these other posts, its difficult to find someone who can repair/refurbish these. Any suggestions for someone in Arizona? You can email me directly!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 5:00PM
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I just purchased a DVD on Ebay that has several 'home economist' focused ads from the 40's and 50's. There is one for Ironrite and it is hilarious to watch how this was marketed 50 years ago. But it is also a video explaining how to iron with the Ironrite. It cost me $5 plus a small shipping. Well worth it. Don't have the guy's name, but an Ebay search for Ironrite should turn it up if he's still offering them.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 10:17AM
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I have 2 Ironrite ironers. One was my mother's circa 1953 and the other my Aunt's circa 1955. Both are in great working order. I have no need for them. If you can get them you can have them for parts or to use. In the 50's and 60's everyone knew it was impossible to phone my mother or aunt on Tuesday mornings as they were on the phone talking with each other while they ironed on their ironers.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 10:23AM
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jironer, The OP is unable to post and she would very much like to contact you. Would you please send me an email, so I can send you her email address? Thanks on behalf of hamptonmeadow.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 9:23PM
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I have a Ironrite model 85 but it is missing the padding and cover on the roller. I am told that there are 3 layers, burlap, padding and the muslin cover. Does anyone know the length these pieces should be? And any ideas what to use for the padding? I know they can be purchased on ebay but I think it will be cheaper to do it myself.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 10:57PM
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HI, I am looking for a place for my brother to get repair parts for my sister's Ironrite Ironer. She has 3 of them, but little by little they have broken down, and our brother has used what parts he could to repair enough to get 1 good one..Now that one is going bad...She needs a place to send to for repair parts..Does anyone know where that could be? I ran across a place about a year ago, but instead of keeping the address, I just traveled into upper Michigan and bought her the Ironrite that is going bad now... Can anyone help me? Our sister is in her early 80's and this is her way for extra income..
Thanks in advance!!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 11:49PM
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How do you take the top of the cabinet off of the ironrite 85. Don't laugh I just got this today, and haven't seen one since the 50's also where can I get 40 weight non-detergent oil?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 11:09PM
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Just joined the Garden Web...
I have 5 Ironrite ironers (not mangles) and use one all the time. The others work fine too...they were built like a tank!
It's very easy to remove the top. There are 4 bolts at the hinge to remove. (and keep them in a little bag taped to the top) I took it off and then cover the machine with a "cosy" which I made. CAUTION: Allow iron to cool before placing on machine! Think of a cover for for your blender etc. The open top takes up a lot of room and makes machine unwieldy.
The ironrite is so well designed except for this excessive top.
A previous posting inquired about fixing them. They were made in Mt. Clemons, MI and I'll bet there are some handy guys that worked at the plant still working on them...just a thought if you are "in the neighborhood". I also regret losing Brad in OR and a woman in Alaska ran it, but guess it was not profitable for them.
It's fun to find others that have rediscovered and/or kept the old machine. I iron shirts, blouses, pants, anything. Get a copy of the manual and you'll use it for more than flatwork.
Also, making a replacement cover is simple if you have the old one. Use 100% cotton muslin and copy the old size. I made one though I don't recall the dimensions. Guessing about 29" wide (allow another 4" for side seam with cord inside and about 65" long to wrap around the roller a couple of times. Just as good as original issue.
For oil I use #90 gear oil and seems to work fine.
They're pretty bullet me another appliance that"s still going strong after 50-60 years!
Good luck to the rest of you ironrite owners.

Malcolm. Valencia, CA

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 1:45PM
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Malcolm, Give me an email at I collect the Ironrite Ironers as well. Have several units from model 80 to 95's...I use them a good bit. I can also give you contact info to Brad and Cheri (Alaska).
Best, Mike

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 6:35PM
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Check out e-bay - they have some stuff there on Ironrites.

I also found this website about Ironrites.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ironrite info

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 7:27PM
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We were given an ironrite which had a wire spark out. My husband was able to fix it, but there is a little porcelain piece that is cracked and must have to do with the heating element as the mangle works but does not heat up. Has anyone had to fix this kind of thing?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 9:37AM
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All padding and cove removed from our new ironrite. Know any replacement or details on making pads and cover?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 1:29PM
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Yeah! Other folks who know what an ironrite is! I have one whose heating element is not working. Any up to date info on where to get heating elements repaired/replaced? all posts I see are 5 years old.Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:13AM
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I have a very old "Beatty" model roller iron mangle which was a Canadian company in a place called Fergus??.

All is working but needs a bit of adjustment i think but is lovely machine from 1935 ish but need to find a service or instruction manual for it .

Failing that anyone who knows how it works with the correct operation of levers/switches??

many thanks


    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Hi Andrew

Fergus is a small town located in southwestern Ontario. The manufacturer is discussed in this old article:

You could try calling the local library in Fergus to see if they have a copy of the manual Sit Down in Comfort Iron in Style or try a local appliance repair place in Fergus. The company would have been a big deal in the small town so you may find someone locally who can help you.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:01PM
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