Many ironing boards are made out of some kind of metal or wood, so it is important to have ironing board covers to make the job easier. If it were not for ironing board covers, the iron would burn wooden ironing boards, and metal boards would become very hot. Ironing board covers also provide a degree of cushioning, which better aids in removing wrinkles from the material that is being ironed.
However, there are times when ironing board covers need to be replaced. They become worn, burnt, or soiled over time with water rings. When replacing them, it is very important to make sure they are of the right shape and the right size. Some are even made with drawstrings for a snug fit.
In the past, ironing board covers were manufactured from asbestos fibers because of their extreme heat resistance. Asbestos fibers released from damaged asbestos-containing materials—including the ironing board covers—are known to cause sever illness. When inhaled, fibers get trapped in the lungs or other organs, causing plaques to form. The plaques restrict the function of the organs and commonly lead to cancer. These cancers often don’t show up until decades after exposure, and are very hard to treat.
So, if you’re thinking about picking up an ironing board cover from a garage sale, think twice. It may contain asbestos, which could put your family at risk. Though newer ironing board covers are not generally a risk, covers should be replaced if they begin to fray or develop cuts in the material. Ironing board covers made before 1990 should be replaced immediately, especially if they are becoming worn.