well i've heard that putting foil on the iron will keep it from getting ruined, or is that just bs?
PITA for sure. Also, it would be very easy to tear the foil and once you do that you'll have wax on the iron anyway. Go to your local thrift store (Goodwill, ARC, Salvation Army) and buy an iron from them that you will use as a dedicated wax iron. That is if you are on a budget. If not, just buy $20-$50 wax iron. Watch sac
as good wax irons pop there for cheap from time to time. I picked up my latest model from them.