The best steam iron should be self cleaning and doesn’t need you to look after it, right? No! If anybody ever found a steam iron that can be used with tap water, doesn’t require cleaning at all, and still works marvelously after a year of regular use with no sputtering or dripping, please tell me about it!
Taking care of your steam iron is not difficult at all. You’d just have to what causes problems and avoid them.
Clogging up/sputtering/spitting/dripping water
Most steam irons works best with distilled water, especially those that doesn’t have a self cleaning system. But even those that has an anti scale valve and recommends you to use tap water will clog up some day.
How do you know your steam iron has clogged up? It starts to sputter, spit or drip water. There are two solutions to this problem, one is to use distilled water only, and one is to clean the steam iron regularly.
First, make sure the iron is unplugged and cooled down, then clean the steam holes using a cotton swab or toothpick. Don’t use a sharp tool that might scratch the soleplate.
When you’re done with this, fill the water tank with vinegar solution (one part vinegar one part water) and turn on the iron. Turn on the steam iron and use the continuous steam or spray the vinegar solution out of the vents. Do this for about five minutes, then turn off the steam iron and drain the rest of the solution.
Repeat the steaming process with plain water (distilled water is best) to get rid of any remaining vinegar.
Burnt substance on soleplate
Sometimes you get fabrics that burnt (usually because you used the wrong heat setting in the first place) and get stuck on the soleplate.
Always make sure the steam iron is unplugged and cooled down before you start cleaning!
Wet a piece of cloth with vinegar and wipe the soleplate clean of any buildup. Stubborn substances can be removed with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Remember not to use a harsh scrubby to avoid scratching the soleplate. Use a soft cloth only.
Burnt starch can come off by rubbing it with a wet melamine foam or dirt eraser such as the Mr.Clean Magic Eraser or 3M Scotch Brite Erasing Pad.