How to clean the steam iron: tips

Cleaning the iron is an operation that preserves its functionality over time. To sanitize it, you can also use natural remedies, such as lemon, salt and vinegar.

Cleaning the iron: all the do-it-yourself remedies

Clean the iron it is an indispensable necessity to ensure the functionality of the appliance over time, also ensuring maximum results during ironing. Yet it is an operation that many do not know or still underestimate. And so not only does the device fail a few months after purchase, mainly due to the accumulation of limescale, but you also risk ruining your favorite clothes with stains, burns and tears. But how to clean and sanitize the steam stylus iron using only the do it yourself remedies?

Before resorting to grandmother’s remedies, however, it is necessary to read the instructions provided by the appliance manufacturer. Even if of natural origin, some substances normally used for cleaning may not be compatible with the materials and circuits included in the appliance. For this reason, it is always advisable to check the resistance of the surfaces.

Why clean the iron?


As already mentioned, cleaning the iron is a good habit that can help increase the life of the appliance. Although present in our homes for several decades now, this instrument is very delicate.

The main problem is the limestone. Some internal components of the instrument are particularly delicate, as they are perpetually in contact with water. And even when using demineralised solutions to reduce the risk of accumulation of salts and other minerals, a certain amount of limestone will still deposit in the tank, in the heating coil ducts and on the steam delivery nozzles.

When the build-up of limescale becomes excessive, more energy is consumed in the first place. In order to be able to heat the soleplate and create steam, in the presence of limestone, the internal circuits are subjected to an overwork, overheating the special coils. And in addition to the greater impact on the bill, the internal components are subjected to a faster deterioration, precisely because of this excess heat.

Blocked nozzles, on the other hand, prevent the leakage of the steam, making ironing more complex. The pressure of the steam itself can lead to the detachment of small pieces of limestone, which thus end up on the fabrics, staining them.

How to clean the soleplate of the iron

Iron plate

To perfectly sanitize the appliance, the first step to take is to proceed with the plate cleaning. This surface is in constant contact with our clothes and, for this reason, it must always be shiny to avoid stains, burns or creases.

Frequently it can happen that the plate gets dirty. For example, this surface tends to collect dust and lint deposited on fabrics, as well as other residues not immediately visible to the naked eye. A frequent problem is represented by glues, prints and plastic materials that remain stuck to the plate due to ironing errors, for example passing the iron over writing or images on a T-shirt.

But how to remove all these residues? Below, a few natural remedy useful precisely for the plates of the appliance.

Salt and vinegar for always shining plates

Coarse salt

Among the best known natural remedies to clean the iron plate, there are certainly sale e vinegar. Two ingredients available in all homes, cheap and easy to use, so much so that they can be used to degrease any surface.

For iron, simply create a quick emulsion by following these easy instructions:

  • Pour half a liter of hot water in a basin, adding a spoonful of white wine vinegar and two of salt;
  • Mix until a slightly thick solution is obtained, then dip a dish sponge or a microfiber cloth;
  • Pass the sponge or the damp cloth on the plate, obviously with the iron off.

Naturally, it is advisable to check the solution created on a hidden part of the plate in advance, to check the absence of streaks or scratches due to the operation.

Burnt iron plate: baking soda and lemon


In the presence of halos from burn o glue residues or prints, the soleplate of the iron can be effectively cleaned with baking soda. A touch of lemon instead will bring the metal back to its original splendour.

  • After pouring half a liter of hot water into a basin, add a kitchen spoonful of bicarbonate and about half a glass of lemon juice;
  • Mix until you get one quite thick creamthen picking up a small amount with a microfibre cloth;
  • Spread the solution on the plate, with the iron off, leave it to act for a few moments and remove everything with a dry cloth.

Also in this case, it is useful to check the resistance of the surfaces before applying the homemade emulsion.

How to descale iron: limescale

Iron plate and steam

As already explained, limestone is one of the major enemies for the duration of the iron over time. To prevent its appearance and accumulation, it is necessary to act on two fronts: that of prevention and that of removal.

Preventing limescale: what to do

Iron and limestone

To limit the formation of limescale in the internal components of the iron, it is necessary to adopt some good daily habits. From choosing the type of water to how to use the appliance, here are some useful tips:

  • Distilled water: only use distilled or demineralised water for the iron, avoiding tap water. In this way, the formation of limestone is reduced;
  • Temperature: always choose the correct temperature for each fabric, respecting the instructions provided by the manufacturer, avoiding choosing a single option for all the garments;
  • Steam: wait until the iron has actually started to produce steam before ironing, this is to prevent the dry soleplate from damaging the fabrics or prints and glues from melting on its surface;
  • Reservoir: always empty the tank after ironing and, before storing the iron, leave it in the air to ensure perfect drying of its components.

Limescale: how to clean tank and nozzles


To further reduce the formation of limescale, it is necessary to proceed with cyclical maintenance of the appliance. In particular, you need to clean both the water tank and the water tank regularly spray nozzles.

To do this, you can always use water and white wine vinegar. However, it is necessary to check the instructions of the device: some internal components of various appliances are not compatible with the typical acidity of vinegar and, for this reason, could fail. When this remedy is prohibited, it is normally stated in the instruction booklet.

To make a simple home solution, you can use:

  • Half a liter of demineralized water hot, to which add a glass of white wine vinegar;
  • Pour the solution into the tank and turn on the appliance at maximum temperature, so that it produces steam;
  • Using the appropriate button, the steam is expelled. If gods should fall pieces of limestone from the plate, you don’t have to worry: it is a physiological consequence of the cleaning process.

Should a strong smell of vinegar remain, a rinse cycle can be carried out in the same way, but choosing only demineralised water.

How to clean the external boiler


There is no shortage of different irons on the market with external boiler. Also in this case it is always advisable to use distilled or demineralised water, to avoid the formation of dangerous limestone.

For cleaning, you can always cyclically use a solution of water and vinegar or, again, bicarbonate. To allow the detachment of limestone from the internal walls of the tank, simply pour the compound into it, leave it to act for about ten minutes and then turn the tank upside down using the filling hole. Again, you should always check the information provided by the manufacturer.

Clean iron: final advice

Clean iron

Ultimately, the iron maintenance ironing board always requires adequate cleaning, both of the internal components – such as the soleplate – and of the internal ones. In this case, the biggest problem is limescale.

In addition to the use of natural remedies and distilled water, for those with little time, an ally comes from lemon. For dull and shiny plates, but not excessively dirty, you can simply rub half a lemon directly on the plate, then rinse with a cloth moistened with water.

Source: GreenStyle by

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