There are two reasons for cleaning the reservoir:
- To avoid staining fabrics: When the iron is heated up, the limescale deposits transfer from the hot soleplate to your clothing. To avoid having stained clothing, the iron needs a regular clean.
- To keep the steam vents clear: Limescale deposits clog up the steam vents on the soleplate. Clogged steam vents make it much harder to iron, because the steam does not ease out the creases in wrinkled clothes. The iron may also begin to spit brown water.
How do I know when my iron needs a clean?
- Using a stone-cold iron, inspect the soleplate - on your iron.
- Look for small limescale deposits (these look white/grey and have a slightly crusty consistency).
- Has limescale built up on the soleplate? It tends to build up inside the small holes of the heating plate.
- The heavier the build up of limescale, the more your iron needs cleaning.
Here's what to do
- a cold iron
- a clean cloth
- white vinegar
- ironing board
- Pour the vinegar into the iron's reservoir until it the reservoir is at least ¼ full.
- Close the reservoir door, and then plug the iron into a power supply next to the ironing board.
- Turn the iron to the 'steam' setting (if it has one), and to the hottest setting if it doesn't.
- Once it has heated up, pass the irons over a clean rag cloth until the deposits have completely broken down from the iron's heated metal surface.
- It may help to push the steam 'boost' button if you have one.
- Once the limescale deposits have been cleared, unplug the iron and leave it to cool down.
- Empty the vinegar out of the reservoir.
- Rinse out the reservoir using tap water - most irons can use tap water these days (unless the water is very hard), but check your manufacturer's instructions.
NB: If the limescale deposits don't completely break down, repeat the process using fresh vinegar.