Steam iron cleaning

If you are thinking about replacing your iron because it just doesn’t steam like it used to, consider cleaning it. It really isn’t very hard or time consuming to clean a steam iron.

Water has begun to drip out of the iron.
Water has begun to drip out of the iron.

Place the iron on a rack on top of a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet on a cutting board or potholders to protect your kitchen countertop from the heat. Fill the water compartment and then put the iron face down (on the sole plate) on the rack. In just a few minutes, water will begin to drip from the holes. Let the water drip until the compartment is empty.

Steam coming out of the iron. See it against the wooden back splash.
Steam coming out of the iron. See it against the wooden back splash.

Next refill the water compartment and put the iron back on the rack. Set the iron for the hottest ironing temperature and again set it on the sole plate. Allow the iron to spit and steam until the compartment is empty again. You will be surprised to see the amount of lint and minerals that came out of the iron. I was surprised at the amount of mineral particles of left on the cookie sheet.

If the sole plate of the iron needs cleaning, use baking soda as a scouring power. That will remove any marks or debris without scratching the non stick surface that is on many irons today. Be sure not to accidentally fill the newly clean holes in the bottom of the iron with baking soda.

Do not use steam iron cleaners or other fluids like vinegar as such solutions may damage the iron interior.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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2 thoughts on “Steam iron cleaning

  1. Thank you for the information on how to clean a steam iron. I had heard I should use vinegar. I was glad to read that is not the thing to do.

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