How To Clean A Steam Iron Quickly & Easily

Even if you have a steam iron that has a built-in self-cleaning and anti-calc system, they can still be prone to a build-up of limescale and other mineral deposits, especially if you use the wrong type of water.

If you’ve wondered how to clean a steam iron without too much hassle, then follow our helpful guide which will show you several different ways of cleaning a steam iron quickly, easily and inexpensively.

Cleaning Inside & Outside The Steam Iron

What You Need

  • Pure Vinegar
  • Dry White Cloth (it really can be any color but white allows you to see how much dirt has been released)
  • Distilled Water
  • Metal Tray (e.g. baking tray or cookie rack)

how to clean a steam iron

Cleaning Your Steam Iron

  • Step 1 – Pour the vinegar into the water tank until it reaches quarter of the way.
  • Step 2 – Turn the temperature to the medium setting.
  • Step 3 – Spray and iron the dry white cloth until the water tank is completely empty.
  • Step 4 – Fill the water tank up with distilled water.
  • Step 5 – Once again, spray and iron the dry white cloth several times, but leave enough water in the tank for the next step.
  • Step 6 – Hold the steam iron over a metal tray and spray and release all the steam out until the water tank is empty.

Cleaning The Soleplate

how to clean a steam iron

If it’s just your soleplate that needs cleaning, we recommend the following:

  • Damp Cloth Method – Dip a large damp cloth in either water or white vinegar (if stains are stubborn) and squeeze out all the liquid. Turn on your steam iron to a low temperature, and wipe the soleplate with the large damp cloth. You can also use a cotton swab to pick dirt out of the steam holes.
  • Baking Soda Method – Mix baking soda with water or white vinegar (for better results) to form a paste. Apply the paste onto the area of the soleplate where there’s a stain or rusting, leave it to settle for around 30 seconds, and then wipe it off with a damp cloth.
  • Salt Method – This will make your iron glide smoother as well as remove stains and dirt off the soleplate. Just pour a bit of salt over a paper or cotton towel, make sure that the steam setting is turned off, and then iron over the salted area. The salt will attract the dirt and as a result, leaves the soleplate cleaner and smoother.

Key Notes

  • If you use a lot of starch, your steam iron will be more susceptible to clogging.
  • Make sure that your iron is unplugged and cold before doing any cleaning.
  • Avoid using any abrasive cleaning tools or agents such as a metal scouring pad as this may cause scratches to the soleplate or wear off the coating. This may not be case for scratch resistant soleplates but it’s better to err on the side of caution.
  • After cleaning your steam iron, make sure that the water tank is completely empty. You should also do this after each ironing session to prevent mineral deposits from building up.
  • Always make sure that you read the guidelines that the manufacturer provides about which type of water to use, and how to clean and maintain the iron.
  • There is no definite time on how often you should clean your steam iron. This all depends on how reliable and efficient your steam iron is, and how often you use it.

While certain steam iron manufacturers do have their own brand of cleaning agents which do work well, all the above methods are inexpensive, natural and easy ways to clean a steam iron.

Of course, it definitely helps to have a good quality steam iron that has great self-cleaning capabilities as ideally, you don’t want to have to deal with having to manually cleaning your steam iron very often.

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