On last Friday, my steam iron all of a sudden started sputtering and
spewing out rusty water. I've had problems with previous irons and
our local, extremely hard water (just white deposits -- not rust), so
I've been using bottled spring water. I did not use distilled water,
because the manufacturer recommended not using that.
I must confess that I did not empty the iron out after using it.
I looked on-line for information on how to clean that out of an iron
and found several recommendations to use a 50/50 solution of white
vinegar and water to clean the rust out.
I've tried that three (3) times, but it just keeps spitting out more
I'm looking for recommendations -- Do I ...
1) try the vinegar/water a few more times?
2) try a commercial cleaner (if so, which one worked for you)?
3) forget about trying to get the rust out and use the iron without
steam from now on?
Thanks for your help.
Bev in TX
On Aug 5, 7:19=A0am, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
I'd go for the vinegar/water a few more times before going any
further. It's a lot cheaper/easier than any of the other alternatives
- just costs a few minutes time. After that, I'd go for not using
steam until you have a chance to replace the iron. If the vinegar/
water doesn't do it I wouldn't think a commercial cleaner would do
much better but then, I don't have any experience with them either.
I'd opt for a new iron, myself.
Kim in NJ
(4) you put the vinegar/water solution in the iron. Figure out how to let
it be face down. Setting it on a cookie rack or something down in the sink
works okay. Let it heat, steam, kick and cuss. Pick it up (still level)
and slosh it back and forth. (carefully) Press the spray/steam buttons some.
Cool. Rinse with water. Repeat.
Your home will smell like you're dyeing Easter eggs. No matter.
Our Rowentas needed that serious cleaning often. Maybe if I'd used
spring water they would have lived longer.
The newer (about a year old) Conair has only needed fierce flushing
once. Maybe all spring water is not created equal.
Before you use the iron on something important, please do test on an old
towel or such. Polly
Polly's advice is excellent, and has worked for me in the past.
However, now I ALWAYS empty out all the water when I am finished
ironing, and haven't had that problem for over 10 years -- just hold
the iron with the water hole at the lowest point for a minute and let
the water dribble out into a sink or toilet, and do that while the
iron is still hot. Why it being hot makes a difference I do not know,
but it seems to clear out all the water while waiting until the iron
has cooled down does not. (An old lady in the church choir told me
that, and as usual, Helen knows!)
The commercial cleaners worked very well for me. It seemed a lot
"stronger" than vinegar. But they're expensive, too. I've also
used a commercial coffee-pot cleaner on an old iron I was ready
to replace anyway. It worked beautifully. I couldn't believe how
much crud sputtered out of it.
I've been saying this for 10+ years:
don't put water in the iron.
I don't care if it does say "steam" iron, don't put water in it.
My dry "steam" iron never spits, spots, sputters or stains;
it doesn't gurgle, chortle or hiss (that's what the cat is for).
A spray bottle of tap water is perfect for spritzing clothes on
the ironing board, the iron likes it & so do I.
Irons do not steam themselves to death here.
Solution for your rusty-water devil iron: Replace it.
Irons aren't expensive; get a new one & NEVER put water in it.
On 8/5/09 6:19 AM, in article
Or you could just do like Ricky Tims does....he figures most irons become
incontinent so he uses a dry iron and keeps a spray bottle of water nearby
to spritz when needed. I'm sure he could get as many free irons as he would
ever want, but he prefers the spray bottle.
If the vinegar isn't cutting it -- and you're ready to toss the iron.... why
not try a little CLR?
Removes lime and rust residue. I use it in the laundry, in the shower... I
can't imagine it would hurt the iron -- but I've never done it so I don't
make any promises. I'm one of those with a spritz bottle next to the iron.
I've tried the vinegar/water three (3) more times and the iron's rust
situation is getting worse instead of better. I even had dry rust
come out when I tried it without water. The net result is that I
tossed the thing this morning.
When I first purchased the iron, the soleplate felt rough (it
eventually smoothed out). When I wrote to manufacturer about it, they
sent me a duplicate iron (which had the same issue) and they did not
ask to have the older one returned. So I do have another iron, though
it took a while to find it in one of the other bedroom's closet, where
I had packed it away out of sight. I just hated throwing something
away that was not cheap and only 7-months old :-(.
I used to be one of those who did not have a steam iron and used a
spray bottle. I liked the flat sole plate and I did not have water
deposit/rust issues. Then I developed a touch of arthritis, which is
why I switched from a spray bottle to a steam iron a few years ago.
I'll just have to make sure to empty the water reservoir after each
use, while the iron is still hot. I think that I'll also switch to
distilled water, contrary to what the manufacturer suggests.
I also found rust on the ironing board and gobs of it was coming up
through the ironing board cover when I tested the iron this morning.
Looking underneath, I see a thick layer of rust. It was a relatively
cheap board, but I never expected to see something like that. So, I'm
going into town today to get another ironing board & cover.
Hopefully that will finally get rid of all the rust and keep it away,
at least for a while :-).
Thanks for all of your excellent suggestions :-).
Bev in TX
I think I'd throw it out too, Bev. It would be a shame for the rust to
re-appear just as you were ironing something white (and important!)
I don't understand why new irons forbid the use of distilled water.
Our water is so hard that the irons still gunk up anyway.
I have a friend who got a new iron & she's using distilled anyway.
I've been tempted to, also.
Of course you need to avoid aggravating your wrists and hands. I would like
to suggest you look around for other styles of spray/mist bottles. There are
so many varieties, and some are in the garden store. You may find something
you can use while it sits on the ironing table, avoiding the need to lift.