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Cleaning your iron

Having the right tool for the job is always important. Look in here for information about quilting notions that really help finish those projects.
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Cleaning your iron

Post by donnacrazylady » Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:45 pm

What is the best thing to do when your iron drips out brown spots when it steams? (I don't use distilled water in the iron. Our tap water is not awful and I'm too lazy to worry about it.)

Do the brown spots come from inside the iron or do I get them because of buildup on the flat plate of the iron around the holes for the steam? I've seen tubes of iron cleaner, but they are for the heated flat surface, not the water reservoir. What do you do?

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Re: Cleaning your iron

Post by ctherrie » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:11 am

My experience with irons is once they start doing that they are on their last leg. Also you might try not overfilling the resevoir.

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Re: Cleaning your iron

Post by gmaann » Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:11 am

Does your iron have a 'self-cleaning' button? Mine does, and I don't use it often enough, but occasionally I do fill it with water and hold it over the sink and push that button. I'll do it 2 or 3 times. And I do use the iron cleaner stuff - usually OUTDOORS as it really stinks! I put some on a folded rag and iron over it a few times and it cleans off the stuff that's stuck. Then I really wash the plate of the iron, so none of the cleaner that's gotten pushed up into the holes gets on my fabric. Hope this helps. I DO use distilled water in my iron, but recently I read that Rowenta irons are made to use regular tap water, and that using distilled water makes them spit.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Cleaning your iron

Post by sewbug » Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:05 am

I agree with ctherrie. Once my steam iron starts spitting and splurting I toss it. One thing to remember never release the steam button until the iron has reached temp. A heating up iron will spit until steam temp is reached.

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Re: Cleaning your iron

Post by TheKid » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:31 am

Using distilled water elimates many problems with the brown spots. Distilled water is not that expensive and is well worth it.
An expensive iron almost requires distilled water. The pioneer women from many years ago used a box with table salt in the box. The women would take the iron and move it around in the salt. Just like magic, the iron came clean on the bottom. Of course, these women had no steam, so they did not worry about the brown spots.
Iron out is also a product that can be used. Yes,the brown spots will come out sometimes. But, it also has a rust from the interior of the iron, and that will not always come out.

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Re: Cleaning your iron

Post by Cathy32078 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:34 am

It is getting confusing because the last iron I bought, a few months ago said NOT to use Distilled water. I just thought you always had to. It is a Sunbeam.


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Re: Cleaning your iron

Post by tnjacke » Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:55 pm

I have a Bernina (Bernette ProGlide) Iron I bought about 15 years ago, I use regular tap water in it. If it ever starts to spit, I take to sink use the clean out button and put a little white vinegar in it bring it back to steam, let it set and get real hot, use clean out button again, more tap water, clean all vinegar out.. then continue using as normal.. It hasn't quit yet (knock on wood) and gets used every day. The vinegar I guess disolves the mineral deposits left by the water.

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Re: Cleaning your iron

Post by cindyg » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:05 pm

My iron needs cleaning. It's a Black & Decker and the instructions say not to use distilled water. Our water is awful here. So I will put vinegar in the reservoir, heat it up, hold it over the sink and push the steam button a few times. Then I'll let it sit for a while and go back and do it again maybe two or three more times. Then I fill it with water and push the steam button until it rinses clean. I steam iron a paper towel to make sure.

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Re: Cleaning your iron

Post by ipquilter » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:10 am

I have yet to find a steam iron that I'm happy with. However, I'm just not gonna spend alot of money for one either. I finally just stopped using steam altogether. I got a B&D Classic that I really like, but I use it dry and use a spray bottle for the water. No worries about spitting and leaking .

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Re: Cleaning your iron

Post by donnacrazylady » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:07 pm

Thank you to everyone for your answers. I will try the vinegar for the reservoir and the smelly stuff in the tube to clean the soleplate. I will keep my fingers crossed that the problem doesn't come back.

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