When I press the steam button, brown juice is getting out of my iron (I suppose salts with water?), soiling the clothes that I try to Iron. The bottom part of the iron is clean but it seems that there is something inside that needs cleaning. What part of the iron do I have to clean and how?

  • 2
    Try distilled water and hold the steam button over the sink and empty it. – paparazzo Oct 28 '16 at 11:28
  • @Paparazzi worth a try before trying anything more drastic, though I think it's unlikely to solve the problem. – Zeiss Ikon Oct 28 '16 at 12:16
  • Do it have a clean option by any chance? – paparazzo Oct 28 '16 at 14:50
  • @Paparazzi no unfortunately – papakias Oct 28 '16 at 15:11

The brown coming out with the steam is mainly due to rust in the steam passages. Given the price of a new iron, the sensible way to deal with it is to replace the iron and use only distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water in the new one, to prevent recurrence.

If that's not a viable option for some reason, it might be possible to soak the iron's steam system with a rust remover. I think it's unlikely you'll find anything that will take rust out of the steam passages that won't itself stain clothes. Mechanical cleaning would require something similar to a pipe cleaner, but thin enough to push through the steam passages (which are far from straight, to hold the water inside the sole plate as it heats and boils).

Another option (one we used when I was a child, forty-plus years ago) is to keep the iron dry, but spray a light mist of water directly on the clothing as you iron. You can use tap water for this in most locales, because the solids in the water won't get concentrated by repeated boiling in the iron's sole plate (but test first on a piece that's already got stains; if you have high iron content in your water this can also cause problems). This last also works with a dry iron (one without steam passages), which is how I recommend using it if you decide to replace the iron.

  • That's weird cause the iron is not very old to concentrate rust... A friend also suggested filling up with white vinegar.. – papakias Oct 28 '16 at 11:18
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    The rust comes from the water, not the sole plate. Like the buildup of "mud" in a steam engine's boiler, as you boil off water, the solids it carried are left behind. As they accumulate, they can clog the narrow steam passages, or get blown out with wet steam to leave the brown stains. White vinegar will do no harm, but I doubt it will help; it can loosen the scale, but won't dissolve it. – Zeiss Ikon Oct 28 '16 at 11:20
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    can I point out that rust is iron (the metal) that has combined with oxygen to become iron oxide (the chemical name of rust). You seem to be confusing it with limescale which is calcium carbonate that was dissolved into the water, as the water boils, the amount of calcium carbonate that the water can hold is reduced so it crystallizes and becomes limescale. from a little reading week acids (like vinegar) will dissolve both rust and limescale. – Topher Brink Oct 28 '16 at 12:26
  • Very few modern irons (if any) have steel sole plates; most are aluminum. If there's any iron forming rust in the passages, it was carried in by the water. – Zeiss Ikon Oct 28 '16 at 13:24
  • The brown stuff is still not limited to rust – paparazzo Oct 28 '16 at 14:44

You can prevent (slow down) deposits by using distilled or reverse osmosis water.

You don't have a clean button but I would try using the steam button as a clean button. Fill it up, heat to max, unplug, take it to the sink, and hold the steam button util it empties. It may not empty but worth a try.

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