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Garment Care: The cleaning essentials for your steam generator or iron

Ironing is a chore we all must undertake for the sake of our wardrobe. Whether it’s a shirt for work or a dress for a date, we’re all aiming for that crisp, wrinkle-free finish on our clothes.  

This means we need our irons to be effective to get these results. Dirt and limescale build-up can negatively affect the performance of irons from the interior and exterior. It also means we need to keep our irons cleaned to perform well. In this article, we look at simple cleaning steps to clean steam generators and traditional irons. 

Cleaning Steam Generators

Steam generator irons are known for their powerful steam output, making them great for tackling large loads of laundry. However, over time, mineral deposits can accumulate and clog the steam vents. Here's how to clean your steam generator iron: 

  1. Turn off and unplug the appliance: Always start by unplugging the iron and ensuring it's cooled down completely before cleaning. 
  2. Empty the water tank: Empty any remaining water from the water tank to avoid spillage during cleaning. 
  3. Use a vinegar solution: Fill the water tank halfway with equal parts of white vinegar and water. White vinegar is effective in breaking down mineral deposits and limescale. 
  4. Run steam: Turn on the iron and set it to the highest steam setting. Allow it to steam for several minutes, allowing the vinegar solution to work clear out the vents. 
  5. Rinse and refill: Once the vinegar solution has been steamed, turn off the iron and unplug it. Empty the water tank and refill it with clean water. Run the steam function again to flush out any remaining vinegar. 
  6. Wipe down the exterior: Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of the iron, removing any residue or stains. 
  7. Test the steam: To ensure all traces of vinegar are gone, run the iron on an old cloth until you're confident that the steam is clean and odour-free.

Cleaning Traditional Irons

Traditional irons may not have the same steam power as steam generators, but they still require regular cleaning to maintain optimal performance. Follow these steps to clean a traditional iron: 

  1. Cool down and unplug: As with steam generators, ensure the iron is unplugged and completely cool before beginning the cleaning process. 
  2. Plate cleaning: Mix a paste of baking soda and water to form a thick consistency. Apply this paste to the soleplate (the iron's flat surface). Gently rub with a soft cloth, focusing on any stubborn stains. Avoid abrasive materials that could scratch the surface. 
  3. Rinse and wipe: Dampen another cloth and wipe away the baking soda paste. Make sure the soleplate is completely clean. 
  4. Steam vents: Use a cotton swab or toothbrush dipped in vinegar to clean the steam vents and remove any mineral deposits. 
  5. Water reservoir: If the water reservoir has mineral build-up, you can fill it with a vinegar-water solution, let it sit for a while, and then rinse thoroughly. 
  6. Exterior wipe down: Wipe down the entire exterior of the iron with a damp cloth to remove any residue or dirt. 
  7. Test the iron: Before using the iron on your clothes, heat it up and run it over an old cloth to ensure there's no residual vinegar smell or debris.

To conclude

Cleaning your iron isn’t as scary as it can sometimes appear. Whether you’re using a traditional iron or a steam generator iron, keeping clean will ensure effective performance and a longer life. For more information on cleaning your specific model, check your user manual or contact the relevant support team. 

You can view all of our irons here.