How to Make a Steam Iron

What You'll Need
White vinegar
Clean soft cloth (rag)
Tooth brush or any small cleaning brush.
Dishwashing soap
Soft scrub

If you are one of those who use your iron often, you will notice that your iron can easily gather a buildup of substances like starch. This could be irritating especially when it transfers itself to other clothes when you are ironing. Moreover, the iron may stop working in the long run. To make your steam iron function properly or make an old iron work, you will have to get it cleaned. The best and most effective cleaning material for a steam iron is vinegar. It is an eco-friendly liquid that easily cuts through quite a bit of grime and dirt.

Step 1 - The Reservoir

Start with cleaning the reservoir. If you can see small deposits of minerals that look like salt deposits on the tiny holes that are on the sole plate, wipe them clean. These deposits are usually white in color and are from the mineral content in the water that you’re using in your steam iron. 

Step 2 - Using Vinegar

Make sure that your iron is turned off and has completely cooled down. Pour white vinegar into these reservoirs until it fills them to 3/4 of the reservoir. Switch on the iron plate and set it on the steam setting. Use the clean soft cloth as the material to be ironed, and iron it till the reservoir is completely emptied out.

Step 3 - Removing Deposits

Repeat this process until all the salt and other mineral deposits are completely cleaned out. Having done this thoroughly clean the reservoir with clean water and air out the room for the pungent smell (that has been generated due to use of heated vinegar) to disappear. As a future precaution use clean or distilled water in steam irons since tap water contains minerals.

Step 4 - Cleaning the Sole plate

While the sole plate of your iron is not as prone to accumulation of dirt and grime as your reservoir, there is nevertheless a buildup over a period of time. It is especially necessary to clean the sole plate because ignoring the dirt could lead to stains on the clothes and other sensitive fabrics that you iron. To clean the sole plate, you should first switch off the iron and unplug it from its electrical receptacle. Use dish washing soap and with the aid of a soft scrub, clean the sole plate. Take care not to use rough scrubs as it may damage the sole plate.

Step 5 - Cleaning Deposits on the Sole plate

If the deposits on the sole plate are hard mineral deposits, you can use a cloth dipped in white vinegar to gently wipe them off. After having cleaned the iron, use a clean cloth to wipe off either the soap solution or the vinegar solution.

Step 6 - Protecting the Exterior

The exterior of the iron can be cleaned with a dry soft rag. Always place the iron in a dust free place so that it does not gather particles and dirty the clothes and fabrics that you iron.

Since mineral buildup is the main reason why a steam iron fails to work properly, you should clean it periodically to make it work like new.