How to clean your iron from limescale at home: a review of tools and recommendations

Practice shows that, no matter what expensive and advanced iron you buy, it is, like a regular one, prone to build-up of deposits, decay of water in the tank and blockage of steam supply channels. In the light of what has been said, our article on how to clean the iron from scale with your own hands will be useful to the owner of any iron.

Why does scale appear?

Regardless of the level of water hardness, it always has its own set of mineral salts, characteristic of a particular region in which the water intake is located. In some places there may be more salts, in others less, but it is their concentration that affects how soon the iron becomes covered with a layer of scale or completely clogs.

Consequences of hard water

Also, the iron can accumulate deposits that appear due to improper operation. For example, the temperature for ironing synthetic fabrics was set incorrectly or the water in the steam generator tank stagnated so that the smallest microorganisms that developed in a long rinse tank were sprayed out together with the steam. When they stick to the surface of the ironing part, they become more and more layered, until finally they get dark and begin to interfere with ironing, inhibiting the free sliding of the iron.

Steam irons with and without scale

But a greater inconvenience is plaque accumulating on the steam supply channels. Over time, the scale layer becomes wider until, finally, it completely blocks the passages, due to which the steaming becomes ineffective.

Cleaning agents and how they work

So, what do we usually clean the iron from scale at home? The set of tools is small and, as a rule, consists of improvised ingredients used for cooking:

  • acetic acid;
  • citric acid;
  • mineral water.
Vinegar and Lemon

Some resort to the help of hydrogen peroxide, acetone, toothpaste and other composition, many prefer to purchase a special descaler for irons in the hardware store, but their effectiveness is rarely higher than those listed.

The action of all funds is based on their ability to dissolve and soften the soot itself, after which it can be rinsed out of the steam supply channels without residue.

Basic cleaning methods

Usually you can get rid of scale at home without resorting to disassembling the device. Timely cleaning of soot / scale on the sole itself and blockages in the steam supply holes can completely save it from third-party deposits and return it to its original appearance. Let's consider all the options for how to clean the steam iron from scale, in order.


First, we will get acquainted with how to clean the iron from scale with vinegar, which is literally at home for all housewives. For this we need:

  • vinegar itself;
  • cotton swabs (discs);
  • cotton swabs (it is better to use a sharpened Korean stick with a cotton swab wound on it);
  • cut (flap) of woolen fabric.
Acetic acid descaling

Action Scheme:

  • We moisten the disc or swab in undiluted vinegar and wipe the surface of the sole of the iron with layered soot so that the soot itself properly absorbs acid.
  • We carefully wipe the steam supply openings with a cotton swab dipped in vinegar.
  • Then we take a woolen cloth and carefully clean the surface of the sole of the iron from softened soot.

If carbon deposits are too large, a second procedure may be required. In some especially advanced cases, not even one. And since vinegar itself has a rather pungent odor, cleaning is best done in the open air. But, as can be seen from the above, this method is more suitable for "external" application. And to clean the iron from carbon deposits inside, you should turn to citric acid.

Citric acid (mineral water)

Those who are interested in how to clean the iron from limescale with citric acid will be offered a choice of two options. The first most effective - involves cleaning the steaming system by directly pouring a solution of citric acid (or mineral water) into the capacity of the steamer.

Cleaning the iron with citric acid

Lemon, option number 1

The scheme of actions in the case of the first option, providing for cleaning from the inside:

  • In a 200-milliliter glass of pure water, dissolve the contents of a 25-gram sachet of citric acid. Stir until crystals are completely dissolved.
  • Pour the solution into the capacity of the steamer iron.
  • We turn on the iron in the socket, putting it on maximum heat.
  • As soon as the trip relay, when the maximum temperature has worked, disconnect the iron from the mains, take it by the handle and over the prepared bath in a horizontal position, we begin to press the steam supply key. At first, steam will be supplied from the holes, but as they cool down, trickles of water will begin to splash out along with pieces of lagging scale.
  • As it cools down, you can heat the iron several more times and pump the acid solution through the holes of the steamer until the container is completely free of it.
  • Then you will have to rinse the container and the sole several times with clean water from acid residues, including driving clean water through the steamer pump, as was done during cleaning.
  • After we try to iron the unnecessary bright thing. If the yellowness in the steamer remains, you will have to rinse the iron several more times.
Iron test after cleaning

In this case, cleaning the iron from scale inside the device itself is more efficient. But after the procedure, as was said, the steaming system will have to be rinsed several times, which takes even longer than the cleaning process itself, which can be concluded by watching the next video. Here the man just started cleaning. It looks, of course, very intimidating, but after running a full tank and rinsing in clean water, believe me, everything will become much more polite.

Lemon, option number 2

In the second case, the iron can be cleaned of both scale and various kinds of carbon deposits by boiling the soleplate of the iron in a metal container. This method does not include pouring an acid solution into the capacity of the steamer, which means that in this case after the procedure you do not have to rinse the system for a long time.

The scheme of actions in the case of the second option, providing only external exposure:

  • We prepare a solution of citric acid at the rate of one and a half tablespoons per half liter of water.
  • We prepare a metal bath, a basin or a wide pan in which the iron will fit.
  • We put a few coins or wood chips on the bottom of the pan so that the sole of the iron does not press tightly against the flat bottom of the container, since in this case only the boiling solution that freely circulates under the sole of the iron can be washed out, which will wash the decaying and dissolving from the openings of the steam generator in acid scale.
  • We install the iron with the sole on improvised supports (coins or slivers) on the bottom of the container, and the container, in turn, is placed on the stove.
  • We pour an acid solution into the container so that it reaches half the metal part of the sole and turn on the stove.
  • We bring the solution to a boil, make it a little quieter and boil our iron for 15โ€“20 minutes.
  • Then carefully rinse the sole of the iron in clean water.
  • Sushim.
  • We are testing. If the white fabric when ironing with steam does not show signs of yellowing, all the scum came out and rinsed without residue.

For those who are too lazy to read the detailed instructions, you can watch the following video.

Instead of a conclusion - a few words about preventive measures

It happens that you do not have time to clear the iron from scale, as it again is all in accumulations. This is because the water in the system is excessively hard, and the content of alkali metal salts and other mineral substances in it is extremely high. Such water does not pose a threat to health. But an iron, a dishwasher or a washing machine, as well as a boiler heater, will descale very quickly.

Scale Prevention in a Steam Iron

In this case, in order to protect your iron from deposits, only purified (filtered) water should be poured into it. And so that the remaining water at the bottom of the tank does not rot, it is important not to be lazy, but rather rinse it and after each ironing drain the rest of the water from the tank. And you and your iron will be happy!


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