Steam generator irons use a powerful stream of continuous steam to make quick work of ironing. People typically use tap water to fill their steam generator irons and this can lead to the buildup of scaly mineral deposits.
This buildup is worse in areas with hard water, a common problem throughout the UK. Cleaning your steam generator iron regularly solves the problem of scale buildup and ensures that the iron can keep doing what it does best.
How to Clean a Steam Generator Iron
For a good overview to cleaning a steam generator iron, check out this video:
Different irons have slightly different cleaning methods, so it’s important to read the directions for your individual model.
Why you need to clean your steam generator iron
When minerals like calcium build up in the iron, the iron’s performance is impacted. Limescale will prevent the maximum amount of steam from being released from the iron. If less steam gets out, the steam power won’t be nearly as effective at getting through tough wrinkles quickly.
The overall lifespan of the iron can be shortened if you don’t clean the iron consistently. Regularly de-scaling the iron will ensure that it works at its optimal level of efficiency and that it will last for a very long time.
How often you need to clean your steam generator iron
How frequently you need to clean the iron depends on how often you use it and how hard your water is. There are a few indicators that will tell you it is time to clean your iron:
- brown water or white scale coming out of the iron
- the iron’s indicator light comes on telling you it’s time
- the steam output is reduced
Even if you don’t experience any of those indications, it’s a good idea to clean the iron after every ten hours of use or at least monthly.
The beginnings of scale buildup are likely to be present before you actually see anything so being proactive about your cleaning is wise.
When cleaning might not be necessary for your steam generator iron
If you use de-ionised or de-mineralised water, you likely will not have to clean your steam generator iron very often. The majority of the particles that would otherwise lead to scale have been removed in this special water.
It’s still a good idea to clean the iron occasionally, but it won’t have to occur as frequently as it does when using tap water. Unfortunately, this water is quite a bit more expensive than tap water, so it’s probably not an ideal solution if you do a lot of ironing.
Now that you’ve learned how to clean a steam generator iron, make sure to take the time to complete this maintenance regularly. This will make sure your iron’s powerful steam can keep performing maximally. It will also mean that your iron will keep working well for years to come.