Iron cleaning in 3 steps
If an iron is often in use, it is not surprising that, over time, dirt, lime or even rust deposits appear in some places. Certainly, distilled water should always be preferred to classic tap water when filling the water tank. The fact is that tap water contains lime, which can sooner or later deposit in the pipes and in the tank. As a result, the nozzles clog up and the steam pressure decreases, leaving ironing performance more and more to be desired. With just a few simple steps, even with frequent use of the iron, it can easily be possible to increase the service life.
It is also worth knowing that the use of distilled water is not necessarily a guarantee that no deposits will form over time.
Although distilled water no longer contains lime, it binds the CO2 contained in the ambient air, and the higher the proportion of CO2 residues, the more likely it is to lead to rust formation.
If brownish discolourations contaminate the laundry, action is needed. Now it’s time to clean the iron. This can be done in three simple steps:
1) Regularly remove simple soiling
The soleplate should be cleaned at regular intervals. It is precisely here that dirt quickly clogges up and – depending on the material – literally burns itself into the surface. The still lukewarm surface can be sprayed with a conventional oven spray. After a one-minute exposure time, the product can be removed with a microfibre cloth together with the soaked dirt. However, this cleaning method is not suitable for irons with an aluminium soleplate. The baking oven spray could even attack this comparatively soft surface and cause lasting damage. Therefore, it is important to check before cleaning the metal sole to see which material it is made of. Aluminium soles can either be treated with a conventional detergent or they can be rubbed over the surface with half a lemon. Small scale deposits can thus be removed very easily and without great effort. In any case, it is important to use cleaning or drying cloths which are of a soft consistency, otherwise small damage to the sole may occur. For stainless steel soles or robust ceramic soles, however, baking oven sprays and special ironing sole cleaners from the specialist trade always provide excellent service.
2) Remove textile residues from the sole surface
Sometimes it happens that the ironing temperature is set too high, so that smaller or even larger parts of the fabric burn into the ironing soleplate. Even if you iron overprints or flocks inadvertently, there may be ugly residues on the soleplate of the iron. As a rule, it is very difficult to remove them with a damp cloth or oven spray. Other measures are needed. Special scrapers can be found in the trade with which protruding incrustations can be removed. However, these objects rarely have a really efficient effect. On the contrary, they do not penetrate into the lower levels of the iron’s grooves at all, so that the encrustations ultimately penetrate even deeper and are therefore even more difficult to remove. But there is a way to remedy this. A handle in Grandma’s “treasure chest” is highly recommended. To remove encrustations, you do not need anything more than an old dry or household cloth and a discarded candle or a similar wax-like material that is not too hard or too soft. The candle is wrapped in the cloth and the iron’s metal soleplate is heated up a little. The ideal temperature control is about lukewarm to warm, so that it is still a pleasant feeling to rub the palm over it. If the ironing surface is heated up accordingly, you only have to rub the cloth into which the candle is wrapped over the underside of the iron. As slowly and cautiously as possible.
Due to the light tempering, even encrusted material residues will dissolve almost automatically. Scrapers or sharp cleaning agents can therefore remain safely in the cabinet.
3) Efficiently eliminate rust and lime stains
If rust stains have formed as a result of the use of distilled water, which has affected both the pipes and the soleplate, it is not absolutely necessary to use harsh detergents. These would do more harm than good to the device anyway. Here, it is also possible to take a look at Grandmother’s medicine cabinet and to use conventional products. For example, it is always helpful to mix good butter and salt 1:1 with each other and then apply this mixture in small quantities to the rusted areas. It is important to observe a period of exposure of about half an hour to allow the butter enzymes and salt crystals to develop their full effect.
If not all rust spots could be removed without leaving any residue, this process is simply repeated with the remaining mass. Lime stains are best removed by using a mixture of distilled water and vinegar essence, with a mixing ratio of 1:2. This is simply put into the water tank and the iron is brought to the highest temperature. The resulting vinegar vapours quickly eliminate the limescale deposits in both the pipes and the nozzles of the ironing base. Additional tip: You can also use freshly squeezed lemon juice or lemon juice concentrate instead of vinegar. The positive side effect is that you can use this mixture very well during ironing, and your laundry will also have a pleasantly fresh scent.
In general, the use of perfumed water for ironing is becoming increasingly popular. It is not necessary, however, to buy it for a lot of money in the specialized trade, but it can be produced very easily: simply mix distilled water and lemon juice with a dash of perfume or lavender water and put it into the iron’s tank. However, caution should be exercised when using perfume, as the fragrance oils it contains may leave residues on clothing. The more economical perfume is used, the better. In addition, the more restrained the dosage of perfume is, the more pleasant the scent of your laundry will be. The splash of lemon, which should also be contained in the ironing water, helps to decalcify the ironing device every time it is ironed. Not only do you benefit from a fresh fragrance, but also from a longer iron life.
In view of the fact that there are many consumers who do not really appreciate the characteristic smell of an iron when ironing, the use of fragrant ironing water is a very promising option.
In addition to lemon juice or lavender scent, the natural scents of orange, rose water or apple vinegar are also very refreshing. True to the motto:”Less is more”, it is worthwhile to be economical with the “natural fragrances” in order not to make the aroma of the ironed laundry too intrusive.