Scale appears everywhere where hard water is present. Unfortunately, in most Polish homes, the tap is full of water rich in minerals, which causes scale to appear on our household appliances. The same happens with an iron if you don’t use demineralised water for it. Limescale in a steam iron significantly reduces its efficiency and makes it impossible to use its full power. See how to descale your steam iron
Home remedy: vinegar
Vinegar is a well-known descaling agent. We use it as a cleaner in the bathroom and kitchen, it’s a great substitute for glass cleaner and can also be used as an iron descaler. Scale on the iron not only reduces the performance of the equipment, but also can stain clothes, so it is worth taking care of its cleanliness. To remove limescale from your iron, simply wipe the limescale-covered surface with a vinegar-soaked cloth. The limescale will dissolve in a few moments and if a spot is more problematic, simply apply a vinegar compress and leave it for a few minutes. Vinegar is a mild but effective remedy, so you don’t have to worry about it damaging your iron’s coating
You can also pour vinegar into the water tank and start ironing, so that the vinegar gets into all the nooks and crannies and removes limescale from them. This method is not completely safe for all irons. The very acidic pH of vinegar can damage the delicate cord material of some irons. If you are not sure that your iron can be treated in this way, do not use this method.
Vinegar also has a very distinctive and rather unpleasant smell. If you are worried that the vinegar smell might linger on your iron or transfer to your clothes, pour the vinegar into a jar and add lemon, orange and tangerine peels. The peels will neutralize the odor and the liquid will take on a pleasant citrus scent.
Mechanical cleaning with a toothpick
Another way to remove scale from the iron is to pierce its holes with a toothpick. Scale builds up in the holes where the steam escapes, blocking the steam. You can effectively get rid of it with a wooden toothpick. This is a somewhat time-consuming method, but if only a few holes are clogged by scale, it will work fantastically. Wood is safe for the delicate surface of the iron, so you don’t have to worry about scratching the coating of the iron
Ready-made descaler for your iron
You can buy special iron descalers in home appliance stores that are completely safe and, of course, effective. Liquids or powders can be bought for just a few zlotys and do not wonder if you will not destroy your iron this way. Such agents also have additional functions – they delay the reappearance of scale, protect against corrosion, and thus extend the life of the iron. They also do not have an unpleasant smell, so you do not need to ventilate the apartment after use. Iron cleaning liquid is poured into the water tank and ironed with a cloth until all the limescale is removed from the steam pipes and holes. In the case of powder, simply mix it with water according to the proportions specified on the package and proceed as with the liquid.
Keeping your iron clean is essential if you want to extend the life of both the iron and your clothes. A lime-stained iron can stain white clothes in particular and make them yellow. If the holes are clogged with limescale, the iron will lose its power and ironing will become more difficult. Whichever way you choose, don’t give up on descaling your iron regularly so that it will last you for many years.