If ironing is staining your clothes, the cause could be a dirty water tank

by Mark Bennett

January 07, 2024

If ironing is staining your clothes, the cause could be a dirty water tank
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Ironing is one of the most boring and tiring of household chores. Thanks to new washing technologies and fabrics creasing and wrinkling of garments has been much reduced - so much so, that many people now never do any ironing. That said, there are still many who regularly iron all their laundry. And, on occasion, the act of ironing can stain garments being ironed.

In most cases, this staining is caused by a dirty iron soleplate - but not always. In fact, the iron's water tank itself can get dirty - mainly due to limescale deposits building up inside it.

Modern irons are equipped with special anti-limescale systems, but doing a more intensive cleaning can never hurt for any model of iron.

So, how can we clean the iron's water tank properly? Check out the guidance below:

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Correct cleaning of the iron's water tank

Correct cleaning of the iron's water tank

Marco Verch/Flickr

To properly clean the tank, get some white vinegar or citric acid:

  • If you choose to use white vinegar, mix it with water in equal parts and fill the tank with this mixture. Turn on the iron and let it heat up. Then, release the steam and continue until no more limescale residue comes out. At this point, you can turn off the iron and wait for it to cool down before emptying the tank of any remaining mixture (which will also get rid of any limescale residue trapped inside).
  • If you prefer using citric acid instead, prepare a solution of 200 g of citric acid in 1 liter of water, pour into the tank and proceed as described for vinegar, above.

Thanks to this simple procedure, all the internal parts of the iron will be completely free from dirt and grime and you ironing will no longer get stained.

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What if ironing is still get stained?

What if ironing is still get stained?

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If your ironing is still getting stained despite cleaning out the tank, then the soleplate should also be cleaned.

To do this, there are several methods:

  • Aluminum foil: crumple up a sheet into a ball and rub it firmly over the surface of the soleplate;
  • Bicarbonate, water and citric acid paste: prepare a paste by carefully mixing these ingredients and apply it to the soleplate. Leave overnight, then remove the next day by rubbing off with a sponge;
  • Vinegar: heat a little vinegar in a pot and use an abrasive sponge to scrub the iron soleplate vigorously; for an even better result, add rock salt.

Apply all these remedies your iron will function properly and not cause any staining!

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