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Steam Iron Troubles

artistgirl74 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I did a quick search before I sent this question to the board but did not find any results, so forgive me if I am the one-millionth person to have asked this. =0)

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I have been having a couple issues with my steam iron lately that really make me mad.


a.)    When steam pressing my iron suddenly spurts and deposits orange colored liquid onto my fabric, staining it. I figure I have two solutions to this. A.) Go buy a new iron (I have had this one for about 3 years now), or B.) Try to purge the stuff out, which is what I have tried so far. I used a solution of 1 part white vinegar to two parts water and put it in the reservoir. I used the self-clean function until the solution was gone, and then did it a few more times with plain water. Besides stinking up the house with the smell of vinegar..it purged out allot of soft debris that looks pale orangey pink almost like foundation makeup colored. I am not sure if it all came out, but it did diminish. So..what is all this about, and what can I do about it. Is it time for a new iron? I read in the booklet that it told me NOT to use distilled water that it was designed for use with reg tap water..well we have semi hard water here and it obviously was a bad idea..I didn’t run into this problem UNTIL I began filling it with regular tap water..up until that point I had been filling it with bottled water. Kicking myself now.

b.)    When placing a wet item on my ironing board and pressing it to dry it out a bit, it stains it. The ironing board cover is very stained at this point (one of those natural colored covers I bought from Bed Bath and Beyond) it is about 1+ years old. I cannot EVER press a wet item on the board now for fear that it will be stained with the orangey stains. What is this all about?


Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!




The Pre-Raphaelite Woman


  1. User avater
    matzahari | | #1

    rust. traditional irons hold water within them and eventually rust.

    you can either empty and dry it out withheat each time you use it or invest in a steam generator iron which hlds the water in a reseroir not the iton itself.

    as for the ironing board. recover it.

    1. artistgirl74 | | #3

      I'm using a Rowenta Power Glide II with a resevoir it doesn't hold water within the iron that I know of. It has a blue colored clear resevoir in the back near the handle. But it may indeed be rust within my water..did some searches online and rowenta suggest changing BACK to bottled water and using it for a whiel to get rid of it.

      Edited 7/24/2007 12:03 pm by artistgirl74

      1. Pattiann42 | | #4

        Good idea.  Always uses distilled water - iron manufacturers have no idea what your water supply contains.  I have an old Norelco and Proctor-Silex and they do not spit or sputter or make any messes.

      2. User avater
        matzahari | | #5

        that rowenta holds water. even distilled water will rust an iron. rust is caused by theoxygen in H20 ( smile)  when you get a new one dry it out regularly an dit will last alot longer.

        1. artistgirl74 | | #6

          Thanks for all the input everyone who responded!


          The positive thing here is that since it is just an iron, I can send it to the good will and with all the knowledge gained I can "do it right" the next time. I have already noticed an improvement changing back to the bottled water and I will be drying it out between uses of steam, or when I am done using the steam.




  2. lpip | | #2

    I had similar problems with my iron--an expensive one which shall remain nameless.  I finally decided to buy two inexpensive irons:  my dry iron is for general laundry ironing and sewing construction ironing where I can just use a spray bottle.  My steam iron is used only when I actually need a lot of steam.  These two irons together cost less than $40 and will probably last longer.

    It's been my experience that dry irons last much longer than steam irons--all they do is heat up.


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