If you own a pressing iron that comes with a steaming system, chances are high (especially if you use it very often) that you’ve encountered the appearance of limescale on its steam outlet openings.
There are tons of solutions to limescale build-up on your steam iron. However, the grime is formed not just on the soleplate, but within the appliance itself.
As a result of this, home appliance makers have come up with a remarkable panacea for the problem. This solution comes as a feature on steam irons and is popularly referred to as “self-cleaning.”
In this post, we will guide you through how the self-cleaning function of a steam pressing iron works.
How does a pressing iron self-clean?
Keep on reading to understand how the self-cleaning feature on a steam iron operates.
Why does a steam pressing iron self-clean?
Self-cleaning is a feature on steam irons created to help us tackle the appearance of grime, limescale, and rust on the appliance.
Generally, microparticles of lime and rust build up internally when we iron our garments. Failing to get rid of them will limit the pressing iron’s performance over time or worse still, cause it to stop working.
You do not need to wait until the iron’s soleplate starts showing visible traces of limescale. As soon as you notice flakes falling out of the appliance’s steam holes or whitish/brownish marks appear on your fabrics while ironing, then it is time to get the appliance cleaned.
The self-cleaning process in the pressing iron includes:
- Limescale accumulation prevention
- Rust control of metal components
- Filtering of contaminants from the water tank
The process above ensures that a self-cleaning pressing iron works exactly the way it should.
How the self-cleaning steam iron works
The great thing about self-cleaning irons is that they are automatic. Basically, this means that the appliance comes with a unique button that you have to press to activate the feature and have the cleaning process started. Once the cleaning has started, you do not have to do anything else.
The self-cleaning component in any steam iron is usually located between the pump and the water tank. Major pressing iron brands, including Royal, come fitted with it.
However, their labeling may differ from brand to brand. Thus, while it is referred to as “self-clean” on Royal steam irons, other brands may call theirs “Calc Clean” or any other fitting name.
The self-cleaning process works by retaining particles of contaminants in a special self-cleaning filter in the pressing iron. This is then accumulated in the built-in container.
When you tap the self-clean button, the self-cleaning process is started and the limescale along with other particles, are flushed out by a stream of water from the appliance.
How to use a steam iron self-clean function
You should read your owner’s manual to have a clearer understanding of how to use your steam iron’s self-clean function. However, the steps in this section should suffice if your appliance’s manual is unavailable.
- Get some distilled or demineralized water
- Fill the appliance’s water tank to the brim with the water
- Set the iron’s temperature to the highest level and wait for the heating indicator to go off
- Now, switch off the pressing iron and take it to a sink or bathtub
- While holding it horizontally, press the Self-Clean button and don’t stop until all the water is ejected
You might feel uneasy about the sight of falling pieces of debris and dirt from the iron while the self-cleaning process is on. The feeling is even worse when you realized you used the pressing iron on your favourite fabrics very recently.
However, this shouldn’t discourage you from still using the appliance. After all, no cleaning process goes without the eviction of dirt.
Once the water has been ejected from the appliance, shake the iron at intervals over the sink to be sure that no residue remains in the unit. Be sure to repeat the entire cleaning process if the ejected water is too dirty.
If you’re satisfied with the result of your cleaning, rinse the appliance’s water reservoir and dry it well. Once fully dried, you can run a trial by ironing a piece of clothing with it.
You should do this before ironing your main garments as a few pieces of residue may still leave the reservoir thus, leaving spots or marks on the fabric.
To fully rid your appliance of limescale, you’d have to take out and clean the iron’s self-cleaning filter periodically.
It should be possible to easily remove the filter from the iron. However, be sure to refer to your manual for instructions on how it can be done without breaking anything.
After removing the filter, soak it in a solution of vinegar or citric acid for 30 minutes before rinsing with plenty of water.
A pressing iron can be the deciding factor in what outfit you put on depending on how it affects your garments. If it is free of limescale and grime, then you should expect to have a clean, smooth, and crisp apparel after ironing.
However, if it is plagued with limescale, you might stain your clothing and find yourself having to pick a new outfit.
That’s why it is important to always clean the pressing iron. It makes even more sense to own a pressing iron that comes with a self-clean feature as it makes the entire process even easier.
Lastly, try to fill your steam iron’s reservoir with only distilled or purified water. This helps lower the load on the appliance’s components and improves the overall quality of the steaming.