The obvious problem with a clogged steam iron is that it doesn't deliver enough steam. An even worse problem is the tendency of clogged irons to become suddenly unclogged and spew white mineral globs all over your best black suit. A clean iron speeds your pressing and protects your clothes.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions to keep the steam vents from becoming clogged. Some irons use tap water; others require distilled water.
- When you clean the soleplate of your iron, remove residue from the vents with a cotton swab or pipe cleaner. A sharp knife or other tool may scratch the soleplate.
- Use a cloth dipped in baking soda to clean the soleplate of a slightly warm iron. Scrub starch buildup or other soil. Rinse well, taking care to clear the vents.
- If your iron is sticky from pressing starched clothes, clean it by running it across a piece of aluminum foil, fine sandpaper, or paper sprinkled with salt. If your iron is plastic-coated, though, avoid salt or other abrasives.