Guidelines About Cleaning a Steam Generator Iron

Cleaning any iron does seem like a rather daunting task, however, you need to do it in order to preserve its longevity, especially if you own a steam generator iron. Plus, cleaning an iron is actually a much easier and less time-costly task than most people think, it will likely only take a matter of minutes.

Whether you are using a steam iron or a steam generator iron, the water tank will still be filled to the brim with water in order to create the steam. Your iron will most likely have a built-in self-cleaning and anti-calc feature, however, the water that resides in it can still contain some limescale.

Having an iron that has built up limescale is never a good thing, and can result in your clothes being branded by ugly brown stains. Not only are these stains incredibly unpleasant to look at, but they are nearly impossible to get rid of. So, cleaning your iron consistently is a good idea if you want to prevent the unwanted build-up of limescale.

The number one component of every steam iron is water, regardless of how much self-cleaning your iron undergoes, minerals will likely still accumulate within it. Hard water will likely cause a heavier build-up of limescale than soft water, which is why it is so important to clean your iron properly, disposing of any unwanted minerals that are residing inside of it.

Having an iron with a descaling feature already built in is brilliant, and has become a more common feature in modern-day irons. However, it is still advised to clean and descale it yourself in addition to this, obviously not as much as you would if your device did not have these features, but it is recommended to do so.

Let’s take a look at the most effective and the best ways of cleaning your iron, offering the best results that are time-efficient!

How can you clean the steam generator iron?

One of the most effective ways of cleaning your steam generator iron is a fairly old-school method, that still works well today!

You need to mix up one tablespoon of organic vinegar with two tablespoons of distilled water. After this, fill up the water reservoir with the solution you created and set the iron to its highest temperature, and let the steam generate for 5 minutes or so. This is certainly my favourite method, however, there are tons of ways of doing it, check them out:

  • Fill the water tank with water.
  • Alter the steam level to ‘dry’ and set the highest temperature possible.
  • Allow your iron to heat up at the highest temperature level for a few minutes.
  • Hold the iron over a sink or its own pot.
  • Press the calcium-clean button. It will result in massive steam output.
  • Discharge the catch.
  • When all the water is drained from the water reservoirs, plug in the iron.
  • Let your device warm up a bit longer to dissipate any water remaining inside. 
  • At the end, unplug the iron.
  • Put it aside to cool down.

Note: You can try out the same cleaning method by filling the water tank with a mixture of vinegar and distilled water. Repeat all the steps above the same way, the only difference would be using the mixture instead of plain water. Vinegar will dissolve any impurities, dust, and limescale build-up inside your steam iron. In addition, it will unclog the steam holes as well.

Why do you need to clean your steam generator iron?

Ironing is perhaps one of the more regularly exercised household chores that you partake in, even ironing twice or three times a week is common for some people. Over time, calcium minerals from fabric, dust particles, the environment, and limescale from the water will inevitably build up in your iron, and if your iron is not clean, then you will end up with stained and damaged clothes.

Not only can large mineral build-ups negatively affect your clothes, but they will likely slow down the performance of your iron too, resulting in much longer ironing sessions which, nobody wants!

Limescale will also do a good job of preventing the iron from discharging its best steam during ironing. Your machine consumes the same amount of energy as before when this happens, however, the results will be far worse. All in all, the main reason for ironing is to remove creases effectively, and if your iron is not functioning properly, it will not do a good job of this.

How Regularly do you Need to Clean your Steam Generator Iron?

You will need to clean and descale your iron as much as you can, if you are used to using hard water in the reservoir, cleaning your iron weekly is highly recommended in order to maintain its performance and general steam output. There are a few symptoms that will indicate whether or not your iron needs a good clean:

  • Dark-colored water or white scale leaving the iron.
  • The steam output decreases.
  • Decreased steam shooting strength. 
  • More power consumption and less output.
  • Iron causing dark stains and marks on the clothes.

When cleaning won’t be necessary for your steam generator iron?

If you have access to and use de-ionised or de-mineralised water then you will not need to clean your steam generator iron as frequently as this article suggests. You can clean it every now and then and it will be fine and optimized perfectly, this is due to the water containing no minerals at all, therefore there is no buildup. However, it is still a very good idea to clean it every so often to make sure it runs smoothly and effectively.


You should try and use some of these hacks when cleaning your iron, I would advise using the most suitable method for your iron, after all, everybody’s irons are different! These advisories will help you with maintaining your iron’s longevity and effectiveness.


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