Cleaning the Steam Iron
Over time a steam iron accumulates mineral deposits that clog up the iron. Also the plate itself has burned on starch that can be transferred onto fabric. To clean mineral deposits, fill it with a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Allow it to steam for several minutes, disconnect, and let stand for an hour. Empty the reservoir, rinse well, and repeat if necessary. You will notice ugly white mineral deposits on the bottom of the iron after it has steamed. Let the iron cool and use an old toothbrush to remove any white traces from within the steam pores. If the stains are stubborn, use a little baking soda as you brush, then run the steam iron through the steaming process again to remove the residue.
To clean the plate at the bottom of the iron, place a towel dampened with vinegar on the ironing board and sprinkle generously with table salt. Set iron on warm dry setting and run over a towel until the stain is removed. Clean gunk off the surface of the iron by polishing gently with 0000 grade steel wool.
Don’t try this with a non-stick iron. If iron surface is dull, polish with Pearl Drops or other toothpaste.
Using distilled water in your iron will lessen the need for you to clean it. There are also several steam iron cleaning kits that you can purchase. Rowenta has a soleplate non-toxic cleaning polish that comes with a polishing cloth.