A Steam generator iron is an ideal ironing machine for large-scale laundry jobs. They are easy to use and easy to clean and maintain as well. Cleaning a steam generator iron involves inner and outer cleaning. Inner cleaning is necessary because it helps to get rid of limescale as well as other impurities left behind by hard water.
However, modern steam irons have a mechanism through which they automatically descale themselves. Others require you to manually do the descaling (de-calc) procedure, which entails replacing the filter cartridge or removing to clean it.
You can use the calc-cleaning procedure to clean the interior of those steam irons that do not have an automatic descaling system. The process requires a mixture of water and white vinegar.
The Descaling Process
Cleaning the Soleplate
Cleaning the soleplate of the steam generator iron depends on the material from which it is made. Most of the soleplates are made of coated ceramic, stainless steel, aluminium or non-stick material. Using an abrasive is prohibited because it can scratch the surface of the soleplate thereby damaging it. You are supposed to use a clean piece of cloth dampened with white vinegar to wipe the surface of the soleplate. If the surface is heavily stubborn stains, you can add some baking soda to the white vinegar. Other than just wiping the surface of the soleplate, you could consider ironing a linen cloth that has been soaked in white vinegar. Sometimes the vent holes could become clogged. If this is the case, you can use cotton swabs dipped in a mixture of water and white vinegar.
If the steam generating iron that you want to clean has a soleplate that is made of a non-stick coated material, you will need to use a soft cloth, warm water and a mild detergent.
A stainless steel soleplate can be cleaned using either gentle chrome, silver or stainless steel cleaner that you can find in a convenience store near you.
Cleaning Melted Plastic on the Soleplate
This is one of the most annoying messes you can ever encounter with your steam iron. If it happens, place a piece of aluminium foil on the ironing board and sprinkle some salt on it. Iron over the salt and foil to help loosen the plastic. You should avoid scrapping the plastic off with a metallic tool because it could scratch the soleplate. Also, you cannot use an abrasive to remove the melted plastic on the soleplate for the same reasons.
Cleaning the Casing of the Steam Generator Iron
This is the simplest bit in the cleaning process.
Once the iron has completely cooled down, use a damp cloth and some mild detergent to wipe over the case.
Finalise by wiping with a dry piece of cloth to remove any moisture from the case of the steam generator iron.