A steam iron has a number of uses in your household. The steam action helps loosen very difficult wrinkles in your clothing that a standard iron cannot. You can also use a steam iron to clean surfaces, like sofas, and kill germs. Luckily, there aren't many things that can go wrong with a steam iron, so it's simple to troubleshoot the issue before you decide to buy a new one for the house.
Make sure that there is plenty of distilled water in the steam iron before you proceed. Fill it all the way to the "max" line.
Allow the iron to sit for a while (at least an hour) to give it plenty of time for the water to heat. If the problem is that it takes extra long to develop steam, there's an issue with the electrical heating mechanism. This requires professional repair or complete replacement.
Play with the plug if the steam iron won't turn on at all. Sometimes a bad cord or connection is the culprit in that case. This requires cord repair---an electrician or carpenter might be able to splice the bad portion of the cord with a good one. Otherwise, just replace the iron.
Press the steam ejection button (if available) once the iron warms up to see if steam escapes that way. If not, there's an issue with the mechanism that releases steam. When steam isn't escaping, it could be blockage from mineral deposits that form over time when you use hard water in your steam iron.
Check the temperature of the casing of the steam iron. If it's extremely hot to the touch, unplug it immediately. This is a clear indication that the steam heat isn't releasing from the iron properly, which again could be related to mineral deposits from using hard water in your steam iron.
Don't try to disassemble a steam iron or fix the cord yourself unless you're a certified electrician or carpenter.