Steam irons require regular routine maintenance to work efficiently. Because the base is filled with water to create the steam, any water that is not used is often left to sit inside the iron reservoir. Over time, mineral deposits and sometimes even rust will build up causing a nasty surprise by leaving spots on your clothes when you iron. If this happens to you, you don't have to buy a new iron. There are some simple steps to clean the inside of your appliance and keep it running clean.
Empty any water that has been previously sitting in your iron reservoir. Use clean, hot water to fill the iron half full. Add undiluted vinegar to the water until it reaches the fill line.
Allow the iron to sit for 15 minutes on the hottest dry setting. Turn off the iron and allow the water/vinegar mixture to cool completely (about an hour). Drain the reservoir.
Again, using clean, hot water, fill the iron to the fill line omitting the vinegar step. Allow the iron to sit on a hot setting for another 15 minutes before draining the iron (you do not need to let the water cool this time).
Refill your iron one more time with clean water and test the steam on an old piece of clothing. If the iron steams clean, then it is ready to use. If you still notice any spots, repeat steps 1 through 3 and test your iron again.
Empty the iron reservoir after every time you use it to keep your iron running clean. If you happen to notice that your iron tends to accumulate mineral deposits quickly, use only distilled or purified water in it.