Clean and Descale Your Iron Properly: 2 Effective Methods

Descaling is important for any appliance that operates at a high temperature and uses water. Your iron is, of course, no exception. If not taken care of on time, the accumulation of lime and salt may permanently impair the device.

This is true even if your appliance has a modern anti-limescale function or you use distilled water.  Limescale will somehow build up over time and can clog the fine lines and nozzles.

Last time we talked about the 4 ways to Descale a kettle without using harmful chemicals. This time it’s about descaling the iron instead. While there are many ways you can clean and descale an iron, following the most effective ways of ensuring no lime or salt deposits are retained.

1. Use Lime Cleaner From The Drugstore

The easiest way to descale your iron is using a readily available descaler like Russel Hobbs Descaler or ScaleAaway. The cleaners are available in both the liquid and powder form, but they function the same way.


  1. Dissolve the cleaner in water according to the package instructions and fill the tank of your iron with it.
  2. After the device has heated up, let it steam strongly for about two minutes.
  3. Then switch off the iron and let the solution work its magic.
  4. Pour out the remaining solution and rinse the tank and iron thoroughly.

Tip: If your iron is particularly scaly, heat up the iron again and release more bursts of steam.

2. Descale The Iron With Vinegar

Vinegar is a well-known kitchen ingredient with versatile use cases. You can easily clean and descale your iron using white vinegar.


  1. Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and distilled water.
  2. Pour the mixture into the iron tank and turn the power on.
  3. Once the temperature is high enough, burst steam for two minutes. It is important that you do not heat the solution too much. Otherwise, the acid may attack the plastic components and seals.
  4. Now switch off the iron and let the vinegar water work for 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Repeat the process until all the lime deposits are dissolved.
  6. Dump the solution and rinse the water tank well.
  7. Fill the water tank with fresh water and let it evaporate completely.

Clean Soleplate Only: If you only want to descale the soleplate of the iron, you don’t have to go through the entire procedure. Instead, soak a kitchen paper in vinegar and leave the switched-off iron on it for a few hours. Then wipe the sole with a damp cloth. If the lime has not dissolved, run the iron on low as it sits on the paper.

Related: How to Clean and Disinfect a Clogged Shower Head?

Avoid Citric Acid

Although both vinegar and citric acid are considered universal anti-limescale agents, you should avoid using citric acid when descaling your iron. The heating leaves small crystals (calcium citrate) in the water tank, which can clump together to form a kind of sticky mass. They clog the lines and nozzles, which in turn can damage the appliance.

Prevent Limescale Deposits 

Don’t want to go through descaling every now and then? Then use decalcified and distilled water instead of your regular water. You can use a 1:1 mix of decalcified and distilled water together. Some people suggest not using distilled water alone, as it may distribute unevenly in the steam chamber and the distillate may damage the seals.



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