As efficient as it is, a steam generator is prone to scaling. Scale build-up gradually reduces its effectiveness. A scaled iron can even end up damaging your laundry. To keep your steam generator at its best, descale it regularly. Cleaning operation on the tank, the iron, the soleplate and the steam circuit. As a bonus, discover how to maintain the set easily – and with natural products.
Why is limescale a problem?
By depositing little by little in your steam generator, the limestone clogs the tank, which can damage the resistances which are there, and on the soleplate of the iron. It becomes embedded in the holes in the soleplate, eventually blocking them, which prevents proper diffusion of steam. The consequences are multiple:
- Steam does not come out: ironing is less efficient.
- Crumbs of limestone fall on the linen through the iron holes, during ironing, leaving not very elegant gray marks in the process…
- The steam generator sometimes turns itself off; it may break down.
Admittedly, some steam generators are equipped with a tank descaling system. But that does not dispense with regular maintenance, or even thorough cleaning from time to time. The idea is to descale your plant thoroughly at least twice a year, or even three or four times if it does not have an anti-scale system. It is preferable to use natural products such as white vinegar, a little less effective but much less aggressive than dedicated descaling products.
How to effectively descale the tank?
Cleaning the tank is the first thing to do to stop scaling. There is a miracle product in the back of your closet – use it without hesitation. the White vinegar acts on all levels: it removes limescale, sanitizes the tank and neutralizes residual odors. To be reserved, however, for stainless steel tanks; do not use vinegar to clean an aluminum tank (there are specific products).
- Is your steam generator unplugged? To start, empty the tank. If any water remains, empty it into a flower pot so that you can thoroughly clean the reservoir.
- Prepare a mixture of cold water and white vinegar (two thirds water and one third vinegar).
- Fill the tank with this mixture and close the cap.
- Connect the control unit and heat it up.
- Squeeze out a few squirts of steam.
- I turn off at the power stations. let it work the mixture for a few hours.
- Empty the tank by ironing old rags, which allows you to clean the sole at the same time…
- When the tank is empty, rinse it with clear water, as many times as necessary to completely remove the vinegar and the remains of limescale.
- Fill the tank again, but only with water and a little lemon juice, and start over This will eliminate vinegar odors.
To descale the steam iron soleplate:
The previous step made it possible to begin descaling the sole. But it’s not quite over. It is possible that limestone is still encrusted in the holes of the sole. Take a toothpick and scrape the holes to remove the remaining limestone.
- Fill a large flat container, intended to immerse the sole, with a mixture of water and vinegar (always a third of vinegar).
- Place the soleplate – cold and unplugged of course – in the container. The level of vinegar water should not exceed the height of the sole.
- As this may cause some foul odors, ventilate the room well (or sit outside)…
- Leave the sole in the mixture for at least two hours.
- Remove her from her bath and wipe her with a soft damp cloth.
Maintain your steam generator to avoid scale
Avoiding the formation of tartar is not possible, but you can slow down its formation and limit cleaning with a few very simple tricks. First, remember to do a thorough cleaning, as we saw earlier, at least two or three times a year.
Limit scaling of the tank
- To avoid the formation of tartar and bacterial proliferation, the good reflex is to rinse your tank after 5 to 10 uses. This makes it possible to evacuate the first residues of limestone before they encrust themselves too deeply.
- Instead of tap water, especially if your local water is very calcareous, use the water demineralised.
- If necessary, use a little White vinegar on a cloth to clean the white marks inside the tanks.
Prevent scaling of the sole
Don’t wait until the soleplate is dirty to clean it. With regular cleaning, once every three months, it will be slippery and your ironing efficient.
- You can gently clean the soleplate with a drop of dishwasher soap on a soft sponge. Dry with a dry cloth.
- If you prefer the White vinegar, it can be very effective also provided you boil it with salt. You can then rub the sole with a cloth soaked in this mixture. Wipe with a dry cloth.
- A last technique? Rub a Marseille’s soap directly on the warm soleplate and then wipe off, again with a dry cloth.
The soles in aluminium require special maintenance. Slide the aluminum soleplate from the hot iron onto a polishing soleplate. As a general rule, it is better to check the material of the sole to avoid using a product that could be corrosive.
The classic sole care products are sticks detach iron, which are applied on hot soleplate, provided that your plant is not equipped with a self-cleaning soleplate. In this case, maintenance is greatly simplified!