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March 14, 2024



Thank you so very much! My husband took my old iron and used Lime-Away to clean it. Let me just say that my iron is no good now. I talked with him about your article, and I will be emptying mine now and use the water/vinegar to clean it monthly. This time around I bought a cheap iron but will invest in a better one now that I know how to take care of it. Why isn't this included in the information with the packaging?!!


Yikes! I never put water in my irons and they last for ages. I use a misting squirt bottle with water or starch. But your piecing looks a lot better than mine!


I learned this lesson awhile ago. I now empty my iron after use and clean it every other month. You’re right, we are all hard on our irons!

sue s

I use distilled water even though they say not to. I've had no problems. I don't use steam when piecing, but my hubby uses it daily to iron his shirts. He is a chemical engineer and feels strongly about not using tap water. This is my 3rd iron and it's held up the best.


First, kudos to Sue S.'s husband for ironing his own shirts! 👏 Now, on to cleaning irons. I don't clean the 'insides' but I do use an iron cleaner 'sheet' from the quilt shop to clean the ironing surface when 'stuff' builds up. I always use tap water but empty any remaining out when I finish for the day. I usually have to replace my inexpensive irons about every 2-3 years & it's been because they stop heating up.


Quilters certainly do use and abuse their irons. I don’t clean mine until it spits on my fabric. I’m going to start a routine of cleaning it now….🤞🏻


I stopped using water inside my iron a few years ago. I use a spray bottle of water instead. it does NOT work as well as steam from the iron. ;p


I have a Rowenta and am on my 3rd one in 23 years of quilting. I always clean them according to the directions. So, weekly (every Sunday night) I do the basic cleaning, which means holding down the "self clean" button for 1 minute while slightly shaking the (hot but unplugged) iron over the sink. Some mineral buildup always comes out! About every six weeks, I clean the anti-calc valve, which means taking it out and soaking it in vinegar for four hours. Both steps are so simple, and I think consistent cleaning could be why my irons have lasted for so long.


It’s always satisfying to see the grunge cleaned out of the iron. This post is just the reminder I need to go clean my iron.


I just plain don't use water in my iron. I use a spritz bottle-- they have new ones that just put out a very fine mist. My latest iron has lasted about five years and still going strong-- I never have to worry about gunk coming out!

Wendy Currie

I highly recommend reading the owners manual of your iron, it’s interesting that for some irons only distilled water should be used and others recommend tap water.
I agree that if you aren’t using your iron daily it’s best to drain the water out of it.
My Reliable and Oliso irons are 5 plus years old and still going strong.

Jody R

I've treated my irons just like you. Leave them on, leave the water in them etc. I'm back to using an old iron. After this post I'm thinking I should clean mine! Thanks for the info.

Jennifer in Indy

I usually don’t clean my irons except for cleaning the plate when it gets gunky…might have to do a full clean this weekend. Our water has a lot of minerals in it so I am sure my iron would benefit from a spa day!

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