Over time, you are going to find that your iron starts to get a little bit dirty. Constant use with clothing plays a small role, as fibres may start sticking to the iron. However, what many people find is that the soleplates of their irons start to develop a white substance on them that ends up being rubbed of onto the clothes and, in some cases ironed into them.

So what is this substance and, more importantly, what can you do to prevent it from causing issues with your ironing? Let’s find out.

The Scaling Issue

As mentioned, over time you are going to find that a white sediment starts to build up on you iron as you use it. This sediment is actually calcium and it is the product of a process called scaling, which affects all iron equipment that comes into regular contact with water. For example, the pipes used in a plumbing system may begin to deteriorate in effectiveness over time as a result of scaling.

In irons, scaling comes through continued use of an iron without any cleaning between uses. Over time, calcium will start to stick to the soleplate of the iron, often coming off when the plate heats up and is used to iron clothes again.

It’s a common problem, so let’s now take a look at some of the solutions that are available to remedy it.

The Solutions

Here is a short list of scaling solutions.

Clean the Iron

As simple a tip as it may seem, cleaning the soleplate of the iron regularly can help reduce instances of piping or, at the very least, remedy the problem when it becomes apparent. There are numerous substances you can use to clean an iron soleplate, such as baking soda or vinegar, so choose the one that’s right for you and you will find scaling becomes less of an issue.

Use Fresh Water

If you don’t iron very often, of you have an iron that has a large water reservoir, you may find you end up using the same water across multiple loads. Over time, this water has the potential to become contaminated, making it more likely to cause scaling in the iron. To avoid this, empty the iron after each use and only iron with fresh water. Some even go so far as to use distilled water in their ironing, to ensure no impurities at all pass through the appliance.

Anti-Scaling Systems

Technology is constantly marching forward, with one of the most recent ironing innovations being the anti-scaling system. Though not widely adopted with most irons, possibly due to the costs involved, there are irons on the market that feature these anti-scaling systems, which prevent calcium build-ups from making their way onto the soleplate and affecting your clothes.

The Final Word

While a minor issue to many, scaling can cause a number of issues if you don’t keep your eye on it. Use one of the above solutions to get rid of calcium deposits in your iron and ensure your clothes stay clean.