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Clothing Iron Care

Keep your clothing iron in working order with these helpful tips and maintenance tricks.

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Once you have invested in an iron, you can ensure a long life span with these smart tips.

Read the care booklet that comes with your iron to get helpful tips about the model's specific care needs.

Clean the vents according to the care booklet before using a new steam iron. This usually involves filling the water well, plugging in the iron, setting it on the highest temperature (usually linen), and allowing it to sit upright for three minutes to build up steam. Turn off the iron, unplug it, and drain the reservoir, pouring the water down the sink drain. If your iron has a "self-clean" setting, switch to it after unplugging and before draining.

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Drain well after each use during regular use of your iron.

Use normal tap water in your steam iron rather than distilled water. If you live in an area with extremely hard water caused by mineral deposits, use bottled spring water or a half-and-half mix of untreated tap water and distilled water. Never use 100 percent distilled water unless the care label on the item to be ironed recommends it.

Avoid using household water softeners in the iron. They might cause the iron to leak or spit.

Test scented linen water first. Commercially available scented linen water is safe, but test it to make sure it doesn't stain.

Keep the water reservoir at least one-quarter full to promote the best use of the steam-iron system.

Clean the surface of a cool iron with a damp cloth to remove starch and other residues. Running the iron over a piece of 100-percent cotton also helps remove residue. Check the manufacturer's directions for specific guidelines.

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