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Brown water and whitescale are often the result of the water you use in the iron...
If you have scale, white vinegar will clean that...
For brown water, empty the iron, rinse out the insides with bottled water,
and then use the bottled water instead...
The dirty water coming out of your iron steam holes is caused by the accumulation of 'dirty' tap water: if you look inside an eletric kettle, you will see the same 'dirty' muddy brown mineral residue on the inside. In addition, if your iron is old, it can also be rust.
It is a pretty common problem that can be minimized by using distilled water.
You can get commercial steam iron cleaning fluid to clean the inside of your steam iron or you an simply use vinegar:
1) with a cold iron, fill the reservoir with straight vinegar
2) Place your iron on top of a metal kitchen rack above your kitchen sink, turn iron on and let it steam out all the vinegar: it should spit out the whitish mineral and muddy brown deposity.
3) Refill iron reservoir with clean water and repeat as of step 2.
4) Refill iron reservoir with clean water, wipe any dirty from the sole plate and this time on full steam, iron on clean layers of Kitchen paper to ensure that all dirt has been removed from the inside of the iron reservoir, if not, repeat from step 1 again.
In the future, try to use distilled or at least filtered water.
Hope it helps: let me know how you go!
Thankfully I was able to clean the boiler compartment, by unscrewing the large bolt on the boiler, cleaned with water only, loads of brown yuck came out, It would then not allow me to use the steamer, Waited until the next morning tried again and working brilliantly again.
Hi, Rowenta recommends that you use clear filtered drinking or bottled water only. I believe them because the system uses brass & aluminum throughout, so salts or acids would cause corrosion. To clean the system totally, after each ironing session before I put it away, I remove the blue reservoir completely, and run the burst of steam several times until the boiler is empty, and red light indicates it is out of water. I shut the power off and unplug. Wait at least an hour or so, access the boiler tank plug on side & if it is cool to the touch, remove it using a coin (quarter), drain and flush the tank several times with the cleaning tube that came with unit or filtered/drinking bottled water several times over the kitchen sink. Finally, drain all the water completely out of the boiler (I leave the plug & cover off to making sure it is completely dry before putting everything back together, ready for the next time). After several use cycles of the above should clear out the debris. My 1st experience with a used DG980 had exactly the same problem. P.S. before ironing the first article, use several bursts of steam away from the ironing board surface to clear out any standing water that was is in the system. Hope this helps :O)
DIA' s problem - the brown water is due to poor water quality and debris in the boiler and iron sytem. Rowenta is clear that they do not want anyone to cleaning solutions - only clear filtered drinking water to rinse out the boiler (via the water inlet screw hole) and I have found running the system dry, letting it cool, rinsing and draining the boiler several times before putting unit away works fine.
Guest' problem with brown/black tar substance is likely caused by too hot and iron setting (steam setting may also be too high) for ironing man-made synthetics (like Nylon, Rayon, Polyester or blends are basically petroleum based fabrics) that breakdown or melt, leaving deposits on the iron's stainless steel soleplate. A secondary cause could be bad water or debris in the boiler/iron in which the solution for DIA's problem might provide relief. Cleaning the soleplate is tricky, I use nothing stronger than an old fashioned wooden orange stick to gently scrap of all traces of the "stuff" and dry "Dutch" cleanser w/ a terry cloth or old cotton sock to polish without scratching the soft stainless soleplate...