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During the day to day use of a steam iron there can be normal buildup accumulate on the soleplate of the iron. Other things such as melted synthetic fibers, iron-on trims, and fusibles can also buildup on the sole plate of the iron. These can be removed with the use of a quality hot soleplate cleaner. Soleplate Cleaning Kits can be purchased from many service centers or can be found online by doing a search for “soleplate cleaning kit”.
If you have had the misfortune of getting melted plastic on the soleplate of your iron, you can remove that by taking a piece of Aluminum foil and sprinkling it with salt. Then take the hot iron and work it back and forth over the salt to break up the plastic and remove it from the bottom of the iron.
Avoid starches and be careful of synthetic materials. Also avoid zippers and buttons that can scratch the bottom of your iron.
Do not use the soleplate cleaners on your iron if it has a non-stick surface. With the non-stick surface you should not need the cleaning anyway. These surfaces can be damaged easily by anything abrasive. Do not use abrasive cleaners on any soleplate. Use the soleplate cleaning kit.
The holes in the bottom of our iron can be cleaned by using a pipe cleaner of a Q-tip.
Simply make sure the bottom is cool and then insert the pipe cleaner or Q-tip into the holes one by one and circle them around inside to clean out the hole.
If your iron has a “self clean” feature, do not over use it. It is recommended that you use it at least once per year, but not more then once per month.
Also look for my other tips on taking care of your steam iron.
Here I'm going to tell you the basics of cleaning your Rowenta iron :
Things You'll Need:1:Rowenta Soleplate Cleaning Kit 2: Ironing board 3:Clean, dry cloth 4:Two cotton terry cloths, such as washcloths
Now to the cleaning :
1:Pour out any water from the iron. Turn the steam iron on to the "Cotton"
setting, which is the one with three dots on the settings dial.
2:Cover an area of the ironing board with a clean, dry cloth. Fold one
washcloth or other piece of cotton terry cloth in half and place it onto
the cloth on the ironing board.
3:Dispense a 2-inch long daub of cleaning solution onto the terry cloth.
Run the heated iron over the cloth directly on the cleaning solution.
Move the steam iron in a circular motion over the cleaner on the cloth
for a minute or two.
4:Remove the steam iron from the cloth. Carefully wipe any remaining
cleaning solution from the soleplate using the second terry cloth.
5:Add water to the steam iron. Turn on the "Steam" or "Burst of Steam"
feature. Run the iron over the clean, dry cloth on the ironing board to
ensure the cleaning product is entirely gone from the soleplate.
You could turn the iron on again - set to cotton or highest setting and allow it to completely burn off. Do this outdoors or well ventilated area indoors (no smoke detectors on!)
Or, you could warm the iron and use a plastic putty knife to scrape as much material from the iron as possible. A metal knife will scratch and mar the surface. When cool, use a scotchbrite pad to buff away remaining deposits on the iron.
Rowent sells a hot iron cleaning kit. It comes with a tube of cleaner, a piece of white terry cloth and a piece of cotton flannel. You spred some of the cleaner on the terry and iron it. Melted fabric and other grim clean right off the iron. Then you polish it up on the flannel. Good luck!
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...