Steam Iron Leaving Black Streaks on Clothing?

How can I clean the inside of my steam iron. It is putting a black streak on my white shirts. Help

Charlie Tucker

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June 10, 20040 found this helpful

its probably the type of water that u are using, try using purified water. Also I think that the food stores sell a cleaner for that purpose.

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June 10, 20041 found this helpful

Pour some vinegar into it, then steam iron an old towel. Rinse several times with clean water, then steam iron the same towel to make sure you have all of the vinegar out.

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June 10, 20042 found this helpful

The best way to get black marks off your iron is to put some salt on a sheet of aluminum foil. Set your iron to the higest setting then run your iron across the salted foil in a circular motion. The marks come right off.

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By bills1moviestar (Guest Post)
July 28, 20070 found this helpful

The salt on aluminum foil did NOT work. I still recommend Faultless Iron cleaner if you can find it!

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By LA (Guest Post)
December 2, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks - the salt and aluminum foil did the trick. Don't give up - it takes some time, just keep ironing the salt!!!

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October 30, 20110 found this helpful

Use only purified water in your iron, any grocery store carries it in the water section. A gallon goes a long way. If you use a spray bottle fill it with purified water too.

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August 5, 20170 found this helpful

The black stuck on stains are caused by residues on clothing or the ironing board, and exacerbated by impurities in the steaming water. Remove with 1. Toothpaste and toothbrush 2. Salt on wax paper or alumin foil 3. Baking soda/water paste 4. A low abrasion stainless steel cleaner (not on coated or teflon of course).
Only use distilled/demineralised water for steam. Use a wet (with d-water) small towel to clean the iron while using it.

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May 11, 20190 found this helpful

This happened to me. I just got a brillo pad and scratched the crap out of my iron. No more black stuff on my clothes.

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January 29, 20210 found this helpful

In order to clean your iron, you. will have to first see if your iron has an auto cleaning feature or not. If yes, then you iron has already made your job easier for you. But if it is not the case, then you will have to plug off the iron and carefully, with the help of a smooth cloth, clean the soleplate of the iron. Make sure that the vents are open and the steam can flow easily through it. It is not a difficult process at all.

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May 20, 2011

For years now I have had problems with irons intermittently spitting out some kind of black liquid onto shirts while I am ironing. It happens when I am either steam ironing or not.


I have changed irons many times, but eventually it happens again.The stains, sometimes a whole spray of them are impossible to remove and I have to throw the shirt away. It is very distressing. It seems to defy logic. The stains appear on the ironing board cover as well and look like black used oil or small black ink stains.

Any solutions ?

By Dom C.


May 22, 20111 found this helpful

Do you empty out all the water after each use? How often do you clean out the iron as per the manual instructions? It's important to keep the tank clean if not this will continue to happen.

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May 23, 20111 found this helpful

It could be your water, too. Do you ever have spots on clothing fresh from the washing machine? Hard water will do that.

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May 24, 20110 found this helpful

I only used distilled water in my iron and never have a problem. Got spots like you mention once after using an iron in a hotel room to press a shirt. I assume it was because only tap water was available.

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July 5, 20160 found this helpful

Just finished a quilt. When ironing, black streaks. I cleaned iron with vinegar. I soaked quilt in borax. All streaks were gone after soaking for 30 minutes.

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