I have a Bosch steam generator iron, which has just started emitting
dirty coloured liquid. I live in Scotland so descaling should not be
an issue. Can I assume it is faulty as I have not put anything in
other than water and the brown must have come from somewhere?
I have checked it was not picked up from other clothes. The unit is
quite old now. I don't want to risk collateral damage.
Is there a better option than Bosch?
Do you use tap water in your iron? Not living in a hard water area is
no guarantee that you won't get some sort of scaling, eventually, if
you use tap water in the iron. Anything that's dissolved in the water
will form a deposit as the water is evaporated in the iron. Some water
companies add lime to raise the pH of their water, to reduce the
corrosion of concrete pipes and tanks by acid waters. Some water
supplies contain iron in solution, either naturally or dissolved from
old and corroded iron pipes. Sometimes an indication of this is a
brown streak down the inside of the toilet or below the cold water tap
in the bath, if either of them leak/drip very slightly. Most people's
kettles, anywhere, will have a thin brown deposit on the inside,
regardless of where they live or the hardness of the water.
There's a Wiki on cleaning a steam iron using vinegar that you might
I did indeed use tap water, in the mistaken belief demineralised water
was not needed in Scotland. However, it is odd that the problem has
occurred so suddenly. Had it been water contamination, I would have
expected it to build up over time.
Thanks for the link. However, my understanding is that a generator
iron generates the steam in a separate vessel. Does the same
principle apply to cleaning? I assumed only steam was transferred
between the two so I am not sure how the dirty brown stuff got to the
Ah, so it must be one of these, or something similar
Never come across them before. I'm as puzzled as you are! All I can
think of is that there's been some sort of bacterial growth in the
iron part that has now got disturbed. Does the brown liquid coming out
of the iron respond to conventional bleach? If so, it could be
bacterial; if not, it could be iron staining. Note the caveats :-)
To protect what you're ironing, perhaps you could use something like
an old tea-towel or napkin between it and the iron.
We are in Aberdeenshire and use tap water in our Morphy Richards steam
generator iron, which is probably 10 - 12 years old, irons for 3 of us
and has never been cleaned.
Yes, occasionally, dirty steam comes out, and I have no idea why, so
when I'm ironing, I always start with a coloured handkerchief, which
matters less than, say, a white shirt. To be honest, it happens rarely
enough that I don't really give it much thought. Perhaps yours happens
more regularly, which would be cause for concern.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.