Skip to content


Why Do Irons Leak Water?

It is possible that we have used an iron once or twice in our lives and it is equally as possible that it's leaked water on us. But why? Nothing is more frustrating than trying to iron some clothing or a sewing project and having the iron leak. When an iron leaks, it is very rarely just a one-time occurrence. Therefore, every time the iron is used its a huge inconvenience. The leak is usually inconsistent and can vary from a small leak or a larger leak.

There are a few reasons as to why an iron may be leaking water. It is important to be aware of these reasons so that proper steps can be taken to ensure a great ironing experience. When an iron is working to its fullest potential any sewing project turns out crisp and clothes look their best by being wrinkle-free! Below are some of the most common reasons why iron s leak water

But, why exactly does an iron leak?

  • The iron is not hot enough
    In order to work properly, irons have to reach a certain temperature (usually between 390 and 445 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the type of fabric!). This high heat, when combined with water, is what creates the steam that helps smooth over wrinkles or set creases in fabrics.
  • When the temperature does not reach any of those degrees, the water will not become steam and therefore, leak out of the device. This, unfortunately, can happen to almost any brand of iron, so sometimes the more expensive an iron does not matter.

    It is important to note that trying to use the iron before it has reached its optimal heat level can cause leakage as well. Therefore, sometimes, this is where the brand does not matter. If the iron is being used too soon it will usually leak. Being patient and waiting is key to getting the best out of every ironing experience.
  • The water type matters!
    Not all water is created equally! It is a common misconception that just any old water can be put into an iron and it will perform perfectly. For example, certain brands do specify to not use distilled water in the unit. But why? Distilled water is known for not getting hot enough. The process is which it is produced reduces its properties and it simply does not reach the correct temperature to produce steam. Therefore, it is recommended that if distilled water must be used, mix it with tap water first to dilute it and create a balance.
  • There is a blockage in the steam vents
    Just like any appliance in the home, like coffee machines, for example, iron s can experience a build-up of calcium deposits. These deposits form from the use of tap water which is usually hard water. Over time, the use of this type of water creates a calcium build-up throughout the iron. It is critical that proper maintenance is followed so that not only will the iron work well, but also have an extended life cycle.
  • Overuse of the steam boost button
    Many irons come with a steam boost button. This magic button offers a quick burst of steam to target especially wrinkled areas. While this button is extremely helpful, it can be abused. When this button gets used too often, water can accumulate in the soleplate of the iron. As a result, the water has nowhere else to go other than out, so leaking occurs. Try to limit the use of this button and really only use it when a stubborn wrinkle or sewing crease exists.

Should You Leave Water in an Iron?

It is tempting to leave water in the reservoir of an iron , however, this is not recommended. A cold iron that was water sloshing around in it can lead to leaking problems. It is suggested that the reservoir gets emptied after every use. This only takes a moment and will aid in the proper care and maintenance of the device and ensure it's extended life.

While leaking is a major concern when it comes to leaving water in the reservoir, there are other reasons why it should be emptied as well. Water in the reservoir can lead to discoloring the soleplate which makes the ironing process not go as smoothly.

This discoloration can be transferred to fabrics, staining them. It can also lead to damage to other parts of the iron , especially if it is stored with the soleplate facing down. While water is necessary for an iron to operate properly, it is not meant to enter other parts of the device. Keep these potential headaches at bay by following basic procedures!

How Do You Get Water Out of an Iron?

This is a rather easy question to answer. As mentioned, it is necessary to empty iron s after each use. The way to empty an iron is the same way it was filled up. There is usually a compartment where the water gets poured into. Removing the latch or cover for this and tipping the iron over a sink or bathtub will empty the device. Always dry the iron down with a towel afterward.

How Do I Clean Iron?

In keeping up with the maintenance and longevity of the device, cleaning it is crucial! This process should be done once a month to keep the device in tip-top shape. It is not an overwhelming process and anyone can do it!

It is good to remember that deposits can build-up in the machine and along with the soleplate, just other appliances such as coffee makers. The proper way to clean these devices is through the use of vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar really aids in the breakdown of any build-up and baking soda has cleansing properties as well! Below are the steps to getting an iron clean!

Start with the Soleplate

When cleaning irons, it is best to start from the outside in. The soleplate is one of the most important aspects to an iron as this is what smooths over fabrics to their crisp and clean perfected looks.

With extended use of an iron, the soleplate can become worn out and the holes in it can become clogged with calcium deposits. This is where baking soda can be utilized.

When baking soda is mixed with water, it creates a paste. There is not an exact measure that is needed. This can be "eye-balled" for lack of a better term. Not entirely too much is needed, just mix baking soda in a small bowl or cup with water until a paste is formed.

A well-mixed paste is where the mixture is not too thick yet also not runny and dripping. The baking soda will help lift anything on the soleplate and provide a satisfactory shine after being removed. Simply use a towel to wipe it off. The use of a straight-pin or toothpick is suggested for getting anything out of the holes on the soleplate.

Other methods of cleaning of the soleplate can be used as well. This includes non-scratch dish sponges and even acetone nail polish remover. The sponge makes for a great way to scrub in the baking soda paste.

Acetone nail polish has been known to remove even paint! Using a small amount on a cotton ball and applying to a heated up iron (with oven mitts on of course!) will aid in removing any unwanted debris.

Choosing a method that works best for you is critical and it is good to have more than one option. The most important thing that is the soleplate gets as clean as possible so it can continue to do a wonderful job at removing wrinkles and creases!

Move onto the interior of the iron

Whether its routine maintenance or attempting to remove a clog, cleaning the interior of an iron is necessary! This is where the vinegar comes into play. Vinegar, when ran through appliances, breaks down calcium build-up helping the device become more efficient and operable again.

With the iron off, pour one part vinegar and two parts water into the water reservoir. Then plug it in and turn it on. Once it has been given time to heat up, then turn the iron with the soleplate facing down.

This helps any deposits on the interior to exit through the steam holes on the soleplate. The vinegar and heat will break them down. Press the steam button to create a steam flow. After this process has been done, remember to empty any remaining liquid out. Then give it a good rinse with water and empty again.

These simple, but extremely important tips for cleaning iron s are easy to do! Make it a habit to keep up with the maintenance of the device so that it can perform at its very best.

How Do I Stop My Iron From Leaking?

While leaking is a common thing for iron s, is there a way to prevent it from leaking? One of the biggest ways to prevent leaking or at least deter it from happening so often is to upkeep the device with maintenance.

While that may seem like a broken record, it really cannot be stated enough! While there is basic advice for cleaning irons, some iron s require a preferred method of cleaning. Any manual for an iron will provide the preferred method of cleaning in it.

Another great tip for fighting against leaking iron s is to always use an iron board. Ironing boards serve a very important purpose when it comes to using an iron . The surface is specifically designed to withstand the heat from an iron and a smooth and even surface for perfectly smooth clothes every time. Any other surface just is not suitable as it will not provide the proper amount of levelness.

Lastly, the steam button and/or function should not be used during low heat settings. Certain fabrics cannot withstand high heats from an iron and can result in melted and damaged fabric.

With this in mind, turning off the steam button or function will eliminate any leakage from occurring. Steam cannot occur at lower temperatures so it only makes sense to turn off this feature.

Commonly Asked Related Questions

Why is my iron leaking brown water?

Sometimes burn on products like spray-on starch can cause brown water to leak from the iron . This can also be a result of rusty water in the reservoir which some tap water does have this ugly hue.

When it comes to spray-on starches, cleaning the soleplate after use can help stop this from happening. When it comes to ugly tap water, the use of distilled water can be used, but just remember it doesn't heat as much as other waters.

Why did the iron leave a burn mark on my clothes?

This may seem obvious, but necessary to state, check the setting. Always be aware of the type of fabric that needs ironing and ensure that the proper setting is used. Otherwise, burnt clothing can happen. However, this is not the only reason burn marks happen. Ironing boards typically require an ironing pad. This pad protects against heat, especially for wool items, and should always be used if possible.

When ironing and a leak occurs, just remember these helpful tips and reasons as to why it is happening. Wrinkles can be tackled leak free!

Mime Petit

A home appliance enthusiast and creative writer.

Recent posts

  • Top 15 Home Appliances That Use The Most Electricity
  • Why is a Kettle Made of Metal?