How to prevent limescale in your iron

How to prevent limescale in your iron 

Limescale is the enemy of irons – especially in hard water areas – but for irons with anti-scale and self-clean functions to work properly, we should also follow the guidance on how to descale our appliances. We know that a lot of this isn't common knowledge, so we're here to give you quick and easy care instructions that make keeping limescale at bay, a piece of cake.

So, what is limescale? Limescale is calcium particles found in hard water. If you live in a hardwater area and you fill your iron from the tap, you’ll risk limescale build-up in your appliance over time. Many Russell Hobbs irons and steam generators have limescale defence functions such as self-clean or anti-scale that will help to improve the performance and life of your iron and protect it from the harmful effects of limescale build up. These effects can shorten the life of the iron, create less steam and stain clothes as limescale can be released through the steam coming from the soleplate.

Here are a few simple things that you can do to minimise limescale build up, even if your iron has anti-scale features:

  • Don’t use a descaling solution or additives in the water or you’ll destroy the anti-scale agent
  • Use distilled water instead of tap water in your iron if you live in a hard water area
  • Use the self-clean function on your iron every month to clean the system
  • Use your iron at the correct or recommended temperature
  • Don’t leave it plugged in
  • Sit the iron on its heel to let it cool down completely
  • Drain the water from the reservoir after every use
  • When it’s fully cold, wipe the iron with a damp cloth so drops don’t ‘dry’ on the iron’s surface and close the reservoir lid
  • Gently remove any spots from the soleplate, using a little vinegar on a soft, dry cloth so as not to scratch the surface

If limescale builds up in any appliance it will ultimately compromise its functionality. In irons and steam generators, holes can get clogged with limescale build-up so the steam can’t be released, and ironing tough creases becomes harder. Over time, the appliance’s performance power is reduced until it simply stops working – sometimes even sooner than expected.

How to descale a Russell Hobbs iron

Using the self-clean and anti-scale functions on irons and washing and replacing the filters on steam generators will go a long way towards improving performance and prolonging its working life.

If you want to try the self-cleaning function on your Russell Hobbs iron, look out for a button or setting with this symbol:

You should check the user manual for how to do this specifically for your iron. You’ll need a sink or a large bowl to catch the water coming out of the soleplate. For most irons, the process will look something like this:

  1. Fill the water tank to the max mark.
  2. Set the temperature control to max and set the steam control to no steam.
  3. Stand the iron on its heel.
  4. Put the plug into the power socket and wait till the light goes out.
  5. Hold the iron over the basin or bowl, with the soleplate down.
  6. Press the Self Clean button, and hold it down.
  7. Gently move the iron to and fro, over the basin or bowl.
  8. Water and steam will wash scale and dust through the soleplate, and into the sink.
  9. When the reservoir is empty, release the Self Clean button.
  10. Unplug the iron, and stand it on its heel to cool.

Make sure to follow any 'after use' guidance outlined in the user manual for your iron.

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