Best Water For Steam Ironing

image of a water droplet

I have researched and experimented a good deal to find out the best water to use for steam irons or steamers. Although I have used good irons, living in London means you get really hard tap water which causes limescale to accumulate inside your iron and can clog or damage it.

What is the best water to use for steam ironing?

If you read the manual or the FAQ section on most manufacturers websites, you will that they claim you can use tap water. However, a lot of them add an exception to this: if you live in an area with hard tap water!

Quick answer: The best thing is to either use distilled or filtered water. It is essential to make sure you regularly descale your iron to maintain its health.

Tap water has minerals as well as other particles. The accumulation of these particles in the innards of your iron can block the steam vents or nozzles, causing all sorts of problems: no steam, spitting, yellowish stains or those disgusting brown stuff coming out of the iron!

Distilled water can be purchased online or from supermarkets or other shop. Personally, I didn't want to spend money on (and carry) bottles of distilled water every now and then so I went with the second option: filtered water.

If you have a good water filter to drink from, you can just use that to fill your steam iron. You could also get away with mixing tap water with filtered water but I would not personally do this. Remember to regularly change your filter parts if you are not already doing this. For most filters, they will have to be replaced after a certain period written on the cover or you might notice that the water has started to taste different.



Tips to prevent blocking the steam vent:
photo of a steam iron
I have had my Philips iron for a few years now.


  • Empty your iron after use.
  • Regularly descale your iron. How you do this will depend on the model. In most cameras, there will be a Calc Clean button that you can use. Generally, you will need to fill the iron to the maximum level, turn the heat on the maximum until the light goes off. Then unplug the iron and take it to the sink and hold it horizontally. Lastly, press the Calc Clean button and move the iron back and forth. You will notice that water will start coming out from the soleplate.
  • Do NOT use de-ionized water.
  • Do NOT use water from the tumble-drye or the fridge.
  • Do NOT use bottled water. They have added minerals that are suitable for drinking but not ironing.
  • Do NOT use vinegar or chemicals to clean the reservoir. The last 4 items I mentioned can react with the metal in your iron overtime and cause corrosion.
  • Remember to always check your manual or visit the manufacturer's website to get specific advice for your iron.
As for descaling agents, my iron manufacturer advises against it. However, I have been using one before I became aware of this and my iron is still working. So, you might be ok but you are obviously doing this at your own risk!

I hope that helps. Please let me know in the comments section if you have any questions or suggestions.

2 comments:

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  2. Water every now and then so I went with the second option: filtered water.home

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