What Water to Use in Your Steam Iron

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated February 20, 2009)


An iron may just seem like an iron and you use it just for ironing. Some irons are better than others, and some are of a lesser quality, however most irons get the job done and that's understandably where your thought process on ironing halts. However there is a little more to ironing than you initially thought. There are things to consider when ironing and when handling your iron. If you can keep an eye on the kind of water you put into your iron, you'll notice a change in its performance and ultimately how your clothes turn out. You want to use distilled water in your iron. Distilled water is void of hard minerals that are usually present in common tap water, and while minerals in your water don't significantly affect you when you drink it, when you give it to your iron, it could have negative long term effects. Be careful and aware of what you put into your iron. With the hard minerals present in tap water, the minerals will gradually create a mineral buildup in your iron. This isn't a good thing. When you have mineral buildup your iron won't function like it should and could. The steam is prevented from fully escaping and the iron doesn't iron as it should. There are ways to clear up this mineral buildup and that can be done by cleaning the hot plate with a needle or other fine object and then you can put a mixture of vinegar and water in the iron and let it steam out, which will succeed in clearing out the iron so it can function like new! The water you put into your iron does matter and if you disregard that then you could suffer the consequence of an iron that can't function to its full potential. Distilled water is definitely best for ironing, however if you can't afford to buy distilled water just for your iron, then it's not something to worry about. Your iron won't be rendered cripple because you use tap water; it will just not be able to work the most effectively. This isn't that big of a deal, but something you should take not of and fix where you can.

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood


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What is 8 - 2?

2017-01-13 10:18:30


Well, I can see that in my iron I'll be using distilled water as usual. The water where I live is so full of minerals that every drop leaves a "gift"---a coating of white residue, and is it hard to clean off! Thank you for the tips. I appreciate them very much. God bless you and your suggestions.

2017-01-13 00:44:33


Curious on all

2016-06-19 14:43:12

Conrad Szablewski

Many years ago I used a small plastic bottle with a demineralization filter to put water into the iron.
Do these still exist ?
What are they called ?

2016-01-25 04:30:52


why is it better to use a distilled water rather than water from a bore-hole in a steam pressin iron

2016-01-06 20:20:12

Dineshkumar Patel

Which water to use for my steam Iron
T-Fal FV5375

2015-10-26 22:24:41


So, should I use distilled or tap in my new Rowenta

I have a Rowenta (about) 12 years old Works fine and I have always uses distilled water.
Am I going to cause trouble with the Rowenta if I use distilled.

I think Rowenta just wants us to use tap water so they can sell more irons.
What say anyone?


2015-09-22 05:35:17


Oh, I see some spelling and grammar errors in my original post, please excuse, arthritis killing me this cold September morn!
But I wanted to say:
I see comments about new irons saying only use tap water? I think I saw some of the higher end ones that actually filter out the water or something wacky like that? Or possibly needing a certain mineral or additive that works in tandem with it for optimal performance ? I'd look your model up and be curious to know if they do indeed have a built in filter or something crazy! Also as a side note, I don't EVER use Aerosol spray starch. I actually hacked the formula for the Downey ironing aid and fabric refresher mix about 3/4 of a quart spray bottle of that wonderful stuff and then to that, I add liquid starch to the remainder of the bottle. It comes in a gallon container, a concentrate you mix to your desired starch crispness or you can use full strength if you like your clothes extra crispy! So in summation, I think that using the combo of distilled water AND my ironing aid/spray/fabric refresher/ extender.... Has really prolonged the life and kept my $80.00 iron at 100% after a few years, no residue buildup, no mineral deposits or icky brown scorching anywhere and the Teflon plate glides like it's still brand new... Again, just my opinion and personal preferences and obvious ramblings of a tired woman! Hope it's helpful or entertaining, take your pick..... Kansas Jess

2015-09-22 05:12:07


Hmmmm, I my 38 years, I've managed to ruin several mid priced irons, two higher end models and just scraped a dozen cheapos.... Should have asked my gramma what kind of water... Who knew soooo many flavors to choose from!! She was a hard working, military wife, farmer and farmers wife, mother of 4 back when woman were better than I... And ironed everything from her bras to grandpas long-johns and his key overalls to everyone's Sunday best that she happen to find time to make with no patterns and an antique sewing machine in between harvesting crops, raising kids, working as A professional seamstress/ laundress... And managed to put three meals a day on a wobbly table for family and the farm hands... Wow and whew!!!! . Anywho I digress, she helped raise me on the farm, I assumed she used That fancy water that came in a container because on the farm there was only well water... I thought ( mind you, I was 8 or 9) that eweeeeeeewwwww well water must stink and you don't want no well water on your clothes.... Well well ( no pun intended although haha) it was actually DISTILLED water.... She owned the same iron for infinity, never gunked up, never clogged, never had white mineral steam deposits oozing out its pores.... She never had to clean it... Ran like a tank.... Ok sorry long story, so she recently passed, low and behold, there sat that old steam iron ( probably original model when steam came out I dunno) and darn it if I wasn't a son of a well... There, next too the old faithful, sat a Gallon of DISTILLED water.... Well well, ( again, haha) lesson learned... I only have used distilled water from then forward and wouldn't you know it? Yep! My iron is a beast! I usually throw them out after a few months because I can't get them clean and they ruin clothes... But if gramma could see me now! Same one for two years!! Omg it's a miracle! Lol... If only I would have asked her why... I'd be 500.00 richer and have more clothes left... Oh gramma, I sure do miss you and I'm still learning from ya from " over yonder" that's MY story and I AM sticking too it! Hehe, good day and sunshine to all! - Kansas Jess

2015-05-21 11:31:55

connie xuereb


2014-01-15 16:54:26


"Using the correct water is vital to the life of your iron. Rowenta irons are specially constructed to deal with normal levels of water hardness found in ordinary tap water (make sure the tap water is not filtered or softened in any fashion).

If hard water is used, it will cause your iron to emit minerals from the soleplate. If the water in your area exceeds 12 grains of hardness per gallon or is high in organic matter such as rust or iron, we recommend using an economical brand of spring water. (Please contact your local water company to determine the water hardness.)

The use of 100%-distilled/reverse osmosis waters should be avoided, due to the fact that it will only convert to steam at a higher temperature. Additionally, if 100%-distilled water is used in our irons you may encounter dripping, spitting and leaking."

2013-12-26 14:37:59

Morris Key

Instructions with my Rowenta iron advise using tap water in preference to distilled water to prevent corrosion...in other words, suffer the scale in order to prevent corrosion.

2013-10-06 15:18:16

john pearce

Hi, this is not a tip, but im a window cleaner, and have switched to using a pole system, the water i use is 100% pure, which i tell my customers, and i can't give the stuff away :(

so if any of you have a window cleaning on the pole, and he offers you water for your iron, 'for free' take it..... cos its 100% pure :)

2013-08-13 04:06:14


Use a squeeze condiment bottle to put water in a steam iron? Now why didn't I think of that? Perfect solution. Thanks, Brian!

2013-08-10 04:25:37


hi guys best water for iron you can get from supermarkets with fraquence too cheaper then distilled water perfect makes ironing so much easier and im a guy how sad am i cheers

2012-06-03 10:10:15

Maeve Daly

Shouldd I keep my steam iron flat when I am ironing. I have been told by some people that it should be kept flat to avoid the working parts from getting damaged by rust.

2011-10-26 10:56:33

Brian S

TOPIC: Ironing with distilled water: Distilled water comes in a one gallon jug. PROBLEM: To pour the water into the small hole is a hassle. SOLUTION: A sqeeze-mustard bottle top happens to fit those gallon jugs perfectly.

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