A steam iron helps get rid of wrinkles, but it won't do you any good if it spits out rust and stains your clothes. Fortunately, steam irons can be thoroughly cleaned using common household products. In the same amount of time it takes to iron a few items of clothing, you can restore your steam iron to its proper working order.
Combine 1/3 cup of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a measuring cup. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into the iron, and set the iron to the steam setting with the steam button on. Leave the iron on and place it on a metal cooling rack with the plate facing down. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
Turn the iron off, and remove it from the cooling rack. Empty out any remaining mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Pour clean water into the iron, and turn the iron on with the steam button on.
Fold an old, clean towel in half, and place it on an ironing board. Iron the towel with the iron to remove any remaining residue from the ironing plate. Be careful as the iron may spit out water and residual rust.
Refill the iron with water, and iron the other side of the towel to ensure all the remaining rust is gone from inside the iron and the metal plate on the bottom of the iron is clean.