Nothing is more frustrating in the morning than hurriedly ironing a blouse or shirt only to find you've left water splatters on it from a leaking steam iron. The situation gets even worse if the water leaking out is not completely clean. A steam iron leak can potentially ruin a good piece of clothing, or at the very least add to the hassle of a moment when you're already running late. Here are some easy ironing tips for how to stop your steam iron from leaking.
Clean your steam iron according to the manufacturer's instructions. Your iron is more likely to leak when it has not been cleaned properly. Plus, the water that leaks from a steam iron that hasn't been cleaned will likely be dirty and stain your fabric. Every steam iron brand is different, so be sure to check the manual that came with your iron or browse the manufacturer's website for instructions on keeping your steam iron in good working order.
Use your steam iron on a rigid surface like an ironing board. In a rush, you might be tempted to quickly iron a blouse or pants on the nearest available surface like a bed, carpet or even on a table with a towel draped over it. However, these surfaces may not provide the proper amount of level padding for successful steam ironing, and leaks are more likely to occur. Take the time to set up your ironing board for smooth steam ironing to reduce water leaks on a bumpy surface.
Allow your steam iron to heat fully in the upright position before ironing. Because your steam iron is designed to convert water into steam that will easily smooth out wrinkles on bulky fabrics, you can avoid leaks by ensuring your iron has time to get the water to the correct temperature. If you lay your steam iron in the horizontal position too quickly, water that is not hot enough to convert to steam will leak. Give the iron a chance to heat up, and then test your steam function on your ironing board cover or spare fabric swatch before tacking your favorite blouse.
Turn off the steam function on your iron when ironing at lower temperatures. Since your iron's steam function is designed to convert the water in your iron to steam at the right temperature, lower iron temperatures can cause water to leak if your steam setting is still activated. For ironing more delicate fabrics, turn off the steam to avoid water leaks.
Haley Montgomery is a graphic designer in Starkville, Miss., where she writes about design, marketing, website development and parenting. Montgomery earned a bachelor's degree in graphic design at Mississippi State University and has worked in the advertising industry for 15 years. Her writing has been published by BrightHub.com and RootandSprout.com. She also writes a marketing blog at DuxDLux.com.