Steam generator irons look like standard steam irons connected to water storage tanks. These irons are able to produce a constant flow of pressurized steam at the touch of a button. The pressure forces the steam through the fabric; the combination of heat and moisture smooths the material, removing unsightly wrinkles and creases in about half the time of a regular steam iron. Like all appliances, steam generator irons require routine cleaning to perform at an optimal level. Fortunately, you can accomplish this task with a variety of everyday household items.
Unplug the iron and remove any water from the storage tank.
Combine distilled white vinegar and water, using equal measures of each. Make enough solution to fill the reservoir. The size of the tank varies somewhat from model to model.
Plug the iron in and turn it on. Use the iron to steam a piece of cloth for five to 10 minutes, giving the vinegar time to run through the system.
Unplug the iron and allow it to cool. Drain any remaining vinegar solution and refill the tank with distilled water. Turn the iron on and steam the cloth a second time. Run the iron for approximately five minutes, then turn it iron off and wait for the appliance to cool. Empty the water tank and set it aside to air dry.
Pour 2 tbsp. of baking soda into a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp. of warm water and stir to form a thick paste. Spread this paste over the plate of the iron with a soft sponge. Scrub gently, moving the cloth in small circles to loosen any sticky residue. Wipe the baking soda away with a damp cloth.
Wipe the plate and the exterior surfaces of the iron with a paper towel that has been saturated with distilled white vinegar. Rub the surfaces firmly, buffing away stubborn stains. Repeat, if necessary.
Submerge the tip of a cotton swab in warm water. Squeeze the material gently to remove any excess fluid. Insert the tip of the damp swab into the vents of the iron and twist, effectively removing any dirt or residue from the openings. Wipe with a soft towel to dry.