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How to Clean My Clothes Steamer Tank

A clothes steamer can help you rid your favorite clothes of wrinkles in a hurry, but its tank can harbor sediment and calcium buildup after you have been using the machine awhile. The amount of calcification will depend on how hard, or full of minerals, your tap water is and how often you use the machine.

A clothes steamer can help you rid your favorite clothes of wrinkles in a hurry, but its tank can harbor sediment and calcium buildup after you have been using the machine awhile. The amount of calcification will depend on how hard, or full of minerals, your tap water is and how often you use the machine. You must properly clean the machine to empty out sediment and prevent mineral buildup.

Regular Use

  1. Turn the power button on the clothes steam cleaner to "Off," and wait at least 30 minutes for the machine to cool down completely. Unplug the power cord and wrap it around the cord hooks on the steamer.

  2. Remove the steamer hose and the water tank according to the manufacturer's directions, depending on the model of steamer you own. Take the top off of the water tank and empty the tank. Remove any sediment and remaining water in the tank with paper towels. Set the water tank aside.

  3. Lift the clothes steamer up and over a sink to empty the water reservoir. Remove any sediment and remaining water in the machine with paper towels.

  4. Put the water tank back on the steamer when all of the parts are dry.

Decalcification

  1. Check your clothes steamer's water tank on a regular basis to look for a white, scaly buildup, which is calcification.

  2. Turn the power button on the clothes steam cleaner to "Off," and wait at least 30 minutes for the machine to cool down completely. Unplug the power cord and wrap it around the cord hooks on the steamer.

  3. Remove the steamer hose and the water tank as your model's manual instructs. Take the top off of the water tank and empty the tank. Remove any sediment and remaining water in the tank with paper towels.

  4. Pour 5 oz. of liquid steamer cleaner into the water tank. You can use 3 oz. of white vinegar and 3 oz. of water as a substitute for the liquid steamer cleaner. Empty any excess water from the reservoir.

  5. Leave the cleaner in the water tank for 2 hours without turning on the machine. Empty the cleaner from the tank and rinse the tank three times with clear water before you use the machine again.

Tip

You can steam the calcification off the water tank only if you use the vinegar solution. Place the water tank and steamer wand back on the steamer. Turn the clothes steamer on and let it run until half the solution is gone. Remove and empty the water tank and rinse it three times with clear water.

Warning

Do not turn the clothes steamer on if you are using steamer liquid cleaner, as it can ruin parts of the machine.

About the Author

Mary McNally has been writing and editing for over 13 years, including publications at Cornell University Press, Larson Publications and College Athletic Magazines. McNally also wrote and edited career and computer materials for Stanford University and Ithaca College. She holds a master's degree in career development from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in counseling.