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Thread: Help - My Iron is spewing black gunk...

  1. #1
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Help - My Iron is spewing black gunk...

    I have a Rowenta steam iron that has started discharging black staining gunk from just 3 holes...I have cleaned it, but it still does it. Has anyone had this happen? Do you think it is something burning inside? It doesn't smell that way...it just seems to be these holes...and the other holes don't spay much steam any more. This isn't a very old iron - maybe a year 2 at the most.

  2. #2
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Sounds like maybe there is mold inside? Bleach will kill mold. I guess I would experiment with mixing a mild bleach solution and putting it in the iron, steam a little with it, let it sit overnight (mild bleach solutions take awhile to work completely on mold), empty it, rinse it out and steam some more, and see if that takes care of it. While letting it sit overnight with the mild bleach solution in it, I would also sit the iron in a shallow pan of mild bleach (to let the bleach stay in contact with the other side of the holes). This would void the warranty, but I haven't found warranties to be very helpful with irons anyway.

    If you are wary of the bleach, you could try full-strength vinegar instead for the overnight soaking.

    If it's not mold, then it could be an accumulation of mineral deposits. This happened to my Rowenta, but the mineral deposits were white. Even full-strength vinegar seemed unable to take care of it (although at the time I hadn't thought about letting the iron sit overnight in vinegar so it could reach both sides of the holes). I ended up using some product used to clean mineral deposits out of water softeners (I think it was Rust Out, although what I used was a powder not a liquid). I ran it through the iron a few times as if it were vinegar, rinsed the iron, etc. I still had to use a pin to flake off some of the thicker white mineral deposits in some of the holes, but together that got the iron working again.

    I should mention that my Rowenta has a built-in water tank. If yours is the type with the separating water tank, I'm not sure that the above will apply.

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Is it still under warranty? Is there a Rowenta toll free number or website?

    Does your iron have a 'cleaning mode'? On my iron it's the same lever that turns the steam off or on and then there's clean.

    I'd be cautious of adding anything other than vinegar to the iron. I've never had black stuff coming out an any iron.
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  4. #4
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I had that happen with a rowenta and a couple other brands. I stopped putting water in them and that stopped. Now I only use a spray bottle to dampen fabrics, when I need it. Even bottled water did it.
    Another Phyllis
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  5. #5
    Super Member alwayslearning's Avatar
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    I have a 40+ year old G.E. steam iron that did not cost a fortune and still works like a charm and I did not pay a fortune for it. So many people on the Board have reported problems with the fancy irons. If this one retires, I'll just get something cheap so I can just throw it away if it starts spewing black or doing other things to ruin fabric.
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  6. #6
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    My Rowenta, after several years, started spewing rust colored water. There was no warning at all, and I'm not sure it can be fixed. I've been using it dry (without steam) and spraying instead, like Jingle said, it's been fine.

  7. #7
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    Mine also had black gunk coming from the iron. It was coming out of the bottom holes and any other area water could leak-I have the DW5080 Focus with 400 holes.
    Not only black gunk but water would drain out the bottom. Couldn't figure out where that was coming from. I took off the bottom plate, and I could see up to the water reservoir. There was a black rubber gasket that was popping out where it should have been completely down in order to seal the water in. I took a skinny flat head screwdriver and pushed the rubber gasket back down. It was like this gasket was high enough that heat was getting to it and maybe parts of it were 'steaming' off and the black wasn't really coming out of the holes, but leaking with the water. Once I pushed that gasket back in place, I have never had a problem since. It was like a defect when manufactured. Other than that I love the iron. Make sure to never leave water stored in the iron. Pour it out when the iron is shut off for the day. I have only used bottled water in this iron, and have not had any issues with residue.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Rowentas have a reputation for leaking. I bought mine at Savers for $5 and of course it leaks so use it dry. They have lots of Rowentas.
    I use a cheap Black and Decker for steam.
    Also have a Rowenta travel iron that just started leaking.
    Thanks for the info on the fix, will try that.

  9. #9
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    just beware of your iron. many people have been saying they have caught fire!! mine was good for years and one day i plugged it into my power cord outside my sewing room so i could do some fusible batting on my folding table, and it blew my power cord. Scared me to bits. after that, the iron and cord went into the trash!! good luck.

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't have another Rowenta....better than that, you couldn't PAY me to take one...there's just no excuse to pay that kind of money for that shoddy a product and not have some recourse for a bad product. IMHO, they should be made to reimburse (X10) to each purchaser of their @#$%!
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