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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
    Power Poster 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.
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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.
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  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.

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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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  11. #11
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    There are Rowentas made in Germany and Rowentas made in China. When you buy something made in China you get a defective product usually. The Rowentas made in Germany are made to last decades. Mine is going on its second decade.

  12. #12
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    My Rowenta is made in Mexico. It leaks.

  13. #13
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    Do you have hard or well water -this can cause it also. I use distilled water -you can get in grocery stores $1-$1.50 a gallon. And go back to a $20 Proctor-Silex from WallyWorld At least you can return it. The only good thing I've ever heard about Rowenta is- they do make a good door stop

  14. #14
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried that Oliso Iron? I like it because it sits on the sole plate then lifts itself up.
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  15. #15
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    I'm still using my 45 year old Proctor Silex. Steams like a dream. No water has ever entered it's chamber that wasn't from a jug of DISTILLED water. It has never spit, leaked or anything else and is used every couple of days since I'm always sewing something, big and little. Oh, I know the new ones say DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER. Of course not, in a year or so, the chamber is gunked and you get to buy another new iron. Why people pay $100 for an iron is beyond me. All my friends who had Rowenta's now own el cheapo brands.

  16. #16
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momto5 View Post
    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 @#$%!
    My first Rowenta was mid range priced. It last 10 years before it gave up. My second Rowenta was much more expensive and lasted 7 months before it started spitting and the tank began leaking all over the ironing board and floor. I called Rowenta and was told because I had purchased a "professional" iron that it only had a 6 month warranty (???). They would do nothing for me. Last time I ever buy a Rowenta. I now use a cheap Black and Decker steam iron. So far, so good!
    Linda
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  17. #17
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    I had a Rowenta before and it did the same thing and can't figure out what to do. I cleaned and used the Rowenta cleaner on the sole plate but it still spews dirty steam. It went to Salvation army and I am now using a Black & Decker.

  18. #18
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I have decided to trash this iron...my husband has one in the garage he uses for laminating wood on rare occasion... he bought at Big Lots for $12.00 and it works just fine. Even gets hotter than I need!

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    A Rowenta is to be treasured. If you would take time to read the manual, it will tell you that excessive steaming will cause the iron to leak. It is important to use the type of water it recommends also. My first Rowenta lasted over 20 years. The one I have now is 5 years and going strong. Never leave water in it when you are done using it. Treat your tools well and they will last a very long time. It is the consumers responsibility (yes-that means you) to read the manual.

  20. #20
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Hansen12228 View Post
    A Rowenta is to be treasured. If you would take time to read the manual, it will tell you that excessive steaming will cause the iron to leak. It is important to use the type of water it recommends also. My first Rowenta lasted over 20 years. The one I have now is 5 years and going strong. Never leave water in it when you are done using it. Treat your tools well and they will last a very long time. It is the consumers responsibility (yes-that means you) to read the manual.
    I did read the manual carefully (always do). I used the correct type of water and always emptied the tank when done. Never filled the tank when iron was even warm, let alone hot. Iron still didn't last over 7 months.
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

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