what is ironing water

What Is Ironing Water?

If your iron is getting a little clogged up with limescale and you’ve noticed that your laundry isn’t smelling quite as fresh as you’d like, perhaps it’s time you added some ironing water to your iron. 

But what is ironing water? 

Is it some kind of magic water? Is it safe for all irons? And does it really work? 

Read on to find out! 


What Is Ironing Water?

Sadly, ironing water isn’t a kind of magic water, it’s usually just a liquid that’s made up from perfumes and three compounds: benzisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone and laurylamine dipropylenediamine. 

It goes into the water reservoir in your iron, and is then used to create steam.

It’s supposed to protect the iron from limescale build-up, help give laundry a nicer scent, make ironing easier and, in some cases, prevent a build-up of static form occurring (although this doesn’t always apply to every type of ironing water). 

Ironing water can be added to a lot of irons. However, it is not suitable for most steam generator irons. Nonetheless, you should always read your user handbook to make sure that this type of water won’t cause severe damage to your machine.

pouring ironing water

Also, before you use a particular type of ironing water, you need to double check the product’s label to make sure it’s safe for your iron. 

To use ironing water in your iron you should check the user handbook that came with your iron to see if you’re allowed to use such a product in your machine. Then you should descale your kettle and make sure it’s clean. 

Finally, while the iron is switched off you can add a measure of ironing water into the water tank (see label for exact measurement). 

You can then use your iron as normal and squirt the ironing water onto your laundry and iron the creases out.

When you’re done using the iron, you need to empty the ironing water out of the reservoir and pour it away. In most cases, you cannot pop the unused ironing water back into the bottle it came out of. 

Generally, ironing water can be used on cotton, cotton blends and bedding. 

Note: There may be some variation in the ingredients listed above as you move from one ironing water to another. 


Do You Need Ironing Water?

do you need ironing water

Ironing water isn’t essential. In some cases, manufacturers argue that adding a perfumed and extra treated liquid to an iron can be bad for it. 

Sometimes the chemicals don’t break down as they should, and they wear the seals and other parts inside the iron down. 

In some cases, ironing water can have a higher boiling point than regular water, so it heats up too much in the iron, and this can damage the machine or prevent it from functioning effectively. 

In addition to this, a lot of people just use normal tap water in their irons and their irons work just fine. 

The only major issue with doing this is that you’ve got to be careful if you have hard water coming out of your taps. 

Hard water contains lots of mineral deposits and, in turn, these can cause limescale to build up in the iron. If this limescale isn’t cleaned out regularly it can hinder how the iron functions. 

One way to mitigate this is to fill the water reservoir up with half tap water and half distilled water. 

Distilled water doesn’t contain impurities and minerals, so it should help to prevent limescale from building up as quickly in your iron.

In short, it’s entirely up to you if you want to invest in this luxury item. If you want to use ironing water in your iron you can (so long as the iron’s handbook says it’s okay). And it may make your ironing job easier and your laundry should smell fresher. 

However, purchasing ironing water will be an additional cost that you’ll have to absorb. And although in a lot of cases this item isn’t overly expensive, it is still another item on your shopping bill. 


Where Can You Buy Ironing Water?

ironing water brands

Ironing water can be bought in supermarkets and online, and how much this item costs varies based on what brand you purchase. 

Here are some ironing waters you can look into: 

  • Tesco Ironing Water Spring Petals comes in a one-litre bottle and leaves laundry smelling very fresh after being ironed. It is a Tesco-branded product and can also be bought in Spring Fresh scent too.
  • Sainsbury’s Fresh Cotton leaves clothes with an extra fresh sort of smell that permeates throughout the home. It also comes in one-litre bottle and is good at preventing limescale from forming in an iron.
  • Waitrose Cotton Flower Ironing Water doesn’t come with an overly-powerful scent, and can leave bedding, in particular, feeling fresh.
  • Comfort Intense Vaporesse Fresh Sky comes packed with an anti-static formula to protect your clothes from static, it also leaves laundry with long-lasting freshness and helps to smooth out stubborn creases.
  • The Laundress’ Ironing Water comes in a 500 ml bottle, is one of the most expensive ironing waters around, and leaves your ironing pile smelling fresh and feeling soft.


What Can You Use Instead of Ironing Water?

steam iron water reservoir

Here are some alternatives to using ironing water: 

  • Use tap water and make sure you descale your iron on a regular basis. 
  • Mix half tap water and half distilled water in the reservoir. 
  • Make your own ironing water, although you do this at your own risk. For this you’ll need a clean spray bottle, some vodka, distilled water and some essential oils. See our in-depth guide on how to create your own ironing water.


Does Ironing Water Make Clothes Smell Nice?

Yes, ironing water should make clothes smell nice, providing you’ve bought a fragrance that you like. 

Of course, not every scent is going to be to everyone’s tastes, and some items are more pungent than others. But generally, ironing water should leave your clothes smelling pleasant.