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Why do Steam Irons Leak Water?

People who iron regularly notice from time to time that their steam iron starts to leak from the steam vents. To purchase expensive irons and for them to malfunction like this can be a real pain.

Almost all steam iron manufacturers promote and sell their irons with spill-proof and anti-drip technology. However, we all know that  things don’t always work as advertised, and steam irons are no exception!

Often following the manufacturer’s instructions can avoid such scenarios, but there are various possible reasons for the leaks to happen even after using your iron as you are supposed to.

What are the Possible Reasons for the Leak?

1) Mineral Deposition:

Water leaks can sometimes happen due to the deposition of minerals in the water that is used to fill the iron. These minerals clog the steam vents, and when the iron is used, pressure starts to build up instead of steam built up. Hence the water spurts as a leak.

2) Wrong Temperature:

Another reason for water seepage is incorrect temperature. The iron when heated correctly at high temperature forms better steam. In case of low temperature, the iron isn’t heated properly and the steam cannot be built.

Since the water is not able to turn to steam, it leads to water leakage. The steam setting should be turned off until the water heats properly.

3) Iron Over-fill:

If you fill the appliance with water more than its max capacity, it will spill out from the filling hole. So fill it only as instructed. Also, check if the iron is not filled from the previous ironing session, and close the lid tightly upon filling it.

4) Using distilled water:

Hard water usually contains minerals that may create issues later. Hence use a balanced mix of tap water and distilled water in the iron for it to build the steam properly.

5) Cleaning the Iron:

The steam spray blockage may also happen due to heavy dust and unclean iron. The dust would settle in the pores and would not allow steam to pass through leading to water leakage.

It’s important to keep the iron clean, storing it in a closed space so it doesn’t catch dust, and avoid letting the water stay in its water chamber after using it.

6) Internal parts malfunction:

It’s possible that any of its internal parts may be broken which leads to the steam not working properly and water leaking from the iron.

How to use your steam iron efficiently?

People who use this electronic on a daily basis or very frequently should follow the following steps for its efficient usage:

  • Always place the iron in a standing position when not using it.
  • Fill its water tank up to its max capacity. Avoid overfilling.
  • Understand the fabric requirements as per the labels on the garments. It could be wool, cotton, satin, silk, etc.
  • Select the same label on your iron so the temperature is set accordingly
  • Note that the steam option should be switched on only when the fabric requires high heat/temperature.
  • Plug the instrument carefully into the electric board, switch it on, check the temperature, and select the Steam Function as required.
  • When all the options are set as per your satisfaction, you can start with ironing your clothes.
  • Once the ironing is done, empty the water jar of the iron and let it dry so the water doesn’t damage it in any way.

Related Q&A

How can I efficiently use my iron without any leaks?

To use it without any malfunction, you should use a measuring cup filled with distilled water or tap water. Note that the measuring cup will help you keep the water level in check, and will help avoid overfilling and leaks.

What are brown or white emissions?

The brown water leak usually happens due to the iron rust deposits that over time are stuck to the insides of the iron and when water starts heating up, it leaks as a brown liquid. The white emission happens due to the calcium present in hard water that is used in the water jar.


Steam irons are a great way to remove wrinkles from your clothes but like every piece of equipment require proper care. Usually, the new machines don’t bother as much, but if you become careless with its usage and storage, then you would definitely be on the receiving end of it.

Also, it’s highly recommended to get it repaired by an expert instead of trying to repair it by yourself since its internal parts might be sensitive and your half knowledge can cause further damage to it.