When your iron spits out brown gunk

What’s happening is that the iron acts like a vacuum, sucking up fibres from your clothes and, over time, they discolour the water inside the tank.

Get into the habit of using the self-clean function at every second session (on most irons nowadays), which forces steam through the holes and flushes out deposits.

Tap water is best for the iron – an element of hardness is needed for a good jet of steam. If your water is really hard, mix tap with shop-bought distilled water in equal measure.