This month marks the second year since I bought my Secura steamer (my product review is posted here) and it's been about a year since I took the time to remove mineral build up from the heating coil. I know, I know, shame on me. I'll go sit in my corner now :(
Last week while emptying and washing out the water reservoir, I stopped to look—like really look because apparently I've had blinders on for a year—at the heating coil and couldn't believe how much mineral build up I had let accumulate. When steaming, I use water from my bathroom shower, which is filtered using a shower filter (the one in this post here) to remove minerals from the water (I have hard water in my home), but as you can see, even after a year the small traces of minerals that are not removed from the water add up.
Step 1: I soaked the coil in water (I simply filled it to the point where the coil was fully submerged) and added 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Total soak time: 1 hour. The little bubbles/fizzles you see in the photo below is the ACV dissolving the mineral build up on the coil.
After 45 minutes, the steamer was nearly mineral build up free.
To remove the last traces of build up, I rubbed off all remaining bits with a paper towel and was rewarded with a clean, shiny, steamer coil. Whoop whoop! And at no cost and without fuss!
Seeing all the build up on my coil really reinforced the importance of using a chelating shampoo (my fave is Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo) to remove mineral build up, because although my filter removes 99% of minerals from the water, that 1% accumulates over time and is just plain gross.
Moral of the story: (1) my dearest JGAers, don't be like me. If you have a steamer and do not use distilled water, then check your steamer for mineral build up regularly. If you spot it, grab your bottle of apple cider vinegar and go, go, go. (2) If you aren't periodically using a clarifying/chelating shampoo to remove product and mineral build up from your hair, you should start!