To wear wrinkle-free garments, buy a suitable iron which can cater to all types of fabric like wool, nylon, polyester or cotton. This guide will help you choose the right one.
In this guide, you'll learn to:
- Get to know the different types of iron available
- Look for features in an iron so that you can make the most of it
- Apply useful tips to ironing and maintaining an iron
- A dry iron uses only heat to iron out wrinkles. Since it doesn't produce steam, ironing can take a little longer to complete.
- A dry iron is considerably cheaper than a steam iron and is very easy to use. Just adjust the heat and iron.
- Dry irons are cheaper to maintain
- Semi-automatics do not require continuous water supply.
- They can be used on silk
- Combined with variable temperature settings, clothes ironed with a steam iron can look wrinkle-free.
- Steam irons iron clothes more quickly. You don't have to go over what you're ironing too many times.
- They produce professional-looking results
- They're very effective on thicker and heavier fabrics like wool though they can't be used on silk
Dry & Steam
- With a dry & steam iron, you get one compact device instead of having to buy two.
- Most dry & steam models add a third function called ‘spray’ for those times when you want to smooth more stubborn wrinkles.
- Not everyone may need a standard size iron. For frequent travellers, it can be troublesome to carry. A portable iron, however, is smaller, lighter and compact. It easily fits into luggage.
- You can find dry, steam or dry & steam models.
- Removes wrinkles from garments faster than dry and steam irons
- Doesn't scorch fabric and is gentle on clothing
- Can be used on silk
Important Attributes to Note
- Steel soleplates are cheaper and don't corrode easily. They're best used on natural fibres like cotton, silk and linen.
- Ceramic works well on synthetic fabrics as it doesn't create static electricity and prevents fibres from sticking.
- It's easy to forget this factor when shopping for an iron, but a cord that's long allows you much more room to move about.
- One with a pivot base will prevent the cord from tangling.
- Weighty irons have the benefit of pressing down on clothes to iron them better. However, they can be tiring to use.
- Buy a higher wattage iron of 2000W if you intend to iron thick wool and heavy fabrics like denim.
- Irons with 1200W-1400W are otherwise suitable for most ironing duties.
Most irons come with one or two years warranty. Aside from warranty coverage on the product, make sure the soleplate is also covered.
Auto shut-off feature is important as it turns off the iron when left upright or unused for a certain time.
Ironing accidents usually occur due to the fault of the user. However, there are important safety features you should look for such as an auto shut-off feature that kicks in when the iron is left unused or upright for long.
Type of water
Some steam irons work only with distilled water. Check to see if your product of choice can work with tap water as well.
Additional steam holes
An extra row of steam holes can make ironing with a steam iron more efficient. If you iron a lot of heavy fabric, look for this feature.
A self-cleaning feature can mean lower maintenance and less hassle on your part to keep the iron clean.
The anti-drip feature in a steam or combination iron will prevent water from leaking out when ironing or otherwise.
Though most irons today have temperature settings, do look for one that has a wide range such as for cotton, rayon, nylon, linen, wool, acrylic and silk.
Helpful Iron Care and Ironing Hints
- If you're using a steam iron or the steam/spray function in a combination iron, don't fill the water beyond the ‘max’ line. You could end up with a mess otherwise.
- Use clean water and don't mix fabric softener or fragrances as they'll stain fabric.
- Always choose the right fabric setting when ironing. There's a very big heat difference between cotton and nylon!
- Check care instruction labels of garments before ironing. There may be warnings to use low heat or no steam.
- Always turn off the iron when you're done or when you need to leave the room in the middle of ironing.
- Clean the soleplate regularly with an iron cleaning pad or a cleaning solution for irons. You can also create a mixture of white vinegar and water. Never use steel wool, metal pieces and sharp objects. If possible, wipe the soleplate clean with a damp cloth after every heavy use to remove dust and dirt.