Normally we’ve perhaps shied away from buying one of these things. We’ve always gone for the “usual” type of iron which has an on-board tank. This is usually quite a small thing and you’ll need to have a jug of water nearby to keep topping the thing up. Either that you you have to trek forwards and back to the nearest tap. Not good when you have a lot of ironing to do and you’re carrying around a boiling hot iron.
Basically put, with this, you fill a separate tank which then feeds the resulting steam to the iron. That tank also doubles as a stand for the iron, and after you’ve rotated the small transport lock knob at the front, it’ll hold the iron in place.
The iron pumps out 110 grams of steam per minute at 6 bar and, even if you’re in a hard water area like me, the anti-scale system will ensure that the holes in the footplate don’t get clogged up. There’s even a special programme to remove limescale from the iron too.
Getting started is easy enough, with a one minute heat-up time and a good 1.8 metre cord giving you free movement when you’re ironing and setting up.
The iron is a 2600 Watt and can do vertical and variable steam. It also has a rather cool control panel at the top. This is where you find out if the tank (water reservoir) is running low, what the steam level is and whether you should replace the lime collection cartridge. This cartridge comes in the box and fits into the water reservoir. You start by soaking it for a minute to enhance the performance, then you push it into the slot. There’s two in the box. You can replace this when the flashing iron symbol flashes on that rather funky control panel.
Now, you will need to buy these but and it’s just a matter of popping one out and popping another one in, but you can initiate a limescale “self clean” mode, which is done by filling up the water reservoir, then pressing and holding the control button on the top. You then hold it over a sink and it’ll clean itself out.
Let’s get the iron setup then, and it’s just a matter of filling up that water reservoir. You can do this by pouring water into the front of it (via a bottle or something similar) or, as most of us would prefer the second method, which is to pull the actual reservoir / tank out and take it to the tap. This is good, because it’s easy enough to do and a simple catch releases and holds it in place. You fill it up to the max level and then push it back in until you hear a click.
The cable and steam piping sits nicely on the side of the iron, so you just pop that out and plug it into the wall. You’ll then hear a beeping noise as the iron starts to work. You can then use the temperature sensor on the top to select how hot you want the iron to be. The first temperature setting (the lowest) is ideal for synthetic material and it means that you won’t get any steam. The second is ideal for silk and comes with a small amount of steam, then the next is cotton with a bit more steam. Finally, for linen and jeans, you can whack it up full. There’s also an “Smart-Eco” mode which is suitable for “all types of material” and you can control the steam with the trigger as you see fit.
You can tell when everything is ready because your selected temperate will be flashing on the display. The iron will work horizontally and, if you want to iron curtains, vertically too. Just keep the iron about 15-30cm away and hit that steam trigger.
Now, if you’re worried about those moments when you’re interrupted, don’t be. There’s a clever automatic shutdown mode. It kicks in after 10 minutes if the iron isn’t moved or buttons aren’t pressed. It’ll wake up again when you move or press a button.
I asked my wife for her opinions on this and she’s told me that, despite the size of the tank, it really does go a long way. It’s 1 litre. She also tells me that the base on the iron is perhaps one of the best she’s ever used.
She also wanted to do a demo video.
Now…. I want to apologise in advance here. I really do. This is a completely unprofessional video featuring my lovely wife but I thought it’d be a great addition as it made me laugh. There IS some swearing and it’s all a bit of fun but she really does like the thing..
The ceramic soleplate glides very well indeed and, provided you keep it clean, it’s going to work very well indeed. It cleverly uses water and doesn’t just reduce your trips to the tap but also makes the whole ironing process a whole lot easier. The iron heats up fast, it’ll safely shut down and the 2600 Watts of power makes the whole process quicker.
This is the first steam generator we’ve ever had and, although it is a little bulky compared to a “normal” iron and I’ve not found out how much those clever pop-up cartridges are, it’s a very clever solution and well worth the £99.
We got this one from AO.com and it’s free delivery. I really was rather impressed. It wasn’t overly heavy but still had enough weight about it to effectively press down on clothes as you ironed them. It’s easy to use and understand, plus it’s built well and did indeed make the ironing chore a whole lot easier.