Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Irons have become the subject of much controversy, and in some cases fury. So what can I add that would be of any help??

I think a lot of us have enjoyed a little bit of happy days with an Iron at some point in our lives. Whether it was an old relic

or a fancy new model

which ever Iron has crossed your path, as quilters we've found the need for our Iron of choice to be dependable.

I came across an article in a recent Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine that I thought was worth sharing. It was an Iron Buyers Guide, and while I cannot copy the whole article (I'm sure you can obtain a copy of the Sept/Oct 2001 issue), the subject of water leakage jumped out at me.

Did you know that the most common cause of water leakage is not allowing the iron to heat up fully before use? I know sometimes it is difficult to wait, but don't start pressing until you are sure the iron is hot and the reservoir has built up a head of steam. Also, turn the steam button to OFF when refilling. If it is on, the iron will try to create steam immediately and the cold water will cause leakage.

The article was very informative and well written. The author was Vicki Anderson. There were several irons featured that were steam, dry and craft irons.

As for my own iron, I chose to never put water in my iron. I keep a spray bottle by my ironing board and just spritz whenever I need it. Whether quilting or pressing clothes, I give my iron a pretty good workout and I've been very happy with the results. So much so, that my iron has lasted over 10 years.

I learned a lot from the Iron Buyers Guide. Reliability, longevity and consistent heat are some of the key factors to choosing an iron. I hope you find an iron that fulfills your ironing needs.


Terry said...

I never put water in my iron either! I've always used a spritz bottle. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one! :0)

Pat said...

Great advice about not putting water in your iron...no wonder your iron lasts so long. Mine says to dump water out every time you are done using it---but who does that? Thanks!

Stray Stitches said...

The only time I add water to my iron is if I'm ironing my hubby's shirts. When I'm done I drain the water and then use a spritz bottle for my quilting projects.

Kathryn Ross said...

Some great tips - and - hey! I recognize your ten year old tried and true - I've got one, too!


Impera_Magna said...

I have the same iron and I do have water in it... altho I rarely use the steam setting since I started quilting. I do use steam when ironing clothings. Nothing gets wrinkles out like steam. I do use steam when pressing folded FQs or other quilting fabrics prior to cutting.

The ONLY time the iron has leaked is when I was in a hurry and didn't wait til the "ready" light went off.

I've had my iron over 10 yrs and it's still going strong. I like that the instructions said to ONLY use tap water. I found that strange but I've held to it... and the iron is just fine. Granted, I do not live in a hard water area.

I can't remember any problems with any iron I've had over the years.... and I've been dressmaking/sewing for longer than I care to remember.

The only iron I didn't like was one that automatically cut off (safety featurez) if not used for X-amount of time.... I always was waiting for that puppy to heat up. Made SURE the next iron didn't have that feature. Current iron cycles on and off... which is nice.

Aimee B said...

I used and "old relic" exactly like the one you pictured! I loved it! It finally died...

I always add just a tiny drop of lavender oil to my spray bottle. Then all of my quilts smell wonderful and everybody knows they are mine....

I am now looking for a "new" relic! Wish me luck!

Cyndi said...

Those are great tips...especially the one about letting your iron fully heat up before using it. I have to admit that I am guilty of not doing that! I have a love/hate relationship with irons. I've had three Rowentas and ALL of them had leakage problems (after reading your post I see it was probably my fault!). I'm using a cheap Black & Decker right now and so far it works great. But I'm one that uses steam and I hate that my iron shuts off after 8 minutes and then I have to wait for it to heat back up! My next iron is going to be a Velocity V50 by Reliable. It has a function where you can have continuous steam and by-pass the auto shut-off. Sweet!



Denise :) said...

Some very useful tips -- I didn't know that about the water leakage (trying to use it before the iron was hot and steam had built up). I bet that's what's done in my last several. I guess I'm an impatient kinda girl! Now I don't put water in my iron at all -- I spray distilled water onto my fabric and then press. LOL! :)

Barb said...

Great tips!!

CJ said...

Did the article mention anything about irons WITHOUT auto shut off? That is a feature I would LOVE! Hmmm, maybe I should check out some thrift stores for older irons.

Kathryn D. Duke said...

well I am a BIG steamer...and I love my Rowenta too...
Enjoyed your fall leaf garland a few posts back!!


Marydon said...

Never too old to learn, I didn't now these tidbits.Glad I popped by.
Come take a peek at our share today ... you'll love it.

Have a beautiful week ~
Hugs ~

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy of that magazine...thanks so much for the tips!


The French Hutch said...

Well, I guess its never to late to learn great tips. I've always put water in my iron and I do empty it out each and every time, leave it to air dry open. I've had my iron for about fifteen years. I will get a spray bottle, its just sounds easier. Great tip, thanks.

The French Hutch

Michelle said...

Thanks for the tips I was thinking of asking for an iron for Christmas! Maybe this will help me know which one to ask for!
Thanks again,

Jackie said...

I don't put water in my iron either! I don't miss the steam at all - it makes fabrics distort easier and goodness knows I don't need that.

rubyslipperz said...

no water in my iron either...my favorite iron is an older Black and Decker iron...black handle and all metal base, no auto-off and it's a bit heavier than others. Some once said that if you really want to have "auto" shut off, one can use a timer on the plug/outlet. =)

thanks for all the great tips!


{oc cottage} said...

Oh...great info!! Thx!!

m ^..^

Sewconsult said...

I have the top of the line Rowenta Professional. I have had a total of 3. The only reason that mine ever leaked is because I dropped them. Well, they fell off the the ironing board. The first one lasted a long time. I've had the present (#3) for a very long time. It doesn't that long to heat up and even when it shuts off, it heats up quickly. It's heavier than cheap irons. I used a Sunbeam or something at my sister's and I had to look at it to make sure it wasn't a toy. Good irons are worth the price.
Beckie in Brentwood, TN

amylouwho said...

that is good to know! now I want to try it again with water in it, because I keep mine empty too. It's a pricey Rowenta and I love how fast it heats up and how hot it is.

Amy Barta said...

I use a 50's travel iron that has no option to steam, so I am also a spritzing gal. When I do use my Rowenta, I don't put water in her.

This was a great post!!

Ivory Spring said...

What an interesting tidbit about the leakage! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for your super sweet comment you left about me at Patchwork Posse. :)