Irons are a hot topic among quilters (ha — I made a pun!). Which one to use, and why? What features you love, things you can hardly tolerate, how much you want to spend on one . . . and there are so many choices!
GenQ Magazine, in their very first print issue, did a review of several irons. I was surprised to see that my favorite iron, the Shark Professional, got the worst reviews of all the irons they talked about! What?!
But that just goes to show that different people like different features, and have different experiences with their iron of choice.
What I’ve finally decided is that it makes no difference to me what brand or type of iron I use, it’s guaranteed to kick the bucket within a year of my purchasing it. Evidently, irons are just not made to be left on all day every day, and mine pretty much is.
So I kill them at an alarming rate, and have decided to just buy the less expensive ones, since I’ll be buying another one again real soon anyway. I’m on my fifth iron in 2 1/2 years. That’s an average life span of 6 months for any iron I get.
The first Shark iron I had was wonderful, and lasted me 10 months. I liked it because it was heavy. The GenQ review said that its weight was a bad factor! I liked the weight because it did most of the work for me. I didn’t have to push on it. It was so heavy it really PRESSED!
And it made good steam. Some quilters don’t like steam anywhere near their fabric. Again, all these things are just a matter of personal preference. And that’s OK.
My second Shark recently bit the dust, this time for a totally different reason than any other iron I’d ever owned. It got to where it wouldn’t stay on — it’s automatic shut-off would kick in every time I so much as moved it. I guess it was just tired of working non-stop!
So My Cowboy bought me another one. It’s just a cheap one. I’m sure its days are already numbered, having come to live here with me.
And first thing, I gummed it up with some fusible webbing because I’m not careful at all with that stuff.
Naturally, once I was done with the fusible, I realized that ironing anything else was going to be nigh onto impossible because the sole plate was a disaster. Did I kill my new iron before its time?
I did a bit of online research on how to clean said sole plate, but most of the cleaners they mentioned using, I don’t have on hand, and I’m 30 miles from town. And I wanted to use my iron NOW!
So here’s how I cleaned it . . .
I wrapped the top of the iron in an old towel and left only the sole plate exposed, then I sprayed the sole plate with Easy-Off oven cleaner. Then I let it sit. It has to sit for at least 2 hours.
This amount of time seems interminable when you’re wanting to use the iron, but I drug out the old Shark and suffered through the agony of turning it back on every time I was done moving it.
When I finally remembered where I’d put my new iron when the time was up, I wiped it clean, and it looks brand new! I was impressed . . . and amazed . . . and relieved . . . and I didn’t have to scrub at all!
I ran the auto-clean feature to blow steam and water through the holes from the inside, and I’m back in business! Woohoo!
Maybe I can make this one last a few more months. And when I’m not careful with fusible webbing, I at least know how to clean the sole plate now.
So . . . I’d like to hear from you . . . what brand of iron do you use? Do you love it? Hate it? Do you kill irons as fast as I do? Or is that just me? What features can you not live without? What features do you dislike about your iron? How much do you use your iron? Steam — no steam? Spill it all.
By the time this iron bucks out, maybe I’ll have enough information to make a newly informed decision on which iron to buy.