I didn't mean to take a little blogging break for 4 days. Sorry. I was just...well...totally fatigued. I don't know what my problem is. Right now, I feel like I just can't sleep enough! I just couldn't get enough oomph to get it together and write a post. But, I'm back. I'm still tired, but I'm getting back into my routines again.
So, what did Santa bring you?
Santa (Papa Pea) brought me exactly what I wanted....a new iron! And he brought me...
the Rowenta Pressure Iron and Steamer!!!!! (I have Model DG5030, if you want to know.) I have been using it for a few days and thought I'd give a little product review, because when I tried to find reviews of this on-line, I had a hard time finding many. (There were lots for their regular irons, but not much for this one.)
Here is a link to it on Amazon if you are interested:
As you can see, this iron has a rather large base, in which you put the water. It seems to hold about 1/2 to 3/4 gallon of water. There is a power cord (which is really quite long) and a cord that connects the iron to the base. It is also quite long...I'd say each is about 6 feet.
Here's the view from the front. The large knob on the upper right (on top of the base) is what you open to fill the tank. It comes with a nice funnel that has a little red "bobber" in it that pops up when it's full. Very helpful so you don't overfill. There is no "window" or anything on it to show you the water level (which is a slight weakness in the product, in my view), so you really need this special funnel to know when it's full.
On the back here is the on/off switch (far left) with a light that stays on as long as the iron is on. Next to it is the indicator light to indicate when the steam is ready. It goes off when it's ready to steam and comes back on when it's generating more steam. The knob on the right is your steam adjustment. You can adjust steam from minimum to maximum using this dial.
Here is the iron, itself. You can adjust the temperature of the iron using this dial, just like on a traditional iron. What I like, though, is that temperature is adjustable separately from the steam...unlike my conventional iron, where when temperature is high, steam is high (if you have steam turned on) and low if temperature is low. I like that you can regulate it separately. You can see the indicator light here on the iron, which indicates when it is heated up to the desired temperature.
I have the iron sitting on one of those silicone pads on my ironing board. That was something I already had (my mom gave it to me a while back...thanks, Mom!). It did not come with the iron.
The sole plate is stainless steel, not teflon. That's fine with me. I sort of like the stainless steel and don't really care if it's teflon. But that imght be important to others. There are a fair amount of steam holes, and there are some small, concentrated ones near the tip of the iron.
When you fill the base, it is a little heavy. The picture on the box has the base sitting on an ironing board extension, which my ironing board has.
I don't know how well you can see this, but this is a metal plate that extends off the back end of my ironing board. You are supposed to be able to rest your iron here. My old iron never fit here well, anyway, so I've never really used it for anything. (I have considered removing it, but it also has a cord minder on it that I like. So, I keep it on for that.) I thought about resting the base of the iron here, but you know, it's just not that sturdy. It felt really wobbly to me when I put it here. And it seemed to make my whole ironing board feel unstable. So, I didn't think it was a good idea to put it here.
So, here is my solution. I have a rolling cart right behind my ironing board. I put the base on that, and it felt much more stable. I am keeping the iron on the silicone pad on my ironing board. I have several reasons for this:
- It saves me from reaching so far to get the iron and have to set it back on the base all the time.
- I could keep the iron up on its end on my ironing board when I'm not using it, but you know, irons are pretty wobbly on the base. And if I bump the ironing board with my big hip (like I've done before), it's so easy for the iron to fall over and fall off the ironing board (like I've done before). I think keeping it this way will be more stable, and it will be less likely to fall off my ironing board by accident.
- The iron does not have an auto shut-off feature. I think some people find this to be a serious limitation and others find it to be a serious plus. I really don't care. I like auto shut off, because sometimes I'm not very responsible and I forget to turn off the iron. But I find it really annoying when the thing shuts off all the time as I sew blocks, and then I have to wait for it to heat up again before I can press. So, there are plusses and minuses both ways. I figure, my strategy/rule for remembering to shut off the iron will be: If it's down and on my board, then that means the iron is on. If it's on it's base, it's off. I will shut it off when I put it up on the base. I think that will work. (I have heard of other people who wear something on their wrist and take it off when they shut the iron off, but I don't think that will work for me. I can't stand stuff on my wrist when I am cutting, piecing, etc.)
The instructions suggest it's good to have an ironing board that looks like this on the bottom...that is lots of openings for steam to pass through...not a really solid board. My board was already like this, so that worked well!
And, it's probably a good thing. This baby CRANKS out the steam! I have only set the dial at about half way between minimum and maximum, and I'm getting PLENTY of steam. It's awesome. And, I could sew and press for several hours at a time without having to refill the iron. With my regular Rowenta, I got lots of steam (I always felt like I was getting a facial when I pressed!), but I had to fill the iron after about 20-30 minutes of pressing. I would guess if I was doing continuous pressing, I would run out even sooner. I can iron a long time with this and still have water with it.
Another thing I like about the steam is that it comes out with FORCE. I wasn't expecting that. But I should have, since it's called the "Pressure Iron and Steamer" on the box. This forces the steam right through the fabric (hence the need for this type of ironing board). So, it gives me a pretty "dry" steam...in the sense that my fabric does not feel damp when I am done pressing. I like this a lot. With my other Rowenta, it also cranked out the steam, but it left my fabric really damp. Therefore, it was easy to accidentally stretch the fabric. I don't feel like my fabric is as likely to get distorted with this. This is what I liked about Jill's Eurosteam iron. I feel like I got the benefits of her iron with this one.
The trigger for getting steam out is on the handle, like a trigger. You activate it with your index finger. It's easy to pull and egonomic (rather than having to reach your thumb on top to push a steam button).
Another thing I like is that I can press a seam open without any steam, get everything set, and then after it's set, press the steam and get good, continuous steam. On my old iron, the steam was either on or off. If it was off, I could get a burst of steam, but I couldn't get a nice continuous steam. I could only get that if steam was always on. Again, I think by not having it on when I open my seams, I'm less likely to distort the fabric. Then, once it's open I can steam it while I'm just pressing straight down.
And...I get a really nice, crisp, flat press. I like how nice and flat I can get my blocks.
You might recall that one of my big issues was my other Rowenta leaked like a sieve. (Read this previous blog post to read about that iron and the irons I was considering.) It leaked out half the water just sitting upright on my ironing board, and when I went to iron, a whole bunch of water would frequently come out. But I don't blame the iron for that...remember, it had fallen on the floor a couple of times. That's my fault. (Hence, my solution above for keeping it on the silicone pad).
While the base on this iron does not leak, I am finding I get a little spritzes of water from the steam holes on the iron when I first press the steam trigger. This only happens after the iron has been sitting for a bit...like when I got to my sewing machine to sew some blocks. When I come back and press the steam trigger after it has sat, I get a little initial spitting. It then stops after about 2 seconds. And if I press the trigger again immediately after that, no spitting whatsoever. My hypothesis is that when I stop using it for a period of time, the steam that's in the line between the iron and base cools and condenses. So, when I press the trigger at first, this has to clear out of the line--it gets pushed through the line and iron as the first new bit of steam comes out. It's an easy fix. I just first steam on the ironing board for a couple of seconds, and then I go to my fabric. I pick up my next block, press dry, and can immediately steam without worrying about dripping. The dripping does not come back unless it sits again for a while. That works for me. No big deal. An okay trade off for all the other great features I am really happy about. (Don't get me wrong. It would be great if it didn't do this, but I can live with it.)
It takes 11 minutes for the steam to generate and to build up pressure. That's okay. I turn it on and get set up for my sewing. The iron heats up faster, so I can press with a dry iron for a while, if I need to, and I come back and hit it with steam in a little bit if necessary.
The instructions say you can also use this as a vertical steamer to steam clothes you don't want to put on the ironing board. I haven't tried that feature yet, so I'll have to report on that later.
You can use tap water in this iron. They specifically say DO NOT use distilled water. However, it says if your water is softened with salt (what water softener doesn't use salt? is there another kid?) you should use cheap spring water from the grocery store. Also, if you have a lot of iron in your water, you should use cheap spring water from the grocery store. We have a lot of iron in our water and we have really hard water, but our water softener takes both out. I didn't want to use special water. Papa Pea reminded me that our filtered water faucet on the kitchen sink would work. So, that's what I'm using. (We soften even the water in our kitchen faucet because our water is so hard and so full of iron, it would stain things. So, we have a drinking tap that filters the softened water to remove the salt.) That should work fine.
The instructions say to wait for an hour after you turn it off to let it cool down (and presumably to let the pressure release) and then open the base and empty the water out. I can see there will be times where I will not be able to stick around for an hour to empty it after it cools. Or, I will simply forget to come back an hour later. So, I suspect water will sit in mine a lot. I hope that will be okay.
So, in summary--
What I see as the strengths of this iron:
- Lots of steam without constantly filling the iron.
- Being able to press dry and hit the fabric with a good solid bit of steam after opening my seams and pressing.
- The "dry" steam I get from this...my fabric doesn't feel damp after steaming.
- No auto shut off means I don't have to deal with my iron shutting off as I sew.
- Really great, flat presses mean really nice looking quilt blocks.
- Separate temperature and steam regulation.
- The pressurized steam is awesome.
Potential considerations if you are thinking of this iron:
- The base is a little heavy, especially when loaded with water. Will you keep it on your ironing board or do you have somewhere else where you can keep it?
- Lack of a window to monitor your water level. Wish it had this.
- No auto shut off means you have to be responsible about making sure the iron is shut off when you are done.
- Still getting a little water spitting, but not bad and controllable/easy to deal with.
- Some might dislike the fact that you have to wait 11 minutes to get steam. Not an issue for me.
I'll probably come back in a couple of months and review this again, because you know how irons can be. They might work great initially, but over time their performance may decline. So, I'll keep you posted on how that goes. Right now, I am happy as a clam with my new iron! I am lovin' it!!!
Hope Santa was good to you! Tell me what Santa brought you. I'd love to hear about it.
I hope this product review was helpful!
Until next time,