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Steam Generator Iron Number 3 (& I'm Not Sulking About Buying Another)

I don't know about you but I just cannot trust online reviews these days, even when they are verified purchases. I was once approached by a brand to give a favourable review on Amazon in return for a gift card which would enable me to purchase the item. Needless to say I said no thanks. Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware is more pertinent than ever. So with this in mind, let me say that this iron has been purchased with my own money, I have not been approached by, or received any compensation by the brand or it's associates. This is just one of those good old fashioned reviews (yeah remember them?). Affiliate link used. Let the review commence....

Well after 4 solid days of celebrating the little one's 18th birthday, including two days in London, a VERY LOUD teenage house party and family day eating Sunday lunch, drinking copious amounts of anything fizzy and playing rounders in the garden, I'm more than ready to get back to normal.

And you can't get more normal than this....steam generator irons! I first spoke about these two years ago (almost to the date). It's here if you would like to read it. I think they've become a lot more popular and there is certainly far more choice which is a good thing because mine recently died a death. 'Twas a very sad day indeed but I knew it had been coming for a couple of months (you get to know your electrical appliances quite intimately don't you?). I was a bit hmmmm because it's the second one I've had and I thought that it really should have served me another year. But I guess it's worked hard.

So the search was on for another. The steam generator iron hasn't really come on that much since I bought mine. I mean, no radical technological advances such as robotic self ironing or anything. And, I've been more than happy with the old one, so after a quick skirt around the internet, I opted for another Philips.

Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator 

Philips PerfectCare Elite Steam Generator 

So for those of you have never used a steam generator before, what's the fuss about? Well, it's the steam that does the work, not the heat. The large tank of water creates a high levels of steam pressure so that when you press the trigger, large bursts of steam is generated. It really does make light work of that pile of ironing.

I opted for Phillips again because of it's simplicity. There are no heat dials which means that you can iron a pair of jeans and then move on to a delicate silk without worrying about burning. Remember it's the steam that does the job, not the heat. You don't need to plan your washing pile, simply move from one garment to another. I'm a bundle of nerves when ironing anything in hotels these days - that heat dial is terrifying!

 Steam Generator Steam Generator Iron - Philips 

Another plus point for the Philips is that there is minimal maintenance. The De-Calc Plus function is the easiest limescale eliminator ever. The iron tells you when it needs cleaning. Well when I say cleaning, all that's required is to undo the knob and empty the collected calcified water. And that's it. 

There doesn't seem to be much (if any) difference in the performance of the old and new iron which is fine by me as I was already perfectly happy.  I guess the noticeable difference is that it's quieter which means that I don't miss any clues on Columbo (don't judge, we all have our tv vices).

The tank is removable so you can fill it up directly from the tap. A big plus because I was forever searching around for the jug with my previous ones. I really like this feature. It's a decent sized tank, 1.8L which lasts a good sized ironing pile.

There's a lock on the base that locks the iron in place. An excellent safety feature when you're carrying it around which I've never had before.

At 0.8kg, the iron itself is very light, far lighter than a normal iron as it doesn't hold any water (it's stored in the tank) and rather than having to press on, you actually glide the iron across the garment. If you've never tried a steam generator, you'll be gobsmacked.

You can also vertically steam which I use a lot for more delicate fabrics and curtains.

Believe it or not, it's impossible to burn anything. Well, I've had two steam generators (this is my third) over many years and haven't had the dreaded burn. When I chucked the old one out, the iron plate still looked as good as new. It took me a long time to work out why nothing burns....it's all down to the fact that the temperature isn't as hot as a traditional iron because...THE STEAM DOES ALL THE WORK. Duh!! I'm not the brightest tool in the box.

Let's talk about time or rather time saving. I deliberately chose a bloody awful shirt that a normal iron would struggle with. It's one of those nasty cotton ones that you only have to look at and it rumples.  I set the timer for 90 seconds and ok, yes I went like the clappers and missed the murder in Columbo 😬  but it took me just over 92 seconds. Not bad. Here's the before and after.

And the bad bits....

The whole steam generator unit and iron combined is pretty bulky and heavy. Certainly you'll need to have a large ironing board to hold it (and I wouldn't want young children anywhere near it for fear of toppling whether it's on or not).

Anyone else iron in the bedroom???

That darn electrical cable is so short. At just 1.8m (a whole 10cm longer than my old one 🙄). It means that you either face the wall because when the iron is plugged in, there's very little length left or, you have an extension cable permanently in your laundry basket (me). Look, I don't mind ironing at all but I'm certainly not facing a wall! Thankfully the cord from the unit to the iron is ample long enough which is useful when reaching up to steam vertical items.

Oh and speaking of cables, the storage system is quite bizarre. You have to ram the cord into the side of the unit which I'm sure over a period of time will fatigue the wire so I don't do it.

And as far as bad bits go, that's really it. Oh other than the price. It's £250. Not cheap but worth it. My Dad has a cheaper one and I have to say, it isn't as good. You can pay much more but the Phillips does everything that I need.

A quote from the daughter's boyfriend....."best iron I've ever used." Endorsement indeed.

I don't love ironing but having a steam generator means that I don't hate it either. Hope you find this useful if you're contemplating splashing out.

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