Iron Frustration

Remember my iron problems from a couple of weeks ago?  I knew that beeping Black & Decker was going to drive me nuts but I kept hoping I’d get used to it.  Chad’s room is right next to where I iron and it was really making him nuts.

When I came back from Louisville, I started sewing and ironing and I thought to myself . . this iron really isn’t too bad.  I kinda like it! Then I realized that while I was gone, Chad had dug the T-Fal iron out of the trash and gone back to using it.  It was still getting way too hot so I put it away and went back to the beeping Black & Decker but it leaks!  Not just a few drops but it was leaking a lot.  That iron has never been used much and it shouldn’t leak but I looked online and seems as though there were lots of complaints of leaking about that model and the newer one like it.  I’m not putting up with that.

I dug out another iron – this time a Proctor Silex of some kind.  It leaks!  Dang it!   Next I dug out a Rival.  So far, I like it.  Chad seems to like it ok too.  He irons his shirts on my big ironing board.  The Rival doesn’t have auto shut-off and I like that but it also means my iron gets turned on about 6:30 most mornings and gets turned off about 10:30 most nights . . whether I’m down here sewing or not and that’s probably not a good thing.

I’ve been real tempted to order this Oliso TG-1000 iron:

We have really horrible water here.  Even with a filter and a water softener, we drink bottled water.  I know I’m not going to buy bottled water for the iron so I doubt this iron would last very long with our water.  I’ll go through all the irons I have around here and when I’ve depleted the stash of irons, then I’ll make a decision about what to buy.


  1. 2

    Glenda says

    Judy, call black and decker, they will replace the iron for you. I had the same problem and they replaced it 2 different times. the second time I took the digital iron. It is a known problem and they will fix it. Hang in there !

  2. 4


    I just threw my Oliso iron out… was leaking terribly. For the money….I only got a little over a year of use. I’ve gone back to my Rowenta. 🙂

  3. 5


    In case you’re interested, I absolutely LOVE my iron. Its a Rowenta ActiPress that I received as a bridal shower gift about 5 years ago. It has an auto-shut off (30 minutes if standing upright, 30 seconds if laying down without moving) and NO beeping. 🙂 It makes a ton of steam (when you want it to) and it can even steam upright by pressing a button on the top of the iron. Its also a really good weight – heavy enough to press even the most stubborn fabrics, but it still glides very easily. Its also not very expensive ($50 at Target) considering its a Rowenta. I haven’t had any problems with leakage.

    Here’s a link to the specific iron (with reviews):

  4. 6


    I thinking about the ActiPress that Sarah recommedned. I have a rowenta and I love the way it presses …it doesn’t leak but it shuts off after only a few minutes and so when I’m sewing I’m always thinking, “hurry..hurry..the iron is going to shut off” and then of course it does and I have to wait for it to heat up again. Judy, if you had this iron, you could spend alot of time on EQ.

  5. 7


    Need an excuse? Just think of all the money you will be saving by buying your vegetables from the Amish. Take that savings and buy yourself a new iron. You deserve it!

  6. 8

    Karen says

    When I need an iron I check out Goodwill. There is always an assortment and I can usually get a treasure that someone cleaned out. When I find one that I am happy with, I search the stores for the same make/model. I currently have the Rowenta Presure Iron/Steamer from Joann’s. My husband picked it up as a gift for me a few years back. No complaints. I can control the heat and the steam! I do have a small travel iron for classes.
    I also cut the cords off my unusable irons right next to the iron. That way they will never end up salvaged by someone else.

  7. 9


    I bought a top of the line Rowenta that I had to sell my firstborn son for(not really, but close). After 1-that’s ONE- day I came home and found it had leaked all over the board and everything on it. Took it back and got another(maybe it’s just this one)Nah…same thing.
    I e-mailed them and some fool wrote me back that you can’t leave water in the Rowenta when not in use…whaaaat. Now I just think it’s a crap shoot. Had a Panasonic for several years-nice and hot and had some weight to it. I like a heavy iron. Got a B&D after that-the new electronic one-gets very hot and it’s heavy. So far(6 months) I’m not having a problem.
    I really just wanted the guy at Rowenta to explain to me how they could make an iron that wouldn’t hold water-for even a day??? All 3 of my quilting buddies bought Rowenta and the same thing happened to them.

  8. 10


    ooohhh…that last iron is reallly nice! A couple of my friends have one and I only hear GREAT things about it! I was lucky enough to use one at retreat a few weeks back but at $100…it is a little pricey for me 🙂

  9. 11


    Since there’s a lot of bad feelings about the Rowentas…. I’d like to say that I leave water in mine all the time and have no problems. I literally have had the thing sitting completely full of water for weeks (I had foot surgery so no quilting during that time 🙁 ) and it didn’t leak a single drop of water.

    I’m sure it comes down to each individual model in terms of whether the thing will leak or not. Also, the model I have does turn off that quickly and it does heat up very fast. I don’t think I’ve ever had it actually turn off after 30 minutes because I’ve never actually left it on that long. 😉 Plus some may think $50 is a lot for an iron, but considering I’ve been using it for 5 years without a problem, I think that’s a pretty good deal.

    My mom also has a high end Rowenta (I think she spent about $100 for it) and she loves hers too. Maybe we’ve just lucked out and gotten the ones that don’t leak.

    I did poke around a little more on and there are several Rowenta models that users commented they leaked, so it looks like it may just be how the designed each model. You would think if they could make one model without leaking they’d be able to do it for all of them!

  10. 12


    Irons are so frustrating . . . just when you think you’ve found the perfect model, something goes wrong. We have terrible water, too. I never thought about the absurdity, but I do buy bottled (distilled) water for my iron while we drink right from the tap.

  11. 13


    I buy the cheapest one I can find at the local “big box”….last one I paid $20. I look for things like a stainless steel soleplate and alot of steam….the average iron lasts me only about 1.5 years. Anyway….I’m way to conserative (ok cheap) to pay more that $20 for an iron.

    And how did you train Chad to iron his own shirts?????

    Karen L

  12. 14

    neen says

    Judy, you could do what Ricky Tims does. He bought the iron he’s using now, that he has used for 8 years and it’s never leaked! He never puts water in it. He uses a spray bottle of water, instead. How’s that for brilliantly simple??!! I liked the idea so well that I’ve been using his method since he told me about it in May.

    Just another log on the fire………..

  13. 15

    Judi says

    Judy, I have/had an Olioso iron and loved it. The first one I had the heating element went out and they replaced the iron for me. The second one I had I accidently knocked it off my bigboard and it broke. The little legs just kept going up and down. My dh said he would try to see what he could do with it. I’m still waiting. VBG Judi at the Lake in Mid MO

  14. 16


    A few years ago I bought three irons in a year, the last one is a beeper, and it refuses to die. Knocking it off the board onto cement didn’t even do it!

  15. 17

    Linda H says

    Hi Judy! I thought you were out of town or something…it turns out that my bloglines is no longer picking up your posts. I’v missed the last 9 posts! Thanks to Vickie Welsh for the alert.
    Irons! can be a pain! I do the spray bottle thing, too because I get tired of constantly refilling. No leaking that way, either. My sewingmachine side iron is a little, bitty Conair steamer. I love it. It gets really hot and really puts out the steam. There again, it seems to hold only a teaspoonful of water. If Conair made a standard size version of the little steamer, I would buy it in a minute. In fact, I would probably buy an extra one for a spare!

  16. 18

    anna says

    I thought irons only leak if you stand them on their heels like in your photo – otherwise could they be scaled up and a quick de-scaler would help?

  17. 19

    June Piper-Brandon says

    I experiment with irons. Every time I see a new one I have to buy it and try it out. Consequently, I have about 15 to 20 irons. I use my Black and Decker one all the time though, it’s been the most reliable of any of them. It doesn’t spit, leak, overheat etc. I had a Haier one that was supposed to auto shut off, well it didn’t. It over heated, melted the plate and burned the ironing board before blowing the breaker and setting off the smoke alarm. I’ll never buy another of those. I had a Rowenta that spit and leaked like crazy, I’ll never get another of those either. My favorites have been proctor silex and black and decker. I have to go and see what new irons are out there now!!!

  18. 20

    mawbell says

    My favorite iron for quilting is from Walgreens…it’s a travel iron…great for workshops,packs really small, AND it’s only 10 bucks!

  19. 21


    Hi Judy, I owned that same leaking Black and Decker! I now have a Shark that I purchased at Wal-mart and I like it. It does cut off automatically but does not beep. I always search for the iron that has the most steam holes. I do heirloom sewing and love that steam and this one has plenty of it. I have owned a Rowenta and found that it did not last any longer than the inexpensive ones. It was sent twice for repair. I finally threw it away. What is the name of the quilting frame that you used with your very first quilting machine? I have a Brother 1500 and think I might like to try a frame with it. Thanks, Sue

  20. 22

    Linda G says

    Has anyone used water from the drain on their airconditioner to fill their iron? It is distilled water,contains nothing that will cause build up. We have very hard water and it works for me. ( plus it is free)

  21. 23

    kate says

    I’ve had two rowentas that eventually ended up leaking too. So did the cheapies. Finally followed Ricky Tims’ advice. Plain old iron and a spray bottle. Works just fine!

  22. 24


    Water for your iron – get a dehumidifier for your basement and instead of using a hose – use the pan – it requires you keeping an eye on it but you sure get a lot of clean water to use in the iron – when you have a good stash of water – hook the hose back up.

  23. 25

    Amy says

    I’ve had an Oliso Iron for about a year and I LOVE it. I haven’t had problems with leaking. I also live in an area with really hard water, and haven’t had any problems using the tap water (the instructions even say to not use distilled water).