Those Blasted Irons

Do you remember this post?  It was December 13 when my iron was leaking badly.  I went to Wal-Mart and bought a new Shark iron.  So it’s about a month old and look what it’s doing.

It doesn’t matter how you hold it, how you tilt it . . no matter what I do, it leaks.  It hasn’t been dropped, it hasn’t been abused.  I’ll admit that it may have heard a few four letter words the last couple of days.  It was leaking when Chad was trying to iron his shirts and then it was leaking as I was trying to press binding strips Saturday.

Is it too much to ask that an iron heat up, steam and not leak?  I’m not asking any more than that from my iron.  On the Quilt Designers list, there’s been a recent discussion about irons and it seems that no matter what you pay, no matter what brand you get, if you have one that isn’t leaking, you’re darned lucky.  And, no!  I’m not going to use a dry iron and spritz my fabric with water for several reasons.  First, I’m sometimes pressing seams on quilts done by others and if they haven’t washed their fabrics, the last thing I need is red running onto white fabric.  And, if I do paper piecing, I’m printing the pieces on an ink jet printer and I’m sure you know what it does when it gets wet.  The steam from the iron so far has not been enough to make the ink run but spritzing with water will.  Did I ever tell you about the time I had done a bunch of paper piecing and decided it should be easier to remove the paper if I misted it with water?  All that ink . . all over my fabric.  That was not a good idea!

Anyway, I’m really aggravated about this iron leaking after one month’s use.  I doubt I have the receipt so it will just get tossed.  I have no idea what I’m going to do about an iron now.  No idea at all!

If you’re looking for a new iron and you want to put water in it and get steam vs. stream, you may not want a Shark!


  1. 1


    Ohhhh! I just bought a Shark iron from WalMart yesterday… and you have to give me this?! 😛 Actually, it looks like you have the lightweight Shark – I opted for the “professional” one. I figured it’d give me a few more weeks? I have resigned myself to accepting that it’ll die sooner or later, so I hang onto the box and receipt.

    Thursday night it was my Black & Decker iron that was “streaming” if I dared look at it wrong. Since it was only 2.5 months old, I took it straight back to WalMart. My husband is sure every time I come back home with a new iron, he’s gonna find me blacklisted from WalMart. 😉

  2. 2


    I finally gave up and I press with a dry iron. If I absolutely need more – I spritz some of Mary Ellen’s Best Press. far no problems with any running and I don’t wash my fabrics. I have a Rowenta right now, but it was sputtering until I stopped adding water to it. I’ve ALWAYS used steam so I’m surprised that the dry iron is working for me but so far so good.

  3. 3


    I bought a steam iron where the water is in a seperate compartment [ not even on the ironing board!] It is the best thing since sliced bread… no more drips and puddles.. I have about 6 irons that do that.

    Happy Room Diana

  4. 5


    Boy, can I relate to your iron problem, Judy.
    My husband and I like to iron with steam, too. My solution has been to buy the cheapest iron I can find–$20-$30. They all leak, no matter how much they cost so if I buy the cheapest one I don’t feel so bad tossing it after a few months. I go through about four a year!

  5. 6


    My Rowent Pro Luxe finally stopped working after 7 years. Well it works sometimes. Somedays it heats up and instantly shuts off. But it was a fabulous iron for all the time. So I’ve ordered another Rowenta. I’m sure hoping I get another that works so beautifully!

    I also use Mary Ellens Best Press… super stuff!

  6. 7


    Irons are such a pain!! My friend and I have the same iron…mine leaks hers doesn’t. I guess it’s the luck of the draw. sigh.

  7. 8


    I have a Sunbeam Steam Master (from Wal-mart) and so far it hasn’t dripped, and I steam iron EVERYTHING. I had a Rowenta that I had for 15 years before I dropped it one to many times and it gave up the ghost. So far this new one’s been good, and I iron just about everyday.

  8. 9


    I won a nice pressure steamer iron. I was skeptical at first, but I love it! It steams on the fabric and not my fingers so it’s awesome with pressi seams open. I take it with me whererver I go to sew and everyone else loves it too!

  9. 10

    bev says

    Hi Judy,
    Im sorry to hear about your Shark iron. My daughter gave me one for Christmas, the big one ($59 from Walmart) and it works perfectly. It does not leak at all……I’ve gone the Rowenta route and they all leaked for me……. so maybe Im just lucky this time but I love this iron.

  10. 11


    I am on my second one of these My first one still works but my children had knocked it off the ironing board so many times that the spray button stopped working. I bought a new one and the other one ended up at college with my son . Between the two of them I’ve had this iron for 9 years or so. I love it. It has never leaked and has great steam. The only complaint I have is that I have to fill it quite often because it has such great steam that it goes through water quickly.

  11. 12


    My son bought me a Shark “Professional” for Christmas and I love love love it – it did spit out quite a bit of rusty crappy looking goof in the beginning tho – gross!! But now it’s a lean mean pressing machine! My only complaint would be that it turns itself off too quickly – by the time I sit at the sewing machine to do a few seams and then get up to press, it has auto shut off, lol. It would be nice if we could adjust the timing on that little feature!

    I get really ugly when I have to keep a crap product because I can’t put my hands on the receipt – I’ve learned that lesson the hard way, and now I put the receipt in the box, then stick the box in the cantina for a few months, until the product has proved itself indispensable 😀

  12. 14

    Glenda in Florida says

    Go look in that pretty Christmas envelope of receipts that you gave Vince, and ask him to return the leaking iron for you. If your receipt is not in that pretty envelope, it should be–professional expense!

  13. 15


    I have returned things to Walmart MANY times with no receipt and have had no problem at all. The only thing is…if it’s something that is now on sale, they will only give you credit for the sale price. BUT…I doubt this iron is on sale, I think you will not have any problems at all returning it. Irons are truly a pain in the butt lately. I had problems with a couple of them leaking and now my newest Black and Decker (too lazy to look at the model right now but it was $39.95) SEEMS to be okay. However, it is only a little over a month old, so who knows what could happen at any minute (with the way irons seem to be made nowadays). *sigh*

  14. 16


    Since you talked about the iron on a blog post, print out that page (with date) to see if Wal-Wart will take it back, in lieu of receipt. Hey, print out this post and go with your blog stats… No one likes bad press.

  15. 17

    Loretta says

    I’ve been very lucky with my Rowenta which I bought in 1994 to press my daughter’s wedding dress. Yes, I was very brave. It has been dropped once and still doesn’t leak.
    Take your iron back to Wal-Mart and you should have no problem exchanging it.

  16. 18


    Irons are such a pain! I had a Rowenta that went for years, and then the 2nd one leaked in less than two months. I admit, I buy an iron and have a hand sprayer I use, but I’m pretty careful. Haven’t had any colors run yet!

  17. 19

    Marla says

    Take it back to Walmarts…even without a receipt, they most likely will take it back. I have done this with things in the past. Sorry you had bad luck. I have a professional Shark I have had for 2 years and love it. Doesn’t leak but it does need filling up frequently. I assume you are using distilled water? I know that regular water leaves deposits very quickly and that can cause leaking problems too.

  18. 20

    Sheryl aka QuiltingTizzy says

    Judy, I have a big Shark that I bought at Lowes last year and it doesn’t leak but it will spit nasty water on things if it’s too full. I know some people say to use distilled water but my iron says to only use household water in it. What I’ve been using recently is one of those vintage dry irons with the folding handle. I love it! My Rowenta was a total waste of money. It spit, sputtered and just quit working after about a year.

  19. 21

    June Piper-Brandon says

    I love my black and decker and proctor silex irons. They don’t leak and they do a great job for me. I got both of them refurbished at the discount store for like $10-$15 each. I travel a lot with my irons and always worry about them falling on the floor and getting broken so I don’t buy expensive irons. The one I’m using now is on 4 years with no problems. My Rowenta lasted 6 months – good thing I had a 1/2 price coupon when I bought it.

  20. 22

    Bon says

    I have a Rowenta and absolutely hate the thing. It sputters and spews and leaks. And it stops steaming when there is still about 3/4″ of water showing in the water tank. I paid good money for it. I bought it cuz a friend has a Rowenta that works wonderful. I was going to get a new iron but after reading these posts, maybe it is not worth the trouble. Why can’t they make things as good as they used to? What are they doing with all that technology we supposed have?

  21. 23


    Mine is dark blue, love the color, dislike the iron. I even blogged about it! It drives me nuts that I have to re-set it every time it auto shuts off! I miss my old Black & Decker of 15 some odd years that I dropped one too many times! Cheers!

  22. 24

    BarbaraB says

    I’ve never had any trouble with my T-FAL iron. I went for the expensive one, don’t remember the model offhand. According to someone I knew who worked on Bernina machines, T-FAL made the beloved Bernina irons that are no longer available.