The Lineup

Ahh, another iron!  Any time my doorbell rings, it’s either the mail man or the UPS man.  Oh, ok . . occasionally it’s the Fed Ex man but that’s rare.  He comes so infrequently that I don’t even know his name!  Today the mail man delivered the new iron.  The purple one on the left.  Purple is the next best thing to lime green, you know?

The Black & Decker Prestige Elite on the end . . who comes up with these names?  Have they ever used the darned thing?  Prestige Elite? I can think of lots of names for an iron that cost about $70 four or five years ago and leaked from Day One.  Prestigious?  No way!  Elite?  That makes me laugh.  Too many irons out there seem to leak and sputter so what would make this one “elite” . . it does what most of the others do.  It’s going in the trash . . today!

The next one is one I picked up at an antique shop this past weekend . . mostly for show but it does work.  Sounds familiar . . mostly for show but does work . . occasionally! 🙂 I won’t mention names that come to mind!

The middle one is the Black & Decker Classic.  I thought it was an old iron that Vince had before we were married but big as Texas, it says “Made in China” so I doubt it’s as old as I thought.  It does work and at least half the time it doesn’t leak.  It’s hard to fill though and doesn’t have a window so you can see how much water is in there.  It’s going back upstairs to the cupboard where the ironing upstairs would get done if any ironing got done upstairs.

Next we have a Rival Steamwave.  Bought that one at Target a year or so ago.  Not sure what I paid for it, though it looks and feels like a cheap iron so I’m not overly stressed about throwing it in the trash.  It also leaked pretty much from the beginning.

New new one – the T-Fal Easy Glide – and did I mention that I love purple?  Once upon a time, I was in Lowe’s in Owensboro, KY with Mr. Bargain Shopper, aka Vince!  There was a T-Fal iron on the discount table for $6.  He snatched it up.  Me . . I don’t use cheap irons! Not sure how it  happened but I ended up with it and I loved it!  Truly loved it, cherished it, dared anyone to drop it, knock it over, say bad words in front of it.  It worked for at least 6 years without leaking a drop.  Then one day, about a year ago, the little dial that turns the temperature up and down just fell out!  Vince assured me he could fix it but he never did.  It was on a surge protector and I turn it off when I leave the room so I just left it as it was, with the hole where the dial had once been.  It continued to work like a charm.  What an iron that thing was!  Then one day, I thought it was getting a bit too hot.  My ironing cover began looking scorched.  Then it burned a hole in one of my quilt blocks.  We were finished.  I can put up with a lot from an iron but safety became an issue.  I tossed it.  Chad got it out of the trash every time I tossed it because he loved it.  I finally marched right outside and put it directly in the stinking blue big can.  You know . . it could have been in the blue can on this day!  Chad still says “I can’t believe you threw away the best iron we ever had!”  Bet if it had burned a hole in one of his fancy, smancy striped shirts, he would have thought differently about it.

After several recommendations from others who use T-Fal irons, I ordered the new one.  I got the least expensive one because . . well, if one that cost $6 worked so well, why would I need to spend $70 instead of $30?  I don’t know!  Ask me next week.

One problem I see . . first page in the book (I do read the books!), it says “Do not use 100% purified bottled water.  If you have very hard water, use half tap water and half bottled water.  Do not use softened water.”  Please!  Why is everything so difficult?  I have softened water.  Even my outside faucets have softened water.  There were some real rocket scientists building this house!  So, I can’t use 100% purified bottled water and I can’t use softened water.  That leaves me with few alternatives!  Who knew that a stay at home wife/mom/quilter would ever face such challenges?

When Vince gets home, we’re going to talk about that water softener.  I do not like it one bit and now that it’s created a problem that affects my sewing, I think it’s time we parted ways!  Us and the water softener . . not Vince and me!


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    I have a Shark iron that I purchased at Macy’s (because DH dropped my Black & Decker Classic — which I loved — one too many times).

    My instruction book says that you should wash your hands immediately after each use of the iron or each time you handle the electrical cord due to possible lead contamination.

    I’m shopping for a new iron. . . . I’ll be watching to see how you like the T-Fal.

    Sherry V.

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    You crack me up Judy 🙂 I guess I’ve been very lucky with my irons. They never give me any grief other than wearing out after 6 or 7 years. Although my Rowenta (6 or 7 years old) quilt working last week… and then started working again!

    I have a replacement (Rowenta again) sitting in a box in my closet for when this one quits permanently. I hope it works as well as the last!

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    KC says

    My favorite iron I got at Kmart for $7!! Had to give it up as it was leaking so badly(It fell off the ironing board a few 2 many times).
    My iron says not to use distilled water either but our water is rock hard. I use spring water from Walmart. Just a suggestion.

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    I forgot to mention. The iron in the middle-I took that to nursing school in 1973!! Lasted for years till it also took a few too many jumps off the ironing board!

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    gina says

    Oh u poor thing…. All I got to say is
    Rowenta Pro, costco, 79.00 I think… I love it, wouldnt hae any other.

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    I have bad luck with irons also! In recent years I think I have to get a new iron every other year. I don’t bother with expensive irons because they don’t seem to last any longer than cheap ones do. I loved a small travel iron that I had, I used it on my sewing table all the time – it was small, and worked – until last week when it started to leak water all over the place and then just drew it’s last breath and quit! Now it’s back to my big iron – I will need to get a back up iron soon – never know when this one will die as it is close to two years old now 🙂

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    I feel your pain, Judy! I’ve pretty much given up on using the water reservoir of irons, because a lot of them do cause problems either with calcium deposits drizzling out of the little steam vents, or worst case scenario rusty water dripping out of the iron. I now have an inexpensive spray bottle handy that I use to mist my fabric instead of using steam from an iron.
    I was very happy with my Rowenta iron, but that bit the dust when our cat decided to jump on the ironing board while I left the iron on it to cool off and it fell to the ground before I could reach it to save it and the back end broke off. Don’t remember right now what the brand name is of the iron I use now (it’s purple, too) and since the temp works fine, I’ll use it till it’s time for another one, which probably will be a Rowenta again.

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    Becky Ball says

    I bought a T-Fal from amazon. I bought a low end one because it didn’t have an automatic shutoff. Every now and then when you first start pressing with it, it sticks – just rub it on the ironing board, and it works fine. Mine said the same about water, but ours is so hard, so I just use distilled. Works great – several years. Rowenta? leaks in 6 months. Best I ever found was a Norelco, but the company changed hands and they don’t make it anymore for the US. You can buy it in Europe. It, too, was purple. Good luck with yours. RB

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    I purchased a Bernina probably 10 years ago. I liked it so much that I bought another one as a backup. Unfortunately, this last week, I knocked it off the ironing board, not once but twice in the same night. Needless to say, it doesn’t work any longer. I did buy a Pfaff steam generator about 6 years ago to use next to my sewing machine. I absolutely love it. I have had it repaired once so far (it quit heating) . They no longer make this iron, so I bought a backup of this one too. A little pricey, but it has never leaked a drop. The man who repairs it for me told me to use only distilled water. My friend has the same iron and she didn’t use distilled. Jeff said he really had to work to get all the lime deposits out of the tank. She used bottled water. Not sure what the solution is. Maybe if the iron makers would just listen to what we want?

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    Evelyn says

    Glad that you clarified just who was parting ways – you and the water softener, not you and Vince, LOL. I got a good chuckle out of that one. My best irons have been old ones from the Goodwill or Salvation Army shop. One I had to have an electrician replace the cord – and it worked great for years. But I don’t have any of those anymore and these el-cheapo irons just drive me nuts. In Austria I have a very HOT press. It is GREAT. Will press anything flat and crisp in no time flat. But, ah – well – if you used any type of poly thread/poly cotton blend – it will melt that thread. Really. Now, if I could just buy something that would get that hot over here – that would be great. But doubtful. For the very simple fact that in Europe they have more voltage than we do. In anycase – good luck with your NEW iron! Cheers! Evelyn

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    I use one just like that little one from the antique store… I love it… No steam, but I use sta-flo fabric softener which is diluted with water.

    I am anxious to hear how the new iron works. It is getting impossible to find a good iron …..

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    I will be interested to know how the T-Fal works for you. I had a Rowenta, I hated it! I didn’t feel bad at all when the spitting, leaking thing went in the trash. Now I have a Panasonic, bought at Wal-Mart. I hate it too! It doesn’t leak, but it doesn’t get very warm either. As for the steam, sometimes it works great and sometimes I have to shake it to death to get it to steam at all.

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    The last time your iron went, I was glad to step on my box and say my Rowenta was awesome. I should have kept my mouth shut since it wasn’t leaking then! Now it leaks like a sieve. I think it heard me and decided that it needed to act up too like all respectable irons!

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    Hi, Judy! The weather, so far, in your old stomping grounds here in Kentucky is freezing rain. After midnight, it’s supposed to change over to snow. They’re saying 3-6 inches. We’ll get a break tomorrow morning, then after noon we’ll get 4-8″ more. They’ve already cancelled school.

    I hope the electricity doesn’t go off. I have a queen size quilt laying in the floor of my living room that I would like to get done.

    As for irons…I haven’t found one that I truly love.

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    Keep us posted on the new iron. As you well know, the one I’m still using here is horrible. It turns itself off every 20 minutes whether you want it to or not, whether you’re using it or not.

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    Bobbie says

    A lady at my applique club told us about this at the last meeting-I tryed it and boy howdy does it work–If your iron is kinda “gunky” on the sole plate, use a” Mr. Clean sponge” and it will all be gone and shine like a silver dollar. I was about ready to go buy a new one-I have the Black and Decker-just because of the stuff on it. And I would have bought the same iron–love it-never had any problems. Hugs, Bobbie

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    I have been using that purple iron since you told me about your old $6 TFal and I LOVE it…good steam, gets really hot…has the auto shut off but heats right back up very quickly.

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    Dorothy says

    OKAY, I have the Black & Decker Classic, I originally bought because of the extra long cord, that was about 15 years ago, mine has started to leak a little, most likely because my new cat, keeps thinking he should sit on the the ironing board, and has knocked it to the floor a couple of times in the last year. I looked at our Walmart, didn’t like what I saw, so am making this last a little longer! 🙂

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    Hello Judy!

    So what is your decision on irons? How is your new one working. I HATE irons. Bought one of those new Sharks from Target – loved the heat, but it started leaking about a month after I got it. Ugh… I also had a little Black N Decker travel iron for my sewing room. It leaked shortly after I got it also, but I loved how hot it got and just used a spray bottle or starch. I dropped it last week and it bit the dust, so I am going to have to buy a new one for my sewing room. Obviously, I am reading everyone’s comments with great interest!