Ironing becomes more enjoyable than a chore. And all this thanks to innovations and new devices offered to customers. Steam plays an increasing role in the care of your clothes. For this application there are two types of appliances – handheld and floor steamers. A new trend was the entry in this segment of manufacturers who previously dealt only with irons: Maxwell, Supra, Philips, Rowenta, Zauber.
The soleplate is one of the most variable parts of the iron. New solutions are constantly being proposed for it. The main area of research in this field is easy gliding and durability, or more precisely scratch resistance. Some famous and new are SteamGlide, T-ionicGlide and Anodilium soleplates from Philips, Microsteam 400 and Vicrosteam 400 with laser treatment from Rowenta, Ceranium Glissee from Bosch, Sapfir and Eloxal from Braun, Ultragliss Diffusion from Tefal. Delonghi uses composite soleplates. The Cygnus is made of two parts – titanium and ceramic, while the DualTitanium is made of stainless steel and ceramic: one is as if inserted into the other, and the thickness of the Cygnus soleplate is variable: the tip is lower, the heel higher. Panasonic HydraPower 360º soleplate made of Alumite material, used in car engines, is petal-shaped and not flat, but spherical. All for easy iron movement in all directions.
Another vector – working with delicate fabrics. Special attachments are often available for this purpose. The TefalTextileCare, for example, offers powerful steam up to 50 g/min, steam impact 210 g/min for all ironable fabrics, even the most delicate ones. Another new feature is the self-cleaning function. Tefal uses it on the AutocleanCatalys soleplate. The process is very similar to oven catalysis. A coating of thin palladium layers interacts directly with dirt during ironing and oxidizes it to form microscopic amounts of carbon dioxide and water. Unlike catalytic ovens, the coating on the soleplate is designed for the life of the iron.
Another “mobile” element of irons is steam. The race for the highest steam performance is on, and models with higher steam capabilities appear all the time. Steam impact, a brief release of a certain amount of steam, is used for smoothing over-dried clothes, difficult folds, this is one of the most impressive features of the iron.
Now the record-breakers of steam stroke are not so numerous, only four companies, but they are the true trendsetters in this sphere: Rowenta DW 9230 and DW 9245 models with steam stroke of 220 and 230 g/min, Tefal FV 9657 – 210 g/min, Philips GC 4860 , Bosch TDS 1217 – 200 g/min.
Less steam, but also very convincingly work irons Rowenta DW 6020, Tefal FV 9547, Philips GC 4912/80 – 180 g/min, Braun TexStyle TS785STP – 170 g/min, Tefal FV 5375, Rowenta DW 5120 – 160 g/min, Bosch TDA 7650, Braun TexStyle TS 745A, Philips GC 6540 – 150 g/min.
New steam technologies are available from several manufacturers – above all the pump technology. They are used in Bosch Sensor Steam TDS 12 models and in Rowenta Steam Force technology generates 30% more steam .
The power rating of the appliances is also on the rise. Recently, more and more irons with more than 2.2 kW power. This reduces the time needed to heat the soleplate and minimizes heating pauses to maintain a consistent temperature during use. Such power also speeds up the start of steam production.
The 2.4 kW setting is now quite common. The next threshold – 2,5 kW – is also very popular, though there are much less models and brands in this list, here are some examples: Zauber ECO-250, De’Longhi FXN 25A G, Clatronic DB 3329.
The power of 2.6 kW, which until recently seemed exorbitant, now, too, is not uncommon, although it is characteristic mainly for leading brand models in the field of irons, such as Rowenta DW 9035, Philips GC 4870, Russell Hobbs 18464-56, Tefal FV9540E2. But the progress does not stop there. On sale there are devices with connection of 2,7 kW Vitek VT-1229 , 2,75 kW Rowenta DW 9230, Bosch TDA 5680 , 2,8 kW Bosch TDA 7028210, Vitesse VS-684 . The maximum possible value at the moment is 3.1 kW, it is characteristic only for Bosch models for example, TDS 1217 and Rowenta DW 9245 . It is worth noting that the “race for power” has led to the fact that the iron has begun to consume energy comparable to the power consumption of the oven, and it is only possible to plug it into a socket for 16 A with grounding.
Perhaps that’s why economy functions are becoming more and more prominent they result in lower energy consumption, while maintaining an intense steam supply. The Eco function is activated as one of the operating modes – like in washing machines. For example, De’Longhi Eco-Zone reduces water and energy consumption by up to 35%. Tefal Esau mode saves up to 20% energy. Also available from Philips.
A number of Philips models and the latest Rowenta models have a motion-sensing system that automatically activates steam flow. A sensor triggers when the iron moves across the board and steam is released. So steam comes when you need it. It’s convenient and saves energy too.
FOR EFFORTLESS STEAM
Innovations have also appeared in the protection of irons against limescale. Hardness salts that build up when ironing with steam deposit on the inside of the appliance, making it hard to work, clogging the steam ducts and reducing heat transfer. To protect devices from this scourge use cartridges – removable ie, you must periodically buy and put a new one or permanent. The cartridges trap calcium and magnesium salts from tap water.
Tefal models have started to use collectors to collect limescale. Their principal difference is that they are reusable. Every 3 months it is advised to take the collector out of the iron and rinse it under running water.
Little things make life. Life with an iron is no exception. Here are some examples of what you can do to make using your appliance more practical.
The new Bosch models have an Active Control Advanced touch control system. The iron is only switched on when you touch the sensor on the handle with your hand. The iron turns off automatically after 10 seconds if left stationary.
Philips irons use Optimal TEMP technology, this is just one setting, but optimised for all types of fabrics, giving a balanced combination of temperature and steam for ironing without having to choose the temperature. In practice, this means that in one move you can literally iron in a row things made of completely different fabrics.
New Tefal, Bosch, Russell Hobbs and Rowenta irons have moved the steam button to the inside of the handle. No need to reach in and grab your hand to turn it on, just place your fingers slightly back and press.
The companies De’Longhi Cygnus FXN25AG , Bosch TDS 12SPORT , Kambrook AKI401 , Russell Hobbs 18464-56 and Philips GC3540 used up to 3 meters longer electric cord, Rowenta DW 9025 , Braun TexStyle TS785STP cord length reaches 2.5 meters, so you can iron at some distance from the outlet.
New cord fixing system. Tefal’s Ultracord always points the wire up slightly from the heel of the iron. The cord is movable, but has fewer degrees of freedom, so it doesn’t get in the way. The wire hinge on De’Longhi irons also points upwards but can be moved left or right. Thanks to the system, the cord will not touch the fabric, but this is also facilitated by the high heel.
Cordless irons are not an absolute novelty. But now they are becoming more and more popular because it is so nice to iron with an iron without a wire!
How it works? The device consists of two parts, the iron itself and the stand. The iron is placed on this stand at the beginning and then periodically, where it is quickly recharged. Ironing time is short, like Tefal’s 25 seconds. And it only takes a few seconds to recharge. This time should be enough to turn the thing, unfold the next, or roll up already ironed. To ensure that the user does not miss the beginning of cooling of the soleplate, manufacturers equip their models with audible and light indicators.
Each wireless iron is equipped with a wire, it is possible to use the device in a regular format. But it is impossible to put the iron on the heel habitually.
The power of wireless irons corresponds to the average values of conventional models. Minimum – 2000 W, maximum – 2,4 kW Tefal FV 9915 . Steam characteristics are also comparable. Constant steam from 30 g/min. Steam stroke is 90 g/min for Bomann DBC 776 CB, 150 g/min for Tefal FV 9915, 160 g/min for Philips GC 4810, 170 g/min for Tefal FV9920E0, 180 g/min for Philips GC 4820. But there is one “but”: the steam power is only fully revealed if you use the iron according to the usual scenario – with a cord.
Steam stations are also constantly growing, or rather they offer something new to make them even more convenient to use.
One of the main characteristics of the station is the pressure under which the steam. This parameter is the most important factor of the appliance efficiency, the difference of its quality from the ordinary iron. Systems with pressure from 3 to 5 bars have adequate characteristics. But 5 bar is not the limit: there are models with higher pressure – 5,5, 6 and 6,5 bar.
6,5 bar is the ceiling, which has been reached only by Philips brand GC9246/02 and Tefal GV 8975 .
Only three “giants” of the market apply 6 bar pressure: again, these are Tefal for example, in the model GV 8960 and Philips GC 9520 , as well as Bosch TDS 4580 . In total, there are no more than ten such devices, but there are plenty to choose from. Minimum money for which you can buy such an advanced device is 11 000 rub. this is Philips GC 9231 .
More budget variant – the station with pressure of 5,5 bars – from 7500 Dollars. Bosch TDS 2229, Philips GC 9235 . Bosch and Philips, as well as Lelit and De’Longhi semi-professional brands offer these models.
AS A HORROR
The steam is growing and quantitative. The average steam speed is over 100 g/min. The maximum, which is currently available only to one system, the Morphy Richards 42221EE for 10,000 Dollars., is 160 g/min. The value is, to put it bluntly, impressive.
Steam power of 150 g/min is a bit more common. All four commercially available devices are made at the factory little-known in America, Italian brand Polti, prices range from 14 000 to 26 000 Dollars.
The models with steam pressure of 140 g/min are not less significant. Their steam speeds are comparable to pretty decent steam impact irons. Among the proposals Kenwood IC 800 for 7000 Dollars., Morphy Richards 42221EE for 10 000 rub. And again, devices Polti.
Despite the championing ambition of constant steam, steam blow is increasingly being used in ironing systems. The advanced steam stroke in today’s stations is the most powerful impact on the cloth at 250 Bosch TDS 4550, De’Longhi VVX 2370 , 260 Philips GC 9245, Tefal GV 8461 , 270 Philips GC 9520 , 290 Philips GC 9540 , 300 g min Philips GC 9222 . The highest achievement is 340 g/min, like the new Philips GC 9246/02, and 360 g/min on the Tefal ProExpress X-pertControl GV 8975. It’s clear that appliances with these characteristics do the job instantly.
Bosch machines have a triple steam stroke, i.e. three consecutive strikes with a total force of 230 g/min TDS373110P .
BATTERY WITH POWER
The trend of increasing the capacity of steam systems is little touched. Here we see the usual power outputs from 2.0 kW the minimum is 1.75 kW with the Polti SuperPro to 2.6 kW. But Bosch stays true to its chosen course on power increase and offers models of 2.8 kW TDS 372810T for 8000 Dollars . and 3,1 kW TDS 4530, TDS 373110 P, TDS 4550 .
But the economy of the system is also attractive – energy-saving mode is becoming more and more widespread. For example, the new Bosch eco function saves up to 25% of energy and up to 40% of water. Philips’ eco mode saves 20% of your energy. DeLonghi shows a 35% reduction in energy and water consumption.
Limescale protection can be achieved with removable cartridges. At the same time it is very convenient that the boiler can be washed from time to time. Tefal models use an anti-scaling system with a scale collector rod. Clean and tidy up a bit easier – just remove the core and run it under running water.
Comfort is a trend in steam systems. Tefal models benefit from a number of innovations for ease of use and care. To make things even easier, the makers of Philips Perfect Care steam generators offer the already mentioned Optimal TEMP technology, with just one optimum setting that suits all your clothes. Tefal Smart Technology with 3 or 5 programmes with ideal settings for your fabric type.
Carry Lock Philips, Easy Lock Tefal, De’Longhi iron locking system allow you to carry the iron with one hand. The iron is fixed securely to the boiler and can be carried directly by its handle. Some appliances, like the Bomann DBS 783 CB, have a conventional handle to make carrying the appliance around the house more comfortable.
Philips models have a powerful steam generator that is quiet enough to let you enjoy your laundry without bogging down your conversation or watching TV. Tefal uses the Integra System, which hides the steam pipe in the casing. Systems may have an automatic cord rewind.
Steam plays an increasing role in the care of your clothes. There are two types of devices for its application – hand and floor steamers. A new trend was the entry in this segment of manufacturers who previously dealt only with irons: Maxwell, Supra, Philips, Rowenta, Zauber.
Handheld steamers are characterized by a rather small water tank, no more than one cup. Steam blows directly from the appliance through a few vents. Often a device has some additional often strange function. For example, the Kromax Odyssey has a “Sauna” setting for steaming the skin of the face. MIE Piccolo can be used as a small kettle.
The power of steam “babes” is also very modest. No pressure required. In terms of shape, there are devices like brushes or mini kettles.
Despite their simplicity, these appliances incorporate interesting technical refinements.
Mini-model from Supra SBS-103 has a pulse steam. The steam generator produces up to 300 pulses of steam, so you get a constant stream of steam. In the model of Philips GC310/35 for a constant supply of steam has an electric pump.
The steamer Maxwell MW-3701 VT has a steam blow function.
ELEPHANT ON A ROPE
Floor-standing appliances have a boiler from 1 l, telescopic boom with handles and castors. Steam is delivered through a flexible hose, the steam hose. Mostly without pressure, although there are exceptions. Swedish Zauber PRO-270 i-Fordel steamer has a one-way pump. It ensures a steady stream of steam under pressure. The iron itself has 1 or 2 brush heads. Sometimes they come with little gadgets to help you fix your beauty – devices for arrows on pants, a form for steaming shirts and blouses, an accessory for collars. Rowenta IS 6300 D1 equipped their steamers screen of mesh material. If necessary, it is unfolded and fixed to the lower part of the boom.
Stand always has a telescopic design to select the height depending on the height of the person and the size of things.
The tripod can be made up of one arm Rowenta IS 6300 D1 or two Philips ProTouchGC660/05, . The boom is rigidly attached to the body.
Of the complex systems used in steam generators, almost nothing gets into the steamers, although there may be a system of protection against drips, auto-disconnection. The most “advanced” in this respect device is the Zauber PRO-270 i-Fordel.
DON’T PUSH ME!
For ironing we have special machines – presses. They press the garment under pressure against two surfaces, this results in ironing. If space and finances allow, you can buy a compact press at home with the size of about 70×20 cm for ironing bedding and table linen, towels, and things a simple cut, like shirts and jeans. Get a similar device is available for the price of 15 000 Dollars. Elna Elnapress 320, GM SP 18, Domena SP 2050 .
For fans of classical pants vertical press is offered for example, ArisMike 354 for 14 000 Dollars. . You don’t have to work with it much, just lay your pants and leave it alone. Using only 80 watts like a light bulb , it slowly heats up and iron pants without human intervention. In about an hour pants will be ready for “going out”.
Irons with modern technical characteristics
Irons with modern technical characteristics
Steam systems with modern features
Steam systems with modern features
“THE GENTLEMAN’S KIT OF A MODERN IRON
Steam: it should be powerful, sufficient for ironing in constant flow mode. The most effective steam is 40-50 g/min.
Steam shock is a must-have feature for removing tough creases and creases in tough fabrics. Good values for steam impact are over 100 gpm.
Vertical steam is a function that replaces the steamer, used to care for outerwear, curtains.
Anti-drip system keeps water from dripping onto the soleplate when the steam mode is full. Especially relevant when ironing at low temperatures, caring for delicate fabrics.
Limescale protection keeps hardness salts out of the water, so they can prevent limescale deposits from building up on the inside of the iron.
Self-cleaning mode to rinse the inside of the iron.
Automatic shutoff is perfect for absent-minded people who aren’t sure if they’ve turned the iron off or not. Has two settings to stop the appliance without human intervention. Comes into play if
– the iron, standing on its heel, is stationary for more than 8 minutes,
– The iron rests on the soleplate or on its side for more than 30 seconds.
The cord’s swivel arm makes it easy to grip, it swivels 360º and it follows the user’s movements, so there’s no chance of getting tangled up.