Choosing the right ironing machine:The majority of the criteria are common to all ironing devices, the first question to be asked is what is the purpose, the use of the device.If it is for ironing small amounts, the iron will suffice.If the quantity of laundry is more important, and you are looking for a more advanced ironing quality than the iron, then it is a steam generator that should be purchased.If you are looking for a quality worthy of a dry cleaning then you will have to look at an ironing center.Finally if you only want to steam, it will be a vertical steamer.
Choosing the right ironing machine:Whatever the type of device, the first two criteria to take into account are:
Steam flow and pressure
The steam flow rate calculated in grams / minute represents the ability of the device to release steam. The higher the flow, the more steam will be diffused into the fibers and relax them. It varies according to the devices:
- For irons : From 20 to 50 g / min. A correct flow rate is at least 30 g / min.
- For steam generators : From 80 to 180 g / min. A correct flow rate is at least 100 g / min.
- For ironing centers : From 80 to 180 g / min as for central units
On these devices and on most models a pressing mode exists, it allows to temporarily increase the steam flow.
The pressure that is generated in the tank or in the boiler of a power station, an ironing center or a garment steamer is measured in bars. This is the device’s ability to conduct vapor to the core of the fibers and pass through the fabrics. The higher the pressure, the better the ironing will be.
The power is to be considered during the purchase, it allows a rapid rise in temperature of the base of the iron or the central, and therefore a rapidly available steam. It determines the quality of ironing.
Choosing the right ironing machine:The sole
Not all soles are the same, their composition and benefits differ from one type of sole to another.
There are 4 main families:
- The enamelled steel sole : This type of sole facilitates the sliding of the iron or the central on the fabric.
- The stainless steel sole : Its lifespan is often longer and it has better resistance to scratches.
- The aluminum sole : Aluminum is a good heat conductor, and therefore facilitates ironing. Be careful, however, this type of sole is subject to scratches.
- The ceramic or Teflon sole: The sole does not catch on the fabric, good glides on it even when it is not hot.
The capacity of the tank, its filling, the heating time
The steam iron is the device with the smallest tank, its capacity is on average around 300 ml. For central 1L on average and 3L for vertical steamers.
The filling of this differs according to the models. For some models, whether central, iron or other, it can be done at any time, for others it is imperative to wait until the device is cold. On some power stations the tank is removable, on the irons the filling is done at the front or at the back of it.
The heating time varies depending on the model. It can be from a few seconds to several minutes. The faster it is, the faster the steam will be available and the lower the consumption will be. This depends on the power of the device.
The irons have a limited autonomy while on the other devices unlimited autonomy exists. The unlimited autonomy makes it possible to fill the tank at any time during ironing.
Choosing the right ironing machine:The ergonomics of iron
In most people, a heavy iron is associated with better ironing, when it is not at all. The weight differs according to the sole of the device but also according to the capacity of the tank. Appliances with a professional iron will be heavier. The accessibility of the controllers is also to be considered.
Choosing the right ironing machine:”Protection systems”
The majority of ironing appliances have protection systems to guarantee them a longer life.
Anti-limescale protection : The anti-limestone system prevents limescale from accumulating in the iron and therefore ensures a longer life. This protection is done via an anti-limestone rod or cassette.
Anti-tartar protection : Presented in the form of a cassette, it absorbs all the tartar and retains it. Replacing the cassette differs according to the hardness of the water used and of course the frequency of use.
Self-cleaning system : By this system the device gets rid of limescale but also dirt by reducing them to dust and evacuating them.
Automatic shutdown : More and more devices have automatic shutdown. After a lapse of minutes without use, the device switches off or goes into standby. The device can also be put to safety when it falls to the side.