Written on: 31/05/2012 by LilbeeMoo (0 reviews written)
After years of putting off the ironing as it would take me so long and give me half decent results, I finally listened to a friend who owns a steam generator iron and took the plunge with the Philips Perfect Care Steam Generator GC9230. I still don't love ironing (does anyone) but it's now a heck of a lot quicker and easier.
I did my research and chose Philips as they give a 30 day money back guarantee; a 2 year warrantee and this iron had been tested and approved by independent textile experts Woolmark and Gold. Philips is the world's number one ironing brand and also won the 2011 Which Awards Best Small Home Appliance Brand - yes, I really do do my research.
When the box arrived it was rather large but once out of the packaging the system itself is quite compact compared to some generator irons I have seen. It also looks really nice in white and blue.
The whole system weighs 5kg but you are only lifting the iron once in place which is really light at 1.2kg as the water is contained in the base unit.
You will need more room for storage than your average iron so think about where it might go unless you are happy to have it sitting on the kitchen surface.
There is an instruction booklet but there is also a quick start guide on the box lid itself and that's all I needed to get going. There are a few images showing you how to fill the water tank, plug it in, switch it on, wait 2 minutes for the temperature indicator to show and off you go, all ready to start ironing. It really is that simple.
The detachable water tank holds an impressive 1.5l and will quite easily get through about 2 hours of ironing, about the maximum I am willing to stand about ironing so perfect for me. There is a water level indicator and a dry tank alert though so you always know how much is left. Always empty it after each use if there is any water left to keep the iron in tip top condition.
It even has an easy de-calc which takes less than a minute. On the iron it says this is the easiest and most efficient anti-calc system from Philips and I can see why. There is a small dial on the side that you twist and after emptying the contents you simply twist it back in again, make sure it's tight or you may get a little leakage. My Mum was so jealous of that function when she used it. It's also the only job my hubby will do when it comes to the ironing so he's very happy that this job now involves minimal effort.
On the advertising it says - 'The iron always delivers the perfect combination of steam and temperature on all ironable garments. It is safe on all delicate fabrics like (silk, synthetic, wool, polyester) and effective on tough fabrics. Easy to use - you can now iron all garments one after the other, without having to wait or adjust the temperature dial'. "Surely not" I thought - no temperature dial, no waiting for 5 minutes between different fabrics while the iron cools or hots up! SO, to test it I got one of my silk scarves, much to my mother's terror and placed it on the ironing board with the iron left in place on it for 5 minutes! I was secretly terrified but there was no need to worry, there was no smell of burning, no damaged fabric, the iron hadn't left a mark on it!
I can go from silks to denim, one after the other and back again, fabulous! The iron has a ceramic soleplate which glides perfectly meaning no more sticking to clothes and that moment of panic when you lift the iron to see what damage has been done. It's so smooth and easy to use, even when you're tackling those dreaded crumpled up bed sheets!
Its steam functions are impressive, a steam ready indicator and a 240g a minute shot of steam which will eliminate all those stubborn creases. It has a vertical steam capability too so you can freshen up your curtains whilst they are still hanging or quickly steam through a dress or suit that's been sitting in the wardrobe a little too long.
Other little features I like are that the base unit has a carry lock which locks the iron in place when not in use. It makes it easier to move around as one unit when storing it away. The base does stay warm for quite a while after use so leave it to cool thoroughly before picking it up and storing it. There is also a 1.8 metre power cord which is more than enough length and means you can have the base on the floor and just the iron on the board if you want to. A sturdy board is a must if you want to leave both the base and the iron on the board securely. The cord then folds away into a little compartment on the side of the iron. This can be fiddly to start with but you get the hang of it.
When first using it I did accidentally push the steam button a few times as it's on the top of the iron handle which would make me jump and send steam everywhere but I'm used to it now and it doesn't happen as often. It's only a small gripe as I otherwise love this iron.
The only other steam generator I ever owned made a heck of a noise when in use which is what put me off owning another for so long but this is so quiet, only the odd noise whilst it first heats up and once in a while when the water passes along the cord.
I would easily recommend this to others searching for a steam generator iron.