iron maiden - a sort of sad story.

Sewists - could you let me know your favorite iron or what iron(s) work for you?!

My lovely Rowenta iron has slowly been dying this last month at only 4 years old and I am suddenly confused about irons. I want to know your preferences, experiences, and thoughts before I invest in another fancy iron.

It started with a little leaking.  I thought it wasn't hot enough when I started or that I had over-filled it, but I realized that it was leaking out the bottom edge, not the steam holes.  First I just set it on a towel... but even with a towel under it, it was leaking a lot... enough to make a big ugly brown stain on my ironing board cover. Eww.

Then I decided to use it dry with a spray bottle so it wouldn't leak, but I accidentally pressed the burst of steam out of habit once and a huge brown stain like this came out onto the white bodice I was pressing.  I ran to the sink and frantically handwashed my project, pins and all before the stain set - tragedy averted! - but that was the last straw.  New iron and new ironing board cover must be procured.

I scoured Amazon reveiws and found that many people had the same trouble with Rowenta irons so I wasn't sure at all what to get - I thought I'd just go with a Black and Decker or something decent but cheaper & then I found a vintage Sunbeam deadstock iron for $18 that caught my eye. I like old things and old things often work better than new things... so I decided to give it a try.  It's pretty nice.

It's much smaller than the Rowenta, but quite heavy and it does have a steam burst and a variety of settings.  It gets a lot hotter and it doesn't have an auto-off, so I have to be very careful with this one not to burn my house down!

It's got lots and lots of steam vents, more over it's small surface than the Rowenta does.

It's from 1988 and it retailed for $34.95 back then, so I think it was pretty fancy at the time that it was produced, originally.

Still, I wanted to try to salvage my Rowenta and I found some instructions on how to fix the exact problem I was having... but on a different Rowenta model.  I bought some caulking and a hex screw driver to try to fix it... but ended up with a very sad state of affairs.
 I realized after I had taken it apart beyond my capacity to reassemble all the little electronic connections that the caulking the instructions mentioned was maybe that black horizontal line of stuff you see in the middle of this picture.  No idea how to get it apart to get in there though - and I managed to do this horrible thing to the rest of the iron.
I'm sort of sad about destroying the Rowenta even if it was already broken and leaving weid brown stains on everything it ironed plus leaking all it's water out the second you put it in. My husband says it is good that I tried... I guess that's true, but it still seems a waste.  For now I'm a vintage Sunbeam girl and have an iron like my grandma and a sewing machine like my mom.  I'm really, really curious to know what other sewists use - do you like your iron?  Did you spring for something fancy or do you go basic?  Please let me know - I'm not 100% satisfied with my current state of pressing affairs & I want to hear your experiences! Thank you for sharing!


  1. Oh that really sucks!!
    I have a Rowenta Eco Iron and I love it. It was a bit expensive but so far it's been totally worth it. I bought it about 6 months ago and it's never let me down. I am sure to clean it about once a month, which is pretty easy because it has a self-clean function that helps get all the junk out, plus you can use tap water with it, you don't have to use anything special like distilled water. I hope you find what you are looking for! Good luck!

  2. Hi Heather - thanks so much for sharing about your iron! I'm glad you have a good one! My mom has had a Rowenta for 12 years that she loves, so I know they can be awesome. I had a Black and Decker for about 10 years that I only got rid of when I was moving to another country (wish I had put in it storage in hindsight!) I'm starting to get more used to the Sumbeam iron - I love how hot it gets and I have been using a spray bottle and a clapper where I need a little extra something-something instead of Rowenta's awesome bursts of steam.

  3. I used to have a Unitekno steam cleaner unit with an iron and it had been in our family for years and I was really happy with it. Until it broke after 10 years of usage.
    Then I bought a Bomann DBS 778 CB and it was horrible. Everything stuck to the base and after 1 month of usage it broke, then spent a month in repair shop and then broke again after two days. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
    Now I'm using Vaporino Inox Maxi and it is amazing. It's quite expensive but I think it's worth it. If you are using your iron on a daily basis or quite frequently and need it to press your sewing projects then it does it job and then some. Plus it generates the steam in the tank before the steam reaches the iron so there's no risk of pesky little water droplets ruining your fabric.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and sorry that you had bad luck with Bomann - I glad you found a good one. I googled Vaproino Inox Maxi - wow! that looks like a super iron, indeed! I love the separate steam reservoir - that sounds divine. I don't know if I have the space for an iron like that now, but in the future, I would love to invest in something like this, so long as I knew it would work well - so your recommendation is most appreciated! :)


Post a Comment