Iron lady

11Jan10

There are about 17 pages of irons in the Argos catalogue. But not one of the myriad devices for sale meets Mrs R’s expectations of such a simple piece of domestic equipment.

I told her that they probably don’t make non-steam irons any longer and that I was quite interested to find out how long it is possible for a modern family to live without pressing their clothes. As you get older it is easier to live with wrinkles and creases and, anyway, we’ve been living in fleeces from dawn to bedtime for the last month because it is so cold.

We discussed heating up the old non-working iron on the cooker. I know this works because my grandmother told me. But today Mrs R found a bargain iron in the sale at our local supermarket. It doesn’t meet the ‘non-steam’ criterium, although it can allegedly operate in ‘dry’ mode.

Ignoring my ‘best practice’ advice on using new electronic goods, she spent some time reading the instructions. Then she sent me into the garage to find some methylated spirit to clean it as instructed, before road testing the new toy on my shirt (not the one I am wearing).

Her commentary was not encouraging, “It doesn’t look like it should work, because it is too light… It doesn’t look like an iron, it looks like a spaceship… And it doesn’t make the strange ticking noises that the old one did.” But she seemed satisfied.

My shirt did not look any different from the last time it was ironed. That is progress for you.

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7 Responses to “Iron lady”

  1. 1 Andy F

    I can only assume that their is something wrong in our household. I as the male adult meticulously read instruction leaflets before using any electrical product or building a flat pack, whereas they are for my wife superfluous packaging. My son is now being instructed in following the arcane art of reading instruction leaflets.

  2. Yes Andy I think there may be something wrong in your household as my hubby to be will never read instruction leaflets before using or assembling something but he does keep them stashed away so maybe he secretly reads them when I am out of the room. I’m all for reading instruction leaflets although I find they are not usually all that helpful anyway.

    I would like to get a new iron myself, one that comes with instructions as the one I currently have was kindly given to us when we moved but alas no instructions. I find my iron very fustrating at times.

  3. 3 Fiona

    I am confused as to the need to have a “dry” mode on a steam iron. Surely this can be achieved by not puting water in in the first place?

    • 4 Mrs R

      Right in one, Fiona, but you have to have it on the right setting, as per instructions! Otherwise it may take off I suppose…

  4. I too always read the instruction manual first. This might, however, be in reaction to having previously worked in an electronics retailer where the common staff-room cry of infuriation was “RTFM!”

  5. 6 Karl

    Personally, as the family ironer, I prefer the ‘as much steam as possible’ option….

    After the recent cat/steam generator side casing/carpet/red hot iron interface,Amazon were duly emplyed to deliver a new one (upgrade from Star Destroyer class to full on Death Star). What I find funny, my wife did a painstaking selection exercise, and yet will likely never switch it on (unless I’m away or otherwise incapacitated).

    Thankfully the cat remains perfectly intact, unlike the carpet, and I still don’t have a ginger/white winter hat.

  6. 7 Ian

    For a non-steam iron, look at travel irons. Not very heavy, not very large, but basic, non-steam … need I say more?


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