Thursday, November 29, 2007

Idiot vs. the Iron

I think the iron is winning this battle tonight.

What is it with irons? I seem to kill an iron every couple of months. Either the soleplate gets all gunked up (yes, I guess I use too much spray starch) or I knock it off the ironing board and it dies.

Once upon a time I had a nice, pricey Rowenta, perhaps the only Rowenta on earth that did not leak. That iron was like mana from heaven. It was heavy, it made lots of steam and it lived for more than one whole year! But alas, one day I turned it on and it decided that it would heat no more. I miss that iron. I haven't had a good one since then.

Did I mention that I HATE the whole auto-off thing? For someone like myself who tends to piece a few dozen sections at a time, I need an iron that stays on and ready to flatten those pesky seam allowance when I want it to, not a few minutes after I shake it to wake it up again. That darn auto-off thing means that the iron is never hot when I am ready to use it. Nowadays, its nearly impossible to find an iron that doesn't have the auto-off feature (is a bad thing really still called a feature?). Until a few months ago, Black and Decker made a nice heavy silver iron called the Black and Decker Classic. It was reasonably priced at about $30 and sensibly stayed turned on until I turned it off. A few weeks ago, when I was in my local Wal-Mart attempting to purchase a new one, I noticed that the Black and Decker Classic now hails an auto-off feature. Time to find a different iron to purchase. No such luck, every single iron has auto-off now. I suppose that I need to get with the program and modernize my way of thinking and adjust to the auto-off. Sigh. I did buy a new iron, but I'm not thrilled.

AHA! In the Black Friday circular, I saw Home Depot advertising an iron, for only $7!! I had to go there anyway to buy some goodies for my DH, so I figured I'd check out the iron. Seven bucks sounds like a reasonable price for an appliance that I know I'll need to replace in 4 or 5 months.
Because honestly, seven bucks or 107 bucks, that sucker is going to be dead or gunky soon no matter what. I examined the box carefully. NO mention of auto-off. I even opened the box and read the hilariously translated instruction booklet. No mention of it there, either. Could it be? Iron Nirvana? Regardless, I bought three. A years supply of irons for the price of one.

Tonight I decided to try out my new iron. I whipped it out of the box, plugged it in, turned it on and sat down to sew on one of my secret projects (last minute, as usual). Swung my chair around toward the ironing board to press, and when I started to push the iron, it didn't move. No glide, just rubbing, as if it was sticky and gunky from Wonder Under. Hmmm... How is it that I didn't notice the PLASTIC COVER protecting the sole plate? Ah yes, thats why I smell melting plastic.

I give up. I know when I've lost the battle. I'm going to go to bed and try quilting again tomorrow. After I peel the melted plastic off of my brand new iron. At least if it doesn't come off, I have a coule backup irons on hand.


Gypsy Quilter said...

We've all been there. When your sole plate gets gunky, sprinkle salt on to waxed paper and iron on salt while iron is slightly warm. It takes a bit of doing, but the gunk will come off.

Teri said...

Two suggestions 1) hot iron cleaner. Rowenta has a wonderful kit with a terry cloth towel, flannel towel and cleaner to use while your iron is hot and it does get the gunk off. Very nicely.
2) I just purchased the Rowenta Advancer iron. It does have that dreaded "auto-off" feature however this iron heats up very quickly. It has a pointy tip to get into those tight spaces, and produces tons of steam. The water well holds 13 oz of water.
I do regular maintenance on my Rowenta where I heat it up on the highest setting and put cold water in it and force the steam to come out. My first Rowenta still works and I have as a back up iron.

Happy Quilting!

Quilt Pixie said...

I used to destroy irons regularily -- I gave up and learned to use parchment paper every single time I have fusabible even if I'm sure its all covered -- Keeps the gunk to a minimum! :-)

dot said...

Oh my, I never knew they put a plastic cover on the iron plate. I myself, have a hard time with irons. I have one now that I bought a year ago from the goodwill for 5.00. I works wonderfully. GOod luck with the new iron.

Exuberant Color said...

I had the same thing happen to me one time. Who looks at the sole plate to see if it is covered in plastic? I took it back to the store and found out I was not the only one it had happened to. They did exchange it for me. I bought the Black and Decker classic before they put the shut off feature on it. The edges of the holes on the soleplate are sharp and get caught on and wrinkle up anything small that you try to press. I can only use it for large pieces of fabric.

Tanya said...

You are so funny! Yes, those appliances really do seem to have a mind of their own and one of the things they seem to be thinking is to get the owner as frustrated as possible. I hope you can get back to talking terms with your sewing machine!

Carol E. said...

That's a great story! I was waiting breathlessly to see if your $7 iron is indeed a stay-on iron. Is it??