With a typical iron and board it takes me a good twenty minutes to iron a shirt or a t-shirt to the standards I want. Now I tend to be half way through the whole Ironing with this badboy!
The design of this press is quite clumpy, you can buy it with a complete stand if you don't have the space which is very handy, but mine sits above the washing machine ready for action, I would say it was about the size of a typical desk, the silver design is quite sleek but is very vulnerable to marks and scratches.
The whole thing is very easy to set up, fill the tank with the water, switch it on, turn to the setting and press the handle down, dragging a T-shirt though irons it to perfection in less than a minute, shirts can be quite tricky, especially larger men's ones. The idea is simple, turn to fabric, wait and press, I find it very easy for bedding and curtains and other larger items. The only issue I have is sometimes it adds extra creases to things (but then again so do most iron's) and when the machine gets very hot you do tend to get little burns to your hands.
Overall It's the best thing for ironing, half the time and hassle but if you have one you may start to get withdrawal symptoms when you have to leave home and leave it behind!
I discovered the power of the steam press while watching the infomercials on TV. I watched as impossibly beautiful slim American women folded jeans, curtains etc into multiple layers laid them on the system and then ironed them to perfection by using one finger to bring down the lid which would hit the item with 100lbs of steam, leaving it perfect.
As usual I watched, I wanted, I wished but the prices on the infomercials were just so expensive usually around £300\£400 each. Even if the hype was true and this was to cut my ironing time in half it still seemed a little expensive to take a chance on when I had never seen a live demonstration.
Time passed and I got an email in from Tesco direct just over two years ago with special offers. They had a steam press advertised for the princely sum of £99.99. That's the kind of money I can convince myself I can afford eg.
Save on electric as it would only be switched on half the amount of time of an iron
Backache relief as I could sit down instead standing.
Better finish on curtains, jeans etc.
I could wash and iron curtains etc. more often if it was easier
So I ordered it and a week or so later it arrived. Once removed from the packing I noticed that the press had been closed and that a locking mechanism had been put in place to allow easy transportation. I decided the most suitable spot would be on a 3 drawer dresser in my bedroom where it could be left out all the time, as there are five people to iron for in this house, its really not worth putting it away.
- - Placement - -
The press fitted easily on top of a standard 3 drawer pine unit with enough room for the extras - being the water filling jug and the padded cushion to help with ironing awkward items sitting beside it.
- - How did it look - -
It looked remarkably similar design wise, to the branded ones I had been watching on the shopping channels. It was a similar size with the plate being around 7 times the size of a normal iron.
The white Steam Press has a non-stick plate, variable steam button, locking device and heat reflective cover on the bottom. The tank held 300cc water capacity for converting to steam.
I wouldn't say it looked out of place but then my bedroom is full of electronics and gadgets, it may not fit in so well with a very pretty flowery type room.
- - Set Up - -
Once you have positioned the steam press and will not be moving it about you simply change the dial in the middle to unlock and the lid will lift up to allow you to place garments etc. inside.
I resolved to keep mine in one position but it is a simple procedure to close the lid and put on the lock to move the system. It is heavyish but I'm an 8 stone weakling (ok 9 stone nearly) and I can carry it.
- - Using it - -
Obviously I couldn't wait to do my first load of ironing, (not something you normally hear me say) and had a quick look through the instructions. The instructions were easy to understand and my first task was to fill the water trough. Simply fill the jug supplied with water and then pull out the little water storage tank to pour the water into. The water trough only had a small opening and it took a little time to get the full 300ml in. Once this is filled switch the machine to on - setting the temperature to the type of cloth eg. Silk, Wool, Cotton etc.
I am not terribly well organised when it comes to ironing and everything from the tumble drier is simply set in piles without material being taken into consideration so I keep the setting at cotton and nothing has burnt so far. Admittedly most of my ironing consists of tea-shirts, jeans, quilt covers etc. and nothing much in the way of silk negligees but no accidents so far.
I brought an adjustable computer chair in from my sons bedroom and was able to set the height of the chair to sit very comfortably to use this machine. As it was in my bedroom I could use the width of a king size bed to sort the ironed clothes into separate piles. I would imagine this system would cut an average ironing session of 75 minutes down to 40 minutes or less for me.
You wait for the steam light and temperature light to come on before you start which takes a good two to three minutes. You can of course use it before these buttons are illuminated but steam will not be generated and the iron will not be at full heat.
Place the item onto the silver heat reflecting bottom and close down the lid holding for a second or two then reposition or fold the item. For extra thick items or hard to iron items press the steam button at the relevant end for an extra burst of steam. Press down for just a few seconds and items are crease free.
Small tshirt one press and both sides are done. Jeans with a little elastane in, if legs are folded together one press at the bottom and one at the top they are done. Teenage Jeans you put both legs together and push down once using the steam button move jeans up push handle down again using the steam button both sides are done.
The size and width of clothes will determine how many times if any they will need to be repositioned.
Around 7 times the plate size and coverage of a normal steam iron - 57cm x 23cm
If you need extra power use the steam burst setting
Over 100lbs of even pressure on the clothes
Much better finish on the clothes
Lightweight/easy to store and carry
Automatic shut off safety feature
It takes time to get items perfect smooth before pressing
If you don't have the item very flat and press - its very difficult to uncrease it without rewashing
Takes a couple of minutes to heat up - it's a bit of a waste turning it on for one item
Easy to burn your hand as the opening isn't very wide when you are dealing with pushing a bulky item through.
My family think it's great for curtains and keep bringing me round sets to do saying "sure its no bother with your machine and it'll take forever with an iron"
I found it difficult to do a mans shirt as it was too big and awkward to set on the system but hubby says its easy when you know how and does them (lol how smart and I)..
Doesn't work very well on frilly dresses, pin tucks pleats etc
Conclusion - Would I buy it again if anything happened to it.
Answer - Even though it surprised me when I wrote down more more cons than pros I'd buy it again tomorrow and pay extra for 1st class delivery as I couldn't be without it for ease of use, saving my back, speed and results so the good outweighs the bad for me.
I bought mine about 3 years ago and haven't had any problems with it all. It is now available complete with the stand for £149.99.
Short name: E&R SP16P