The Philips GC 8261 has made what is possibly my least favourite task a lot more bearable.
When I mentioned to my husband I wanted a steam generator his jaw dropped when he saw that an iron could cost around £200 however I soon got my own way and it has turned out to be £200 well spent.
The Techie bits and features
The GC8261 is a 2000w iron with 5 bar pressure steam and produces 120mg steam per second which can be boosted up to 150mg/second .
These figures seem a lot higher than other generators in the same price bracket.
The water tank can hold 1.4 litres of water and philips claim this lasts 3 hours of ironing. I have not ironed continuously for 3 hours but I would imagine these figures are based on the minimum steam setting , that being said I do not fill it up nearly as often as i did my old steam iron.
To fill up simply pull the catch and remove the whole tank then slide back in place.
The iron itself is quite light as the water is contained in the base .
It sits on the metal base plate which has rubber pads on for the iron to rest on and fits nicely .
The front of the base has an on/off button which is quite large and lights up so you can easily see when the iron is on , enabling you to leave the plug socket on but turn off the iron if you so wish.
On the left are 3 settings of steam , low , medium and high and you press the button to light up whichever one you want it set at.
Between the settings are 2 more lights that come on , one is when the tank needs refilling and one is when it needs cleaning .
to clean out the iron base you simply undo a screw cap on the side , fill with water shake and tip out and repeat , very easy.
There is a hook on each side of the base that moves out so you can wrap the cord round when storing.
Using the iron
When ironing you hold down the trigger with index finger to produce the steam , or if you are doing garments that require constant steam there is a switch at the top to "lock" the steam ,I find this useful on jeans/linen and hard to iron items.
The iron can also be used vertically if desired.
With the steam generator I have found I only have to iron one side of a lot of items and the creases fall out of items that I used to dread having to iron , so it has reduced my ironing time dramatically.
The generator is a big piece of equipment and will require an ironing board made for steam generators as it simply wont fit on the end of a standard one . I picked up a board designed for these irons from the catalogue shop for £15.
It takes 2 minutes to warm up and be able to start ironing , this seems a long time when trying to gear yourself up for the horrible task ahead , however looking at other generators this seems fairly standard
When ironing it is noisy , the high pressure steam blasting out and then the water being drawn from the tank , you will get moaned at if you are ironing whilst someone is trying to watch T.V
When I first started using the iron I did keep getting my fingers in the way of the steam and had a few ouch moments though I seem to have got over this now !
I will never go back to a normal steam iron and whilst £200 ish seems a lot to spend , the time and effort that is saved with a generator soon makes up for the initial outlay .
I HATE IRONING! However this little baby makes short and easy work of a dreary chore. Not cheap at around £190 but I am sooo very happy with this wonderful machine. The variable pressurised steam makes big items such as duvet covers and sheets a dawdle and I only iron these one sided now using on highest steam setting. A dream. The large water reservoir makes sense and saves leg work filling up the thing on long jobs. A wonderful invention and since I am now a stay at home Mum I may as well wax lyrical about MY little helpers! Wish I had bought one sooner is all I can say.