This is a steam iron which also works beautifully as a dry iron, though it is a really good steam iron.
I bought mine for £24.99 from John Lewis, though it is also available online at Amazon. I and my clothes are very happy with the purchase and hope you would be too.
It has the Philips Steamglide soleplate which makes the task of gliding over even jeans light and easy. The soleplate is cleanable too, as I found the need to do so after giving my South American wool wall hangings an anti-moth ironing. The soleplate seems to have an affinity for blue as it also picked it up off some Italian shoe bags, but a touch of Cif on a kitchen towel and a little elbow grease resulted in the clean iron which has just done some white shirts for me perfectly.
It does this not only through a gliding ironing plate but through giving you control over the levels of steam or no steam as well as the temperature settings. The steam settings can be powerful and also operate vertically. This makes taking creases out of hanging suits and other clothes really easy. In fact, the steam can be so powerful that in an emergency, it could take wallpaper off walls with ease - though this would really get the soleplate dirty.
The water tank is large, so you won't need to refill too often. And for those in hard water areas, there is a Active Calc system working against limescale to give you longer years of service from this iron. I do use distilled iron water though to try and avoid any limescale build up though and would definitely recommend you do the same.
The power of the steam jets does mean that children and pets will need close attention while you get the ironing done. It also heats up rapidly that it is easy to burn yourself testing the hotplate. Clumsy people like me, therefore, also need to pay attention when using this very effective and sometimes very hot iron.
But the ease of ironing from the steamglide, the relative lightness for such a powerful iron and the very reasonable price make this a good choice of iron.
Having just finished a big pile of ironing, I thought what better time to review my iron?! I bought this iron around eighteen months ago from John Lewis as I had a few gift vouchers. I looked at a few different brands, before deciding on Phillips as that was the brand of my previous iron and I had been pleased with it on the whole.
When I opened the box, I remember being slightly disappointed that no jug was included with the iron. I had kept one from my previous iron, but I had wanted a spare as I use the one I have as a mini watering can for my houseplants! So other than the iron itself, the only other thing in the box is an instruction manual.
The iron itself is purple and grey in colour, but it appears to be available in blue and pink with the same model number. As far as I am aware the specifications are the same for each colour, but in case I'm wrong you should be aware that this review specifically relates to the purple and grey version.
The soleplate of the iron is a silvery colour and is described as 'steam glide'. There are two buttons on the top, one which delivers a shot of steam, the other is a water spray. The iron has a dial which is standard on most irons, with the temperature dots and silk, wool, cotton etc. clearly marked. The dial is easy to turn and clicks as it does so.
There is a calc clean knob on the top of the iron, which is used for opening the iron to clean it, something I will come to later in the review. I wrongly thought this was the water reservoir when I first used it so it pays to read over the instructions first! The actual water reservoir has a hinged panel concealing it, which is why I didn't notice it at first. The actual hole where you fill up the reservoir is quite wide, therefore it's really easy to fill, even directly from the tap - which is good since they don't provide a jug with it! There is also a max fill line on the iron and the sides are clear so you can see when the iron needs to be re-filled.
The cord on the iron is 2 metres long, which is a good length, especially as I am limited on plug sockets and can't always do my ironing right next to a socket. The cord is attached with a ball joint socket, which aids manoeuvrability and seems to stop the cord getting twisted. When not in use, the cord wraps nicely around the base of the iron.
On plugging the iron in, an orange indicator light comes on. When this light goes off, the iron is ready to use. I'd say the iron heats up pretty quickly, usually around 40 seconds, which I'm happy enough with.
When it comes to using the iron, I find the handle comfortable to hold as the plastic is smooth and the top of the handle feels slightly rubberized. The iron weighs 1.2kg which is quite weighty, but not overly so. I actually prefer an iron to have a bit of weight to it, so this suits me well, but if you're specifically looking for a lightweight iron, this may not be the one for you.
The 'steam glide' soleplate glides over all fabrics smoothly and with little effort. It has a button groove, a feature I think most irons have, so even when ironing shirts, it is easily manoeuvred around buttons. The tip is narrow and pointy as you would expect, which makes it easy to iron even trickier garments.
I use the iron with and without the steam, but I do find it performs better with steam, particularly on cotton items. The shot of steam button delivers an even shot of steam and doesn't dribble as a couple of my previous irons have done! I have noticed that sometimes it will deliver a shot of steam randomly too without me having pressed the button. The water spray again delivers a relatively fine mist of water, which is enough to dampen clothes without making them too wet.
Each setting seems accurate enough and I've never had anything burn or stick to the iron. I'd say using this iron actually makes the job relatively quick and easy. Even heavy fabrics such as jeans are easy to iron as are my fiancés shirts. Well I say that, one of them is a nightmare but it's the only one so I've put it down to the shirt itself rather than the iron. I dread seeing it on the ironing pile, and it constantly mocks me with the irony of its 'easy iron' label, since it's anything but!
The iron has 'calc clean' which is supposed to prolong the life of your iron and prevent lime scale build up. The idea is simply to remove the calc clean stopper (this is the one with the sort of loop in the top), then empty out any water already in there, before flushing the steam tank with water. Of course this should be done when the iron is off and you only need to do it around once a month.
I find that cleaning this way does seem to help and is really easy too. Previous irons I've had have had black lime scale come out of the steam holes on the base whilst I've been ironing, ruining clothes, but touchwood this has never happened with this iron and I put that down to the easy cleaning system.
32g min steam output
90g min shot of steam
300ml water tank
I paid around £29.99 for this iron from John Lewis. Having just checked it seems they no longer stock this particular model, but it is still available from Sainsbury's costing £34.29 or Amazon costing £36.40.
Overall I have been very pleased with this iron. It's very easy to use, comfortable to hold, irons well, doesn't drip and delivers an even shot of steam. The only downside for me is that it didn't come with a jug, but that's a minor point and I would definitely recommend it.
*note: please ignore the 'battery life' from the quick ratings - obviously it doesn't have batteries!
Short name: Philips GC2540