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Bought the Philips GC8320 in 2009 and in 2012 the corded iron started leaking brown rust. Not sure where the muck came from but the system could not be used anymore. Nice machine but very durable...... so no Philips for me the next time.Roel WesthoffNuth Netherlands
I absolutely hate ironing and tend to leave it until a small ironing mountain has formed and I am reduced to wearing strange combinations of clothing because they are the only ones left in the wardrobe.
As I hate ironing so much I spent a lot of time researching which irons performed best and that is how I chose this particular iron.
I chose a steam generator because you get more steam output and unlike the one it replaced , although less powerful it only takes a couple of minutes to get to pressure.
What you get is an ironing system that has a base unit with water tank and an iron attached to it.
The base unit is quite large and has a detachable water tank that holds 1.4 litres of water. The generator base has the on off switch,steam pressure selection and has a plate where you rest the iron when not in use.
The base also has a knob which you uus to access the water tank for cleaining.
The iron itself has the usual setting that come on most steam irons, where you select the type of material, silk wool cotton , linen etc and uses the same dot system as a conventional iron.
The iron is attached to the base unit, so you can't use it independently.
----How to use----
The water tank is clear and detaches from the unit. Simply depress and slide out, take to the tap and fill to the levels indicated on the unit, then slide back into the unit.
This is incredibly easy to take out and click back into place. It is also clear so you can see when it is empty.
This generator will not stand at the end of most ironing boards which are designed to fit a standard iron. You can either stand the generator on the board, or buy an ironing board with a plate large enough to accommodate the stand. Or you could stand it on your kitchen work top.
Plug the unit in and then press the large button to turn the base on, then select the steam pressure you require using the buttons on the unit. There are 4 settings , one for no steam and then 3 levels of steam . The steam pressure light flashes while it is heating and stops flashing when the unit is heated and up to pressure.
Select the heat setting on the iron and off you go. This unit heats up incredibly fast so no hanging around. I haven't timed it but the instructions say 2 minutes.
The iron sits at an angle on a hot plate on the generator rather than at the ned of a board. the unit is heavy and large , but sits on 4 rubber feet so there is no danger of this moving around.
If you are using steam slide the switch on top of the iron and you will get continuous steam. There is also a power steam burst that you depress if you want an extra shot of steam.
That is all there is to it and you are ready to iron.
It is not complicated, basically you fill the tank with water, switch on the unit , select the steam setting , wait a couple of minutes then iron as normal.
----What Do I think ?----
I really like this steam unit. It is easy to use and takes a matter of minutes to set up. It does produce a heck of a lot of steam , so much that all my windows steam up when in use and the ironing board gets soaked through.
I bought this for the steam output and this delivers continuous steam output up to 110g per minute and a steam boost of 120g per minute. Every so often it does lose a bit of pressure and I am not quite sure why, but soon gets back to normal, so it isn't a problem.
If you buy a budget iron for around a tenner you will get 20g of steam per minute ,pay £70 and you get 40 g of steam per minute , so this delivers almost 3 times the amount of steam per minute.
The iron itself is quite light as unlike a conventional steam iron you are not holding the water in the iron. This has a really nice smooth sole plate that is really easy to clean if you inadvertently place the iron on something that melts.
I always use the steam settings on high on the unit and the iron and only lower the temperature on really delicate fabrics or very unnatural fibres , you know the ones that shrivel up and stick on the iron.
It is very effective at getting rid of creases without too much effort. I only find I have to put my back into some cotton shirts and certain types of linen.
The tip of the iron easily navigates round buttons and awkward corners and what is really good is that steam comes out of the tip as well so you can steam right into corners as well.
I could make my life easier and go for man made fibres that are easier to iron, however I mostly wear natural fibres because I find them less irritating against my skin. This iron makes short work of some of my blouses which are mainly cotton or silk.
I find it comfortable in my hand and as the steam does most of the work, I don't have to apply too much pressure so I find this less tiring than using a normal iron.
What I also like is you don't have to keep refilling the unit, as the water tank is much bigger than a normal iron, plus refilling is easier as the opening on the tank is much wider. Also you take the tank to the tap rather than trying to put into a small opening on the iron. I usually switch off when I take the tank out, but there is no need to wait for it to cool down. As soon as steam stops coming out of the iron , simply slide out and refill.
I think this cuts down the time I spend ironing significantly, difficult to be exact as I haven't used a normal iron for years. My last iron was also a steam generator that gave even more impressive results as the pressure was much higher, but it took forever to heat up and you had to wait for it to cool down, so when it started to spit water out I decided I needed something that heated up quickly.
This also delivers steam in an upright position so I use this on those pesky blouses where it is impossible to iron the sleeves without creasing somewhere else. I also used it to take the creases out of new curtains after I hung them. A lot easier than doing them on a board.
Touch wood this has not spit out lots of brown stuff on my clean clothes, which always seems to happen when you have almost finished ironing something tricky. I use the clean function every now and again and it seems to be working. All you do is unscrew the knob on the side and rinse the tank out periodically.
The main issue is the unit is incredibly noisy. I watch TV while ironing and have to pump up the volume to hear over the steam noises , but every now and again the unit makes loud vibrating noises for a few seconds then stops.
It takes up more room than a conventional iron and the base unit is quite heavy to lift at just over 6 kilos. It measure 350mm x 350mm x 250mm so much bigger than a normal iron.
I haven't managed to get the technique of winding two cords around the unit so I need more space to accommodate them.
The cord to the iron is quite long at 2.5metres but I think it could be a little longer as I have an extra large ironing board so would like a little more so I get manoeuvre at the tip of the board.
The cord gets very hot as the steam is pushed through, so extra care needs to be taken if children and animals are around while you are ironing.
After a while my ironing board gets very wet and wet marks appear on things I am ironing. I think that is because I iron for hours on end and If I did little an often sessions that would not be a problem. My ironing board is absolutely soaked through and I need to mop while ironing as water drops on the floor.
This cost me around £90 when I bought it around 3 years ago from Argos. It was on offer so full price this is currently £185 from Amazon so it is a considered purchase.
----Would I recommend?-----
A resounding yes if you want to cut down on the amount of time spent on this detestable chore. I have the largest ironing board possible and at the time I bought this it was the highest steam pressure you could get.
I think this cuts down ironing time by at least a third if not more which is the main reason I bought this. The other reason was that I wear a lot of clothes that are a bit of a nightmare to iron so need something powerful to tackle cotton garments and silk.
I have had loads of irons over the years, they either explode or get to the stage where the steam spits out brown gunk on everything , so don't normally last me more than a couple of years. This has so far lasted me twice as long as normal - 3 to 4 years which is a record for me.
The positives far outweigh the negatives for me and I will definitely buy another steam generator and can recommend this brand and particular model, but I feel sure they will have a more powerful model now so go for that.
If you love ironing or wear easy iron clothes or don't have room for a bulky generator then this is not for you.
5 stars from me
The Philips GC8220 Iron has 2000 watts / with Adjustable Steam / Short name: Philips GC8220