Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads


canei | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

hi, i last year i bought an iron from sears. it’s called a shark. it was a little more $$$$ then what I wanted to spend, but at the time i thought it was worth it….any how…it sucks. it drips…doesn’t steam very well. i was think about getting some sort of pro model, like a rowentta or something. does anyone have any suggestions. i’m willing to spend up to 100.00. thanks!


  1. Josefly | | #1

    Do an advanced search in this forum on "irons" and you'll get lots of opinions. Some posters really love their Rowenta irons, others have been disappointed. I think one thing that happens to irons is that they get dropped, and that messes them up badly. I replaced a Rowenta which stopped working after a year or so, with an inexpensive Black and Decker which worked fine for about a year, then started dripping and spitting at me. To my knowledge, neither of the irons had been dropped. I have been coping with the dripping unhappily, and haven't decided on a replacement yet. Anyway, my experience has been that the expensive iron was about as good as the inexpensive one. Good luck on a frustrating task.

    Edited 2/11/2009 2:30 pm ET by Josefly

    1. Cityoflostsouls | | #28

      I have a new rowenta and it's ok but it's lightweight and I have to hold the steam button down.  I got out my old standby and now I'm happier.

      1. Josefly | | #30

        I guess when all the nice features of newer irons are added, like automatic shutdown, steam control features, etc., it's too much to ask also that it be durable. I remember when things like irons lasted TOO long - you were hoping for them to fail so you could justify getting one with the new bells and whistles.

        1. Cityoflostsouls | | #31

          Isn't that the truth?  Just a wild little story about old things.  My ironing board wore out so I went to the attic to get a little wooden one I had moved around for years.  I guess I got it from an aunt years ago and had moved it across the country  I decided to put a new cover on it.  Many iron stained layers later I found  the padding. a bunch of old newspapers from Colorado Springs years ago.  I now live 3 miles from Colorado Springs and the newspapers I gave to a museum in the next town since it concerned local history and citizens.  Wasn't that a fire hazard?  I'm laughing.  I'm a real packrat. 


          1. Josefly | | #32

            Great story. I've an attic and basement full to the rafters of stuff. Neither I nor my husband wants to throw away a thing - seems too much like throwing away memories. Thing is... we have the memories anyway, and don't need the stuff!But I bet you're glad you kept that ironing board. There are a few useful things among the memories, too.

          2. Cityoflostsouls | | #33

            I love odds and ends of information about a lot of things (wanted to continue my library work but  couldn't}.  I'm having catarract problems-and surgery- and this works.  If you have problems threading a needle moisten your finger and hold it behind the needle and the thread goes through.  Honestly this really does work and must be a tip from my great grandmothers era.  I have not learned to use my machines needle threading system.  Arthritis I think or a right-left problem!


          3. Josefly | | #34

            Thanks, I'll try that needle-threading tip.Good luck with the cataract surgery. From all I hear, you'll be so glad you've done it; people tend to put it off, and I can understand the fears.

            Edited 3/16/2009 12:30 pm ET by Josefly

  2. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #2

    What type of water do you use in your iron? It was my experience that spitting and low steam was caused by build up of salts and minerals in my iron from tap water, even if it was filtered. I switched to distilled water years ago, and have not looked back. I spent good but not a lot of money on my iron, and have had it a long time. My last iron lasted me over 20 yrs, and it was a fairly cheap iron, but I liked it. I just realized I have had this one for nearly 10 yrs now. Not bad for the abuse it takes. Cathy

  3. epij | | #3

    Go on Amizon and buy the Rowenta that has a boiler.  I have enjoyed mine for about one year.  I also bought one for my daughter.  It is set up with the boiler as the base.  Uses tap water.  The iron sits on top of the boiler and is attached by a steam hose.  You have perfect control of when you want the steam.  I have not ever used it to steam curtains or laundry, but I believe it would work that way also.  If I remember correctly, it was just about $100.00.

  4. drm3218 | | #4

    I got a Rowenta professional  for Christmas 2007.  I really like it.  It has an auto cleaner.  You must use tap water or it will drip.  It was $100.00. If you decide on this model , make sure it say Made in Germany not MEXICO.  I have a friend who has a Bosch and loves it.  It was a little more money.  I had a bad experienc with a bosch dishwasher and Bosch in general (lack of customer service) and will NEVER buy another Bosch!!!  Hope this helps.

    1. User avater
      canei | | #5

      thanks one and all. i may check out the rowentta. i do use reg tap water. it's also starting to peel on the handle, i can deal with that but the spitting and dripping...can't take it.

  5. miatamomma | | #6

    I'm not sure there is a decent iron on the market.  I have a Rowenta that leaks so badly that I can't put water in it.  I bought a Black & Decker and in a few months time it started going to auto shut-off even though I am ironing with it.  Have to unplug it and reconnect to start it to work again.  I am not just using the Rowenta as a dry iron along with a spray bottle for my sewing.  I have about decided that I won't go back to a steam iron for sewing.


  6. mainestitcher | | #7

    About half the people I know who have purchased Rowentas have lived to regret it. Not much of a selling point for a $100 iron, when a black and Decker from the bulls-eye store holds up as well.

    I had a Rowenta that stopped steaming properly after about six months, and stopped working at all after about a year. I spent a little more to get a Pacific Steam gravity feed. I've had it for six years or so. Even though it's a bottom of the barrel gravity feed, I've never had trouble with it.

  7. Ceeayche | | #8

    I've got a Black and Decker that has survived a major house fire in 1997 and storage for 4 years-- and is only now beginning to show signs of wear. It took me forever to get all the soot, ash and fire retardent chemicals out of it. But it's worked fine.

    When getting the soot and the acrid burned smell out of it, a family friend suggested plain ole white vinegar and tap water.  I filled it with the mixture and then let it sit several hours agitating it by gently swirling it around.  Then I'd steam an old drop cloth by running the iron over it.  Then I'd turn the iron upside down to empty it. 

    I've been pleased with the results for the last 12 years. It's has substantial  without being too heavy and it's dependable.  I've always used tap water with it.  I missed the memo that it was supposed to have distilled water-- it's there in the company materials, but I didn't read that until I'd had the iron several years.  So after all it's been through, the soleplate is beginning to deteriorate.  I've been considering purchasing a new one and regulating this one to craft work until it "dies"irrevocably. So I'm following this chain with interest.  As we've all learned the B&D iron we bought 15-20 years ago may not be the same product!  I'd been looking at the Rowenta, but this chain has given me pause!


    1. Palady | | #9

      >> ... looking at the Rowenta, but this chain has given me pause! <<   With good reason.  MO.  When this brand frist came on the scene it was superior.  Over time the quality seemed to go in the opposite direction. 

      I also have  B & D that has stood the use of years.  Again, your observation of  >> ...  B&D iron we bought 15-20 years ago may not be the same product ... <<  is well said.

      The following URL might be of value.  Sprinkling clothes is a lost function for the most part.  Though, MO, it has merit.  Especially with this product.  Using a press cloth & a spray bottle can be superior than using a "steam" iron.



    2. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #10

      AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!! I was almost done pressing the side hems on my LR sheer curtains when my darling iron sprung a major leak! I doesn't hold water!!!! My rabbit had chewed the cord, and altho I repaired it, I am not so sure it was safe..... Now I have to replace it! I was really unaware of how much the soleplates had changed! The last two I had owned were Sunbeams, lovely small but balanced beauties. I spent the day looking at the ones out there. All the ones available seem to have soleplates full of holes and ridges designed to distribute steam. How are you supposed to press! They all seem so big and clunky, and they all seem so unbalanced! Help! what do I really need to know about these modern monsters? Or do I need to pull out my old stove irons and become a real Luddite? Cathy

      1. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #11

        Bless you, my child. I do hope your curtain wasn't stained badly from the leak. I have a Rowenta. Actually two of them. One has a stainless steel sole plate and does a good job. I did drop it and break some of the exterior plastic off at the back of the iron which stabilizes it when sitting upright. Not a good thing. Since I needed a new ironing board about that time, I bought one with the slanted rack for holding the iron and solved both problems. My other Rowenta I bought at an estate sale and was elated to get it for $15. Still in the box, looking unused. It has a Teflon coated sole plate. I don't like it nearly as well as I thought I would. Unbelievably, spray starch sticks to it. This past weekend I was at my son's home. I used their GE iron and was impressed with what a nice job it did, how quickly it heated, and the feel of it in my hand as I worked with it. I've three of those old stove irons and remember my mother using them when I was a child. These are the solid iron ones. She had two that had wooden, detachable handles that she preferred. Good luck in your quest.

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #12

          Ok, I bit the bullet. I bought a Shark Iron. Not too expensive, as my irons tend to get dropped. It had the type of soleplate I wanted. If I have to replace it in a year or so, so be it. I am amazed what you can learn by actually reading ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!! I spent a couple of hours prepping the iron before actually beginning to use it. I put through two fills of water. The manufacturer actually recomended using tap water to clean and season the iron for the first two fillings before using the iron to iron with. (Should have seen the teeny tiny metal filings that came out of it.) Then to empty the water after use, and to use distilled or filtered water. To use the cleaning cycle every two weeks to prevent spitting and leaking. To not use softened water from the tap, or very hard water. To heat the iron to temperature before turning the steam function on.
          Ok, so this is pretty basic stuff. But I have always pretty much left my steam function on when heating my irons. Makes more sense to leave it off, no spitting or leaking! I never bothered to preclean an iron either, but now I will! those bits could collect hardwater build up in a hurry and clog an iron fast! The chlorine and stuff in tapwater would remove the oils that may remain in the inside of an iron from manufacturing. And I love the heat from my new Iron, it is way better than my old one. Cathy
          PS it has a 12ft cord ~YAY~

          Edited 3/2/2009 9:47 am ET by ThreadKoe

          1. Josefly | | #13

            Your new iron sounds like a good one. Although the past two irons I've owned, Rowenta, and B&D, both specified using tap water, and I did (and they both leaked) it does make sense that softened water and chlorine would affect the iron's innards. I hate the idea of buying water to use for ironing, but I will bite the bullet when I get my next one. I'll keep your "Shark" in mind. Thanks so much for telling us your experience.Like others, I'm attracted to the idea of a dry iron, with no holes in the sole-plate, along with a damp press cloth and/or spray bottle. But I haven't seen a dry iron for sale anywhere in years.

          2. Palady | | #14

            >> ...  dry iron, with no holes in the sole-plate, ... haven't seen a dry iron for sale anywhere in years. <<

            Maybe you missed my post within a Thread on this subject.  Message 9550.10.  Vermont Country Store currently stocks a dry iron.





          3. Josefly | | #16

            I must've missed your previous post. Thanks for pointing me to the source. I'll check it out further. I'm getting more and more irked with my amazing spitting iron.

          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #15

            I disagree with buying water,but sometimes do for convenience. My hardware store has a squirt type bottle with a chemical in it that binds the hard water. You put tap water into it and shake well. Then use the water in the iron. When the purple indicator turns colour, dispose of the bottle and get another. It does not add salt, but does precipitate the chlorine, salts and iron out of tap water. It lasts an amazingly long time also. It is designed to be used with irons and humidifiers.
            While doing a search in previous posts, another poster from a couple of years back was unhappy with this brand. I am hoping that by following the care and feeding instructions, I will have better luck. :) Cathy

          5. Josefly | | #17

            Another new thing I haven't heard of. Thank you. Do you have to filter the water after you treat it - where does the precipitate go?It really seems amazing that there's not an iron out there that users are pleased with, unanimously, or at least mostly so. We have so many appliances available to us that work just fine. What's so hard about a good iron?

          6. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #18

            The precipitate sticks to the stuff in the bottle! It coats the little "stones" of whatever it is that is in there. They start out pretty small, and end up just getting bigger. The bottle starts out holding about 2 cups of water, plenty for an iron to be filled a couple of times before having to be done again. Cathy

          7. Palady | | #19

            Can you provide the manufacturer of the water filtering bottle you use please?


          8. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #20

            I just buy them at Home Hardware! I honestly do not know the name, and I need to buy a new one. I use them so often the lettering wears off the bottle. I get them in the same aisle as all the cleaners for the water vaporizers. We have hard water in this area, so they always have a few on hand. You might have to special order them in your area. Now they have the Brita Filters available, they might not be as available, I hope they are! As I said before, they tend to last a long time! I am supposed to head out that way later this week, so I will post an answer if I can then. Cathy

          9. Palady | | #21

            Thanks for the get back on the filtering water bottles.  I have a Brita pitcher in my refrigerator for more years than I remember.  Probably since they came on the scene.

            nepa is where I live.  North Eastern PA.  DIY's are Ace, Home Depot, & Lowe's.  My next stop in one will have me looking.  I visit family in New England.  Scouting stores there might have me finding what you use.  Through inquiry, I came to know stores in different states stock different items.

            In the meantime, I'll go with filling a bottle with Brita water and keeping it at hand.  I'm guessing the better the water be at room temperature before going into the iron.

            Until your mentioned Brita, I failed to ever consider doing this before!   DUH!!!!!



          10. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #23

            I am finding quite a difference between some of the things available in the States, and what is available here in Canada. Some things go by completely different names also. I often have to search to find out that a fabric called by a Trade name where you are is called by a generic name up here. The whole Kleenex, paper tissue thing. I will do my best to provide you with both in this case. Cathy

          11. Sancin | | #24

            I also have one of the water softener bottles for my iron. I think I have had it for over 40 years. One could simply buy new granules to go into the original bottle. I bought my at Woodwards, for those of you in BC who remember those good old days. However, while I still use the bottle the last 3 or 4 irons I have had have said not to use softened water, so I don't. The soft plastic in the bottle is starting to give signs of giving up, the label gone long ago, so I suspect I will have to find a new one. I may just use a drinking bottle that I have, but now told I should not use to drink from.To make some green with envy I have (inherited) a very heavy fine finish old dry iron. I don't often use it but I will never part with it. At some point through the years someone replaced the cord so it is like new. The story goes that it came off one of the old passenger steam ships.

            Edited 3/4/2009 5:47 pm ET by Sancin

          12. Palady | | #25

            >> ... (inherited) a very heavy fine finish old dry iron. I don't often use it but I will never part with it. ... replaced the cord ... like new. The story goes that it came off one of the old passenger steam ships.  <<

            It's such a delight t oread of treasures members have.  Your iron most certainly is one.  And, your wise for wanting to keep it.  Irreplacable in today's market.


          13. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #27

            :( I am a very unhappy camper! They have discontinued my water filtering bottles! With the proliferation of the Brita type systems, and the availability of in-house osmosis filtered, or distilled water, the company no longer makes them. Find something simple that works....
            I hate buying water! If you ever come across them in a store, snap it up! Cathy

          14. Palady | | #29

            >> ... They have discontinued my water filtering bottles! ... <<    Bummer to be sure.

            This is the sort of thing one has to keep an eye for in outlet stores. 

            About 4 yrs ago a friend asked me if ever saw Easy Off's Bam to buy it for her because she couldn't find it anywhere in her area. This past fall I was in a Building 19, in Nashua, NH and lo & behold there was a shelf of at least 5 dozen.   When I got home, I called friend to assure she was still interested.  She was.  On a hunch, I went back the next afternoon.  The shelf was nearly empty.  There was less than a dozen bottles left. 

            So now I'll be eyeing the filtering water bottles.  Thanks for the heads up.


          15. courgette | | #22

            My mother had one of those when I was a teenager and sewing. After it was no good to filter the water she used it for years to refill the iron. Probably couldn't find a new one. i have never seen them.


  8. ladyinred | | #26

    I have a Rowenta and I absolutely love it! It has what seems to be hundreds of steam holes, according to the manufacturer it must use tap water (turned out to be true- I tried using the filtered water, thinking that it would help prevent mineral build-up, and the iron starting spitting. The spitting went away when I changed back to tap water). Anyway, I got it on sale for less than $60, but I think I'd pay the non-discounted price for another.

  9. Dallas1946 | | #35

    Three years ago I purchased a Reliable Iron and have been in love with it from the beginning.  It is a little pricey, but well worth the cost.  You do have to buy filters and it does require distilled water.  I used Rowentas before and would burn up one about every year, so you make up your expense in a short while.

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More