It sounds very domestic, but every week, I iron our clothes for the work week ahead. I’ve been doing this for years, ironing my father’s work clothes when I was in middle school and high school, then my own when I got a job that required something slightly nicer than jeans and a t-shirt. And after Mr PoP and I got married, I started ironing his clothes as well.
Some people might think the ironing is overkill, but when it comes down to it, there are times (work especially) when we want our clothes to have a nice crisp look to it that we never seem to get with “non-iron” clothing items. (Mr PoP looks adorable in the morning with some nice crisp creases in his khakis!) Plus, there’s an element of indulgence to the ironing at this point in my life. We’re not people that plop down and zone out in front of the tv for hours (it feels like such a waste of time!), but if I watch a show or two while ironing, well no time at all is being wasted and I *still* get to know the latest on Jane the Virgin* guilt-free.
So I iron. And I don’t hate it (thanks to Jane’s entertaining saga). But up until recently it did take me a solid 60-90 minutes each week to do all the ironing. What changed?
We Bought A New Iron
The iron that I had been using since moving to FL and needing one for my first “grown up” job in 2006 up and died a couple of weeks ago, prompting Mr PoP and I to scour Amazon reviews to find an iron that was a good value. My old iron had been fine, a $30ish Sunbeam (like this one) that I bought at Target. But it had been rusting for quite a while and Mr PoP wanted me to consider getting something nicer.
Mr PoP looking at his computer: “The BIFL sub-reddit says the Rowenta ones are the best. You should look at those.”
Me searching Amazon on my own computer: “What the hell! They cost over $100! Do we really need a BIFL iron?”
Mr PoP, getting up to leave me with my Amazon search: “It’s your call, but this is a tool you use every week for at least an hour at a time. Don’t you want it to be as pleasant of an experience as you can make it?”
I searched around some more, ordered an iron (crossing my fingers that I made a good choice), and eagerly awaited its arrival in 2 days (thank goodness for Amazon Prime delivery!). In the meantime I borrowed Mama PoP’s iron.
Three Irons In Three Days
Between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday night I used 3 irons and had a solid basis of comparison. How did they stack up?
- The $30ish Sunbeam that I had for years was my standard basis for comparison, taking about 60-90 minutes to do each week’s ironing and about similar to irons that I grew up using or you might find in a decent hotel. To get crisp creases and very flat surfaces, you really needed to soak the fabric a little with the sprayer before applying heat.
- The $12 Black and Decker that Mama PoP had picked up at Ross (like this one on Amazon) didn’t perform all that well by comparison. Although I only ironed 2 days worth of clothes for Mr PoP using it, the darned thing took me over a half hour and the clothes just didn’t seem all that crisp even when finished. It felt underpowered.
- My new $71 Rowenta (the cheapest Rowenta iron on Amazon with nearly 1,000 reviews averaging 4.5 stars) was a world apart from the other two. The steam was powerful and even enough that I didn’t need to spray each piece of fabric at all with water before pressing the iron to it. This weekend the whole week’s worth of ironing took just over 40 minutes. There were still 8 minutes left in my show**!
I honestly didn’t expect the difference in iron quality to be as drastic as it was. Seriously, it’s just an iron! How much technology is in the thing?
So while I’m not going to rush out an buy every expensive tool around, it was a good reminder for me that upgrading on items that you use often can have a pretty high ROI on happiness.
What tools in your life have you upgraded and noticed a big difference?
* My new favorite show this year. Love it. =)
** Of course I finished watching it! And now I know the identity of Sin Rostro!
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(Mr PoP Edit-Anybody that can make an argument in the comments that a Rolex GMT is a superior tool for my new job will get my everlasting love and affection!)