I was interested to try out the new Philips Steam & Go 2-in-1 Handheld Garment Steamer as a potential travel companion.
Once upon a time, BC (Before Children), I would iron everything. These days? Most clothes in our house get chucked in the tumble dryer for five minutes before being hung up or folded. OK, so we might sometimes look a tad crumpled, but I can live with that. It’s the same with bed linen? After all, who sees it other than us?
The exception is when I travel. I spend hours pressing everything. However carefully I pack though, I always seem to end up at some point looking more ‘bag lady’ than I would ideally like. I have used travel irons, but have yet to find one that does a decent job – plus there never seems to be a handy surface on which to balance one’s clothes. Beds don’t seem firm enough and floors either feel dirty or have carpets which cover everything in fluff. And they can burn…I can attest to that!
It amazes me how few hotels – even the good ones – have irons and ironing boards – although I reckon many don’t so that they can charge ludicrous amounts of money to do it for you. I loved the story of a fellow travel writer friend who called reception in her posh hotel to ask if they had an iron she could borrow for her dinner dress. ‘But madam, please don’t worry’, they said. ‘We will take it away and press it for you’. She gladly handed it over and they delivered it back, beautifully ironed, half an hour later. On checking out the next morning, she noticed she’d been charged £20 for the privilege. She said she wouldn’t have minded but the Primark dress only cost her a tenner in the first place! I digress…
So this weekend I switched on the Philips Steam & Go and gathered together some of my summer clothes, which have been lying forlornly in my capacious ironing basket for the last six months or so. Here are my observations:
1. It works! The first item I tried it on was a linen dress. The creases dropped out of it quickly and I found it works best if you hang the clothes up while you do it, where they can stay, uncreased until you put them on (leave it a few mins as the steam makes them a tiny bit damp). You can also use it horizontally, which I guess would come in handy if you didn’t have anywhere for hanging a garment close enough to a plug socket.
2. Next I tried it on a denim skirt. In the instructions it says that you may have to also use an iron for heavily creased and thicker fabrics, but I have to say it did a brilliant job on this, too.
3. It performed really, really well on delicate fabrics, including those that are difficult to iron. I whisked it over a silk mix wrap top and and a lightweight pleated skirt which is a nightmare to iron (so much so that I end up hardly ever wearing it) and it sorted both out within seconds. I even steamed a delicate silk scarf – I did hold my breath when I did that one, but again the creases just disappeared in seconds and there were no annoying water marks. Apparently the steam also removes odours so I’m thinking this could save a fortune in dry cleaning.
4. After that, I did get a bit carried away and started steaming everything in sight. This morning Master Gallivant had his blazer whipped off for a quick steam before school. I have grand plans. I’m thinking that, of course, steam also kills bacteria, so I could get going on curtains, cushions, mattresses…The possibilities are endless.
5. There were only two things that slightly niggled me about it. Firstly, the steam runs out quickly – it will only do a couple of garments before you need to refill the water chamber. That said, it’s easy enough to fill and only takes around 45 seconds before you can use it again. Also, the steamer is fairly large to pack in a suitcase. Maybe it needs to be that big in order to work so efficiently. That said, it’s not going to stop me from taking it on my hols – ahem, sorry, work trips.
So, all in all a good product methinks. My next trip (just in case you’re wondering!) is to Jamaica. Look out for the pictures. I’ll be the one looking marvellously unruffled at all times.
The Philips Steam & Go 2-in-1 Handheld Garment Steamer has a RRP of £80 and is available direct from Philips – click here for details – http://bit.ly/1rei1g9