There has been a fair bit of behind the scenes email and flickr discussion about irons lately, so I thought jot down and share my own thoughts on the subject.
I spend a ridiculous amount of time ironing and pressing. Not clothes, mind you (I'm allergic to ironing clothes) but fabrics and fusing interfacing. Over the last few months I've fused more than 100 yards of interfacing to fabric. Add in the fabric prep time and the in progress pressing and that's a heckuva lot of iron time, lemme tell you. My iron is on at least 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.
I'm a huge fan of Rowenta irons despite the fact that my Power Duo pees all over the ironing board when I turn it off. (I'm pretty sure they've fixed that particular issue on their new irons, but I can't find my warranty card. I've also had some trouble getting in touch with someone who can help me at the company and I just don't care enough to follow up. The iron is just that good.) I have a late 80's Professional model too, which still works like a dream.
If you're not in the market for a new iron, I have a two recommendations to help keep the one you have running well. First and foremost, whether you're using it to sew or press clothes, use filtered water. I fill mine with water straight out of the Brita. I get virtually no build up on the plate and the steam no longer turns everything yellow.
Second, I think it's worth it to spend the dough on a soleplate cleaner specific to your iron. I used to roll my eyes and think that it was yet another way to squeeze more crafting cash out of me, but holy doodle, it works like a hot damn. Your iron will run 40 million times better and your fabric will thank you.
Any other tips to keep things running smoothly? (heh, smooth. Iron puns.)