Thursday, July 4, 2013

Product Reviews - Prym Iron Cleaner

I have been a 'fuser' for many years. My most recent book, Give & Take Fabric Appliqué,  is all about fusing. When I discovered the magic of mesh-like glue that would stick one fabric to another with the heat of an iron my repertoire of design ideas expanded considerably. I have had a happy relationship with fusing and my iron ever since.  The challenge came when I found marks on my iron which transferred to other fabrics or to my husband's shirts!

I was careful. I didn't let any of the fusible touch my iron. But I still had black marks. Eventually I realized it wasn't the fusible that was transferring to the iron. It was the pencil marks from the tracing I did on the paper of the web that became that black mess on the bottom of my iron. I invested in a Teflon appliqué pressing sheet and the marks are gone. (PS - these are available from my website if YOU don't want a dirty iron.)

On rare occasions I still get a bit of gunk on the iron. But now it may be paint or paintstiks or ink. If these are not quite dry they can transfer when I am heat setting the fabric with my iron.  When I saw a new product for iron cleaning I thought it would be a good idea to give it a try so I would have it handy for 'iron emergencies'.  I was hesitant to use my best iron for testing. What if the product didn't work? I have an old iron that leaks. I keep it just in case my good iron dies and the stores aren't open and I need to press something!

The Prym Iron Cleaner is small stick with a slip-on cover. I set up a test to give it a try. The first thing I found was the package didn't actually tell me how to use it in words. There are pictograms that tell you to heat the iron, rub the stick over the bottom, wipe it with a cloth and then use the steam button to clean out the holes and wipe with a cloth again. The packaging says "Cleans every iron; removes dirt and limescale deposits; do not inhale; keep out of the reach of children at all times".


I heated my iron, placed it directly onto some fusible web and then ran a paintstik over the bottom while the iron was hot. What a mess!  Let's see if I can save this iron.

I began by running the Prym stick over the hot iron. First problem, some of the paintstik flaked off the iron and onto my ironing board. I guess I should have used a scrap cloth underneath so those bits would fall on it and not on the ironing board cover. Good thing my ironing board cover was due for a change anyway. Next thing – I was almost bowled over from the fumes! Smelled a bit like ammonia. Not good. The package did say I shouldn't inhale but I definitely couldn't hold my breath that long. So I stopped immediately, unplugged the iron and went to the local hardware store to buy a new ironing board cover.

I still really wanted to know if this product would work so I moved outside to my back deck, donned a particle mask and tried again.
The stick did clean my iron and my mask helped with the odour (though I may have been holding my breath and breathing through my mouth!). It took about one third of the stick, an old facecloth that is now in the garbage and just a few minutes. Remember I used my leaky iron and the instructions showed steam. I filled the iron with water and quickly, before it all leaked out, I held the steam button to clean out the holes. They looked clean but I wiped them with a Q-tip when the iron was cool just in case. All in all, the product does work but I think I'll just continue to use my Teflon appliqué pressing sheet whenever there is a risk of getting something on my iron.


1 comment:

Ann said...

Thanks for the tip and especially the toxic warning. I don't think I'll try this one. I guess prevention is the key and always use the Teflon sheets or parchment paper when using sticky, painty, waxy stuff.