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on 7 April 2016
if you hate ironing, this is for you.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 March 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ironing is transformed!

I don't like ironing. I find it tedious and monotonous so tend to leave it until there's a large pile then plough through and waste half a day on it. I'd heard about the benefits of steam generators so when offered this for review, I snapped it up in an instant - and am so pleased I did. The weekly chore is now transformed. Ironing now takes less than a third of the time and it's to a higher standard too.

This steam generator is a well-designed product, comfortable to hold and the iron is lightweight at just 1kg making ironing relatively effortless. Just 2 minutes after plugging in, it is ready to use and pressing the steam trigger twice produces a surge of steam with accompanying hiss, after which the trigger doesn't need to be pressed again but is helpful on especially-creased items.

The base is quite a large unit and too large to fit on my ironing board, so ironing now takes place in the kitchen with the water-filled base on the worktop instead. The flex is a amply long enough to reach across the worktop to the iron.

Ironing is both quick and easy. There is no need to select temperatures or keep refilling the boiler with water and the steam is dry so you don't end up drenched in sweat while using it. It also doesn't need to be tipped upright like other irons while arranging items to iron and this saves even more time and effort.

I tested it on my husband's shirts which he put out for washing with the sleeves still screwed up inside so by the time they were ironed, they were badly scrunched. However, a burst of steam followed by gliding the iron over them and the creases instantly smoothed out. Normally I'd have to spray them with water, then spray with steam from my old iron, hold them taut and iron repeatedly applying weight, and even then I wouldn't achieve this result. I can't help but be impressed and my old iron is about to be Freecycled.

I haven't needed to descale the iron yet (indicated by the DE-CALC light flashing) but when it's due there are no expensive filters or cartridges to buy and it needs only a simple flush through

This steam generator isn't a budget purchase but for anyone who dislikes ironing and wants to reduce the monotony of a tedious chore, then this is the solution. It is also ideal for anyone who has to do large quantities of ironing - eg large families or those who take in ironing for others to earn a little extra cash. The build quality is good, the performance is faultless and it's backed by a 2 year warranty plus a 60-day money-back online promotion for additional peace of mind.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 6 April 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We have owned a steam generator for three years and it revolutionised the family ironing allowing large loads to be despatched faster and with less effort. Once you get over having a large lump of hissing plastic sitting beside your ironing board, the comparative joy of a strong steam flow and ease of ironing will win you over.

So we were very interested in this, a new Phillips model that is designed for large family washes and sits one down from top of the range. It is certainly distinctive with its large see through blue plastic water holder/ base unit that holds enough water to easily allow a good three hours of normal use in our experience. Beyond that and the poor unfortunate person ironing loses the will to live anyway.

It takes a little getting used to not having a variable temperature dial and trusting Philips latest technology that claims to allow you to iron any ironable material and indeed place the iron heating plate down ( no heel to allow it to sit upright) without burning. We proceeded with some caution but can report that, much to my and my wife's surprise, nothing was burned. This feature translates into a very lightweight iron that is extremely easy to manouvre but yet still copes easily with even heavyweight fabrics. Very quick to heat up/ generate steam (2 minutes is not an exaggeration) and with a generous constant steam and high steam boost ( higher than our old Tefal) help to make light work of all tasks and of course it can steam vertically if required. My joke about using it to strip wallpaper was viewed with dark suspicion by my wife who is I think expecting to find it on DIY duties any day! Life expectancy would be measured in nanoseconds if I did, such is her enthusiasm for the Philips steam generator.

Cord length is adequate as opposed to particularly generous but is long enough provided the base unit is beside the ironing board. Many purpose designed ironing boards now have large base unit holders at the level of the ironing surface and it is worth noting that not all ironing boards are compatible with steam generators.

Essential for us is the auto-calc collection device as the hard water in our area is otherwise death to irons. Too early to report if it is successful but long term use of solar in other Philips products indicates all.Carrying the unit is easy thanks to the iron locking to the base unit albeit it would have been even easier with a proper carrying handle.

One little disadvantage compared to the previously experienced Tefal model is that the water tank is not detachable. This makes filling and emptying a little bit more of a chore but the unit is not difficult to handle. Tefal models also often have retractable power cords, a feature lacking here but these are small irritants and not show stoppers.

All in all, a very efficient steam generator that families will find a boon in dealing with the horrendous ironing chore. The main competitor is probably still Tefal and this stands comparison extremely well with Tefal's models albeit , given that this is still a significant outlay, it is well worth comparing it with others to make sure that the respective pros/cons suit best your lifestyle requirements.
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VINE VOICEon 28 April 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is yet another brilliant, top of the range steam iron from Philips and as such this is a simple review - you should buy without hesitation if this is what you're looking at.

Firstly, the iron heats up really quickly and when it is hot it is extremely good at ironing! The immense amount of steam it produces means it cuts through even the most stubborn of creases, easily eradicating them without needing too much effort or pressure applied. For such a big iron (and its footprint with the base is pretty big as you'd expect) it isn't a heavy device and it is a pleasure, and also very quiet, to use.

The only thing that took some getting used to over a "conventional" iron was the fact that you can't stand it upright - it always has to go on the base or face down on your ironing board which is a bit alarming at first. It doesn't burn anything though, thanks to the clever technology inside.
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VINE VOICEon 16 August 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is my first time owning a Steam Generator iron, and I have to say I hope I never need to go back to a regular iron! This takes a lot of the hard work out of ironing, making it both easier and quicker.

The iron looks stylish, and although the base unit is heavy, the iron itself is considerably lighter than my previous irons and is comfortable to hold. The size of the water reservoir means you can iron for hours without needing to refill, and the fact that you don't need to adjust the iron depending on what fabric you are dealing with seems almost revolutionary! The iron makes short work of removing the creases from anything from jeans to delicates. You can even set the iron down on the ironing board without any negative effects!

I would have appreciated longer cables, both from base unit to iron, and base unit to power source. At the moment the maneuverability is somewhat limited, especially seeing as a full base unit is too heavy to sit on the ironing board. Also, at this price it seems churlish not to include an appropriate jug to fill the base unit with.

It's not quite perfect, but it is an incredibly smart, powerful machine which I am thrilled to have and which makes life easier.
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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Getting straight to the point this Philips steam generator will help you power through the largest pile of ironing far more efficiently and quickly than a standard steam iron. It does this through the copious amount of steam it produces and without the need to set the correct heat setting for the fabric.

The product consists of what looks like a smallish iron connected to a water tank base unit by a length of insulated tubing. It is attractive enough and doesn't take up too much room, though considerably more than a standard iron. I managed to use the iron on a fully extended ironing board with the base unit on the floor.

Dealing with a large pile of clean clothes waiting to be ironed is seldom fun and is one of those onerous chores I try to avoid. The biggest drag on the job is making sure that the iron is at the correct setting for the garment being ironed, unless you want to damage more delicate fabrics or ineffectively smooth items that can take a higher temperature. The most sensible way with an ordinary iron would be to separate items into three piles and start with the lowest setting and the highest setting last. This sorting takes time and if you get it wrong you may have to allow the iron to cool - but no iron informs you when it has cooled to the right setting; you only know that the iron is at or above the particular heat setting by the light not being on.

Philips make the claim that it isn't temperature so much as steam that causes creases to flatten and they've engineered this so that the soleplate only gets so hot. This temperature is too cool for a traditional iron to produce steam without dripping, however the steam generator will produce steam at this lower temperature, allowing you to go from one garment to the next without checking the label. A trigger on the handle gives a great burst of steam, which makes removing creases a breeze. Without pressing this trigger, I couldn't detect any steam, though Philips say that it produces 120g normally, hopefully there wasn't a fault in mine and this is normal. The downside to all this steam production is that it quickly causes condensation, so you'll need to have a room with suitable ventilation to use this. As it stands, we have enough damp problems at the moment without adding to them, so unfortunately, until the warm weather kicks in I'll be getting little use of it.

If you regularly are faced with large piles of ironing and you're not the sort of person that gets masochistic pleasure from the task, then you'll find the Philips measurably improves the chore. That is, of course, that you have a suitable room in which to use it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 2 April 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Philips GC8638/20 Aqua Steam Generator Iron is perfect for large families producing large loads of washing. My husband and I are foster carers and including our children we as a family number eight at present. On average I wash three full loads every day (we have an 11kg washing machine) so this amounts to a lot of washing, drying, ironing and putting away.

This Philips Steam Generator Iron makes the chore of ironing so much easier and quicker. I have fast become a huge fan of the Philips Steam Generator on many levels.

In the box :
Philips GC8638/20 Steam Generator Iron and base unit
Filling cup
Instruction manual
Warranty

The OptimalTEMP smart chip control on the Philips Steam Generator keeps the temperature constant and safe for all types of fabric. Previously to produce steam on my old iron I had to heat the iron on the maximum setting, sort my clothes in order of ironing temperature and then wait for the iron to either cool down or heat up for whichever batch of clothing I was going to iron next. This Steam Generator is so much quicker and I have tested this iron successfully on silk, man made fibres, cotton and denim.

The Philips GC8638 Steam Generator is a sleek looking machine in dark blue, cream and light blue. It is also very light to use, the iron itself only weighs 1kg.

This Philips GC8638 is very quick to start. Simply plug in, prepare the ironing board and lay out your first garment and you are ready to go. It really does take only a couple of minutes to heat up.

I am extremely impressed with the large 2.5 litres water tank. When full I have managed to continually iron for just under 3 hours (another time saver).

Amazingly there is no need to stand the iron on it's heel between use as due to it's unique temperature control you can place the iron face down onto the ironing board cover without the worry of leaving scorch marks on your cover. I must admit that after 45 years of placing my iron on it's heel placing it face down takes some getting used to.

Another really neat function is the fact that you can vertical steam with this iron, absolutely great for ironing curtains whilst they are up. I have used this iron to steam my lounge curtains and because of the light weight of the iron is almost pleasurable to do (I did say almost :)

Manufacturers say that the worst thing you can do to your iron, is to let limescale build up rendering the iron problematic in their steaming abilities. I am pleased to tell you that the Philips GC8638 has that sorted too with their innovative easy de-scale and reminder system. Every ten hours a light on the side of the iron comes on, when this happens simply open the outlet on the side and dispose of any remaining water therefore preventing limescale from building up in the first place.

I can highly recommend the Philips GC8638 Aqua Steam Generator Iron. Although it is expensive compared to other steam irons, this Steam Generator Iron really is labour and time saving and with a 60 day money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty what have you got to lose.
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on 3 April 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This has got to be the future of ironing relying on steam rather than heat and a central water tank rather than carrying it on the iron. This was my first experience of this type of iron and it was a bit daunting at first. The iron is supplied with printed instructions but no water dispenser although it would have to be a large one to fill the 2.5 litre capacity. It takes tap water but does recommend distilled water for hard water areas and I fall into that category. This could significantly add to the running costs.

The build quality is high the the product well designed with cord and steam cable storage built in. My main criticism is both the mains lead and steam cable are approx 1.8M long which is a bit too short if the main unit is kept on the floor. This is desirable due to the bulk and weight of the main unit filled with water and extra 1M on both would make all the difference. As it is I have to stand the main unit on a cabinet close to where I iron as it is too big to sit on my ironing board.

The iron glides smoothly and produces copious amounts of steam and fells lighter than a conventional steam iron without feeling fragile in the slightest. There are minimal controls, just a trigger to release the steam but to be honest nothing else is needed and I have managed excellent results on a wide range of fabrics. After using this there is no way I could go back to a conventional iron and although expensive I do feel it represents value for money.
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VINE VOICEon 2 April 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The iron arrived in a large box with cardboard packaging and No polystyrene to dispose of. The Manual and card inserts had clear and easy to understand instructions in 10 languages plus English. The overall unit is a very smart navy and white, with a 6 ft long electric cable and a similar length steam hose that can be stored in the base. The built in water tank holds 2.5 litres and it is clear plastic so you can see where the water level is up to. No need to keep filling a small iron with fiddly amounts of water, this is easily filled from the front of the unit with a regular measuring jug. This does mean that overall the whole unit is quite heavy to lift even when empty and would need a strong ironing board or table. However it might be better to keep the water tank on the floor as the steam hose is long enough to reach up to a standard ironing board. I chose a location for the whole unit and keep it there permanently as it is not so easy to keep moving it around the house.

The design is good, with on and off switch at the back and iron release button at the front. The iron itself is very good quality and feel. It is light in weight and it glides over all types of fabric and there is no need or facility for heat adjustment. The job gets done much quicker than with my previous one. It is less of a chore and I would not want to go back to using a standard iron. excellent machine
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VINE VOICEon 12 April 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Wow- just wow. This is a great iron. I would say it is for professionals, but it has made our weekly 3 hour ironing session easier. It holds lots of water (2.5 litres)- and our session barely touches this. I love the way you can leave it face down, but as still a bit twitchy about this- more worried that when I switch back to a normal iron, I will get caught out. It slides effortlessly across clothes, and the end result is good (I have found with other irons, that the creases do not really go- they do with this one- easily).

Yes, it is a lot of money, but to be honest, I wont go back. Even my bug bear with irons like this- the cable- was not a problem, and it did not hinder the ironing motion.

Yes- love it. Highly recommended.
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