When I went to the first QuiltCon in 2013, the workshop classrooms used a new to me type of iron: an Oliso Pro Smart Iron. Since then, any time I have been in a workshop setting hosted by the MQG, I have been exposed to the unique irons that remain horizontal and retract standing legs when touched. At QuiltCon this year, I stopped by the Oliso booth and saw that they had a blogger partnership sign up form. I really had no idea what to expect, but I signed up and left my business card. Fast forward to a month later, and after several email conversations, I have joined the Oliso Blogger Partnership team and Oliso has sent me their Oliso Pro TG1600 Smart Iron.
I was excited to receive an Oliso iron because my previous iron (a Rowenta I had purchased from Joann Fabrics over 5 years ago) has suffered many a fall from my ironing board. As you can see above, The steam selector switch has long since broken off, the front of the iron is cracked (I am so lucky it did not start leaking), and after years of using our local water (hardness: 200), the mineral scale buildup was becoming an issue. I am curious about the longevity of the Auto-Lift iTouch technology, and after realizing that the Oliso irons the MQG uses in their workshops have been shipped around the country and used since 2013 (for QuiltCon and the old SewDown workshops) because I helped unbox them when setting up for QuiltCon this year, I was looking forward to giving it a try.
I recorded my opening of the box through Periscope, which you can re-watch through Katch: First Reaction / Use and Box Opening of my New Oliso Iron. Because my local tap water is so hard, I had gone to the grocery store to purchase some filtered water to put in the iron in preparation for the arrival of the iron. The store was out of filtered water at the time (and I was excited), so I bought some distilled water instead. I was rightfully warned through the Periscope comments not to use pure distilled water in the iron. In fact, there is very clear documentation that comes with the iron that says not to use distilled water. Oliso recommends using tap water, but if your local water is very hard (aka full of minerals that will build up mineral deposits in the soleplate vents), Oliso recommends using bottled spring water. I was also pointed to another great article online: Four Myths Regarding Iron Water. After reading the blog post, I have decided to use the filtered water out of my refrigerator. I will definitely report back on how that serves me over time.
The Oliso User Manual also suggests to empty the water tank when you are finished ironing. I have to admit that it was awkward the first time I drained the tank back into the fill cup that comes with the iron, but it has since become easier to do. And just like learning anything new, there is a learning curve for remembering to leave the iron horizontal. I found myself setting the iron upright on its base and then quickly remembering to leave it horizontal the first time I used it. Now that it has been a few days, it is much more natural to use the iron as it is intended.
One of the things I love the most about the Oliso iron is the length of the cord. At 12 feet long, it is a good 3 feet longer than my previous iron. The short cord length of my old iron was something that caused at least one of the drops or falls. Through Instagram and Periscope, I have already noted a very active user base for the iron and received many wonderful tips and advice that all reads out of the manual. I will definitely be keeping the manual in a safe place (that I can hopefully find later when I need it), as it has a helpful troubleshooting guide and maintenance / cleaning advice, too.
And how does it iron? It was an easy transition to start using the Oliso Pro Smart Iron. It has an extended shut-off time (30 minutes), which I have already appreciated. My old iron would auto-shut off after only a few minutes and I would wait for it to warm up any time I was chain piecing. I also appreciate the fill cup that came with the iron; I was able to replace a nice measuring cup back to my kitchen that I had used for years, much to my delight.
Linking up with Sunday Stash.