What Are the Benefits of the Electric Iron?

Sandra Rousseau

When New Yorker Henry W. Seely patented his electric iron in 1882, he surely must have known how much easier he was making the lives of women and domestic workers. Before the electric iron, the job of pressing clothing was hot, messy, tedious, inefficient and even sometimes dangerous. The electric iron brought about huge improvements in the ease and convenience of ironing.

Clean and Easy

Electric irons make easy work of what was once a long, hot, messy chore.

While irons of the past had to be placed in a hot fire to heat up, an electric iron can be used anywhere there is an electrical outlet. Electric irons are clean and convenient, leaving no smoky smells or sooty marks on clothing as old-fashioned irons did. With an electric iron, there is no need to go back and forth from the fire to the ironing board.

Cool in the Summer

In the pre-electric iron days, working with fire made ironing a hot job, especially because air conditioning was nonexistent. Electric irons, however, heat up only their ironing surface, not the whole house. In the past, people used other methods to get clothing wrinkle free, but these methods were tedious and not all that effective. For example, wooden smoothing boards and glass smoothers did not use fire or heat, but they were inefficient.

Heat Quickly

Electric irons heat up within moments of plugging them in and turning them on, allowing the person ironing to quickly remove the wrinkles from clothing and then head out the door. There's no waiting and reheating as people using non-electric irons had to do.

Work Quickly

Modern irons are designed with slick, easy-to-glide surfaces that help the person ironing to work quickly. Their shape is broad across the middle, which covers a good deal of fabric with each swipe, while the pointed end easily reaches small nooks and crannies in the clothing's contours.

More Conveniences

Electric irons today have many convenient features built in, including variable temperature settings, automatic shutoff, automatic steam dispensers and water spray reservoirs. Cordless options are available as well.