It’s time consuming, tedious and at the bottom of Pocket-lint’s list of fun things to do, but can the latest high pressure steam generator from Bosch blast through the ironing before the boredom kicks in?
Built for serious bouts of ironing, steam generators are designed to produce large quantities of high pressure steam to blast through creases. Steam needs plenty of water, so unlike a standard design that can only hold enough for the odd spray or blast of steam they come with a separate water tank steam generator.
As a result steam generators are usually double, or even triple the size of a standard iron giving them a bulky footprint that’s often difficult to store away.
The Bosch is no different; the base measures a chunky 44 x 23 x 19cm and has a 1-litre removable water tank for easy filling. Controls are simple - there’s a big red on/off button, green steam ready indicator, water indicator and steam level control. This makes set-up very easy - fill with water, turn on and let the pump suck up water for heating. When the green light turns on you’re ready to go.
It took around 2.5min to heat up, which wasn’t quick, but did give this reviewer time to turn on the TV, pick something from the Sky+ and pour a drink.
The iron itself feels solid in the hand thanks to the tough rubber grip. Because there’s no water tank inside it felt lightweight and manoeuvrable. The soleplate is made from ultra smooth easy gliding ceramic and has just 12 steam holes at the tip.
On a good day it’ll take this reviewer at least 5 or 6 minutes to iron a shirt, but after he got used to the steam trigger he was, well, um, steaming through the ironing. The constant pressure cut effortlessly through even the most crumpled sections and while the tip isn’t as button friendly as some we’ve tried, it almost halved our ironing time and doubled the quality.
Even our oldest shirts got a new lease of life thanks to the steam, but be aware the high water content will leave your shirt feeling slightly damp, so if you’ve really had to work at the creases, hang it up for 5 minutes before wearing or storing.
One small complaint; even our old £20 iron has wool, silk, cotton, synthetic written helpfully on the temperature controls. The Bosch just has black blobs, so you’ll need to memorise the settings from the instructions (or keep them handy).
Your average iron will have a steam output of around 20-40g/min output, but the Bosch manages a constant 120g/min at 5.0 bar pressure and thanks to refill water tank you can refill at any time, even when the system is hot - many similar models need turning off and cooling down before refilling.
We also loved the vertical steaming that let us refresh a couple of suits and hard to iron dresses without resorting to dry cleaning. It’s no substitute, but helped knock a good few of the elbow and knee creases out of a cotton suit.
Added safety features include and auto shut off system which switches the iron off after 30 seconds if it is left face down or after 8 minutes if left standing.
The Bosch Sensixx B25L irons like a dream, but for the price we expected a bit more flash. The casing lacks the luxurious finish we’d expect for the price which is disappointing, especially if you haven’t any cupboards big enough to store it away.
The Bosch B25L won’t make ironing any more interesting, but it will help get your clothes looking sharper, and in double-quick time.
The simple steam trigger and ceramic soleplate glide through creases, pleats, yolks and cuffs with the utmost of ease and while it might not excite you with its half-hearted industrial styling it’ll get the job done double-quick and give you more time to do, well, anything but iron.
It’s expensive and bulky, and if you only iron-as-you-go it’ll probably be more hassle than it’s worth, but if you have a family and find yourself doing piles of ironing each week consider it a fantastic time saving, life improving investment.