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How much does it cost to use an iron? Plus some great alternatives to try

Are you wondering whether it’s worth keeping your clothes looking smart and pressed? Or does the extra cost of running an iron mean that you should be happy to accept wrinkled-looking clothing? Let’s take a look at how much it costs to use an iron and some alternative ideas.

How much does it cost to use an iron?

Based on a 2400W iron, it will cost 82 pence to run per hour. If you do 2 hours worth of ironing each week, that will work out at just over £85 per year.

how much does it cost to use an iron?
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Never have we seen such high energy prices and in all honesty, it may take a while before things improve.

So over the last few months, I’ve looked at how much it costs to use some popular items around the home. From electric blankets to charging iPhones, I’ve been able to break down the true cost of using some of the most common electrical items.

Today, I’m going to break down the costs of using an iron.

How much electricity does an iron use?

Before we work out how much it costs to use an iron, we need to figure out how much electricity it uses. And with so many on the market, this is easier said than done.

Most irons use around 2400W, but you can find that they vary anywhere between 1200W and 3100W. And to complicate matters further, some irons have different settings. That means that the amount of electricity they use will change depending on what setting you’ve chosen.

To find out how much electricity your iron uses, there should be a label, either on the iron itself (like in the picture below) or on the cable.

how many watts an iron uses
Our iron uses between 2600-3100W

How much will that cost?

How much it will actually cost you to use your iron will depend a lot on how long you use it.

For the below table, I have used a unit rate of 34 pence. This is based on the October 2022 price cap set by Ofgem.

I have calculated the cost for 1 hour and 1 year, based on ironing for 2 hours every week.

1 hour1 year (2 hours per week)
1200W41 pence£42.58
2000W68 pence£70.96
2400W82 pence£85.16

So, it’s not cheap?

An average iron will probably cost you in the region of £85 per year if you use it for 2 hours every week. Yes, there are lower wattage models available, although they probably won’t give you great performance.

Are there any cheaper alternatives to an iron?

Unfotunately, it’s quite difficult to find other ways to make your clothes nice and flat that don’t cost a lot of money. But if you really don’t want to use your iron then you could:

Use a garment steamer. These handheld devices are quite handy and generally use less power compared to an iron… but not always. This one from Amazon uses just 1100W.

Place your clothes under your matress. The combined weight of you and your matress should go some way to getting the creases out of your clothes.

Steam your clothes whilst taking a bath or shower. If you hang your clothes up close to your bath or shower, the steam will go some way to getting out the wrinkles. Make sure that you gently stretch the fabric to improve the results.

Steam using the kettle. This works in a similar way to the idea above, although you will need to have suitable space close to your kettle.

Flatten using a damp towel. Lay your wrinkled clothes on a hard, flat surface and place a warm, damp towel on top. Firmly stroke the area where there are creases to flatten them out.

Buy non-iron clothes. The simplest solution is to buy clothes that don’t need ironing and you can ignore all of the above!

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