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Steam Iron – The Most Dangerous Tool in the Sewing Room

Best Steam Iron - How to use and Maintain It

Did you know that the most dangerous tool in the sewing room isn’t the machine with the fast-moving super-sharp needle – it’s the steam iron. Really! And did you know that there’s a difference between pressing and ironing? From safety to maintenance to proper use – it’s everything you ever wanted to know about your steam iron.

Happy sewing!




  1. Doris Steele SAYS...

    Wendy, again, your iron is identical to mine. I need to ask a couple questions abut this iron. The self clean, button, what exactly does it do and how do you do it? Also, the lever that moves from left to right…which side is for the most steam? I have had this iron for many years and love it but to my dismay, didn’t familiarize myself with it’s features when I got it. Please advise. Sincerely and thank you again. Doris

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I’ve. . . um. . . never used the cleaning button. 😛 I fill mine with filtered water and have never needed to do anything to clean it out. 🙂 The lever goes to the right for more steam, and all the way to the left for no steam.

  2. Melissa SAYS...

    Hi Wendi!
    I have been watching your tutorials all night. They are amazing! You make it all look so fun. I am new to sewing, and have struggled through each project I’ve tried. I am so appreciative to you for demonstrating the basics! Thank you.
    I have a quick question about your ironing board — what type is it? My board is pretty “puffy” for lack of a better word, and really doesn’t work at all. Can you recommend a specific board?
    Again, many thanks for your happy, welcoming website!

    • For a long time I used a Michael Graves extra wide ironing board I got at Target. I loved it, but I decided I wanted something longer so I could iron fabric selvedge to selvedge without having to shift it, so I made one from some Ikea furniture. You can see all the details here. For the padding I use a few layers (I think 3) of plain white terrycloth and it works great. It’s thick enough to hold some steam to help pressing, but not too squishy. 🙂

      • Melissa SAYS...

        Thank you!

  3. Alexandria SAYS...

    Why must steam irons “pee?” My super expensive iron (just like yours) is now dribbling water just like every other steam iron I have ever had! Why? If we can put a manobboncthe moon, why can’t we . . . ?