In which G.M. Norton gets hot under the collar.
A well-pressed shirt is one of life’s small pleasures. However, pressing the damn thing is not. At least for me, anyway. In the absence of my own personal valet (please apply within), I usually dedicate Sundays to work my way through a mammoth pile of crinkled clothes with the help of my faithful steam iron.
By the time I’ve finished my shirts for the week ahead, along with the children’s school uniform, dresses and a few bits and pieces for my beloved, my temple and feet are positively throbbing. Rather than give my jackets and trousers a quick once-over, I prefer to slump into the nearest armchair with a large glass of red.
Recently, I was contacted by Tefal who were keen to hear my thoughts on their new handheld steam brush. Having admired an industrial one at a beneficiary boutique and impressed at the whole steamy affair, I agreed to try out the Tefal Steam Access.
In a flash, the steamer arrived well-packed and contained some helpful instructions (these days, too many companies steer us online for instruction manuals).
The steamer is emblazoned with ‘My Everyday Partner’. Perhaps I finally had my own Jeeves, thought I.
The steamer is a sturdy little number and is relatively easy on the eye, with the power cord boasting an impressive length (oo-err). The idea is that you hang up a shirt or whatever item you want to smooth out and you run the steamer over it. After filling up the water tank and turning it on, it heats up in 45 seconds, making a pleasing noise before producing a steady output of steam.
I tested it out on a couple of shirts and my beloved tried it out on our lounge curtains. As well as getting rid of creases, the steamer also refreshes and sanitises too. Earlier this week, I unearthed a corduroy jacket from Oxfam which had what my beloved described as “a charity shop whiff”. As it was dry-clean only, I thought it was an ideal test for Tefal’s sanitising claims. To be fair, it does now smell a lot better, although I think I will give it a once-over again before deciding whether a trip to the dry-cleaner is still necessary. The steamer came with two attachments – one drip catcher and a brush so I used the latter to give my jacket a good old rub.
I found the shirts really quite simple to steam. Sleeves are always the tricky part when ironing but they became crease-free within moments.
On the downside, it’s a little heavy for prolonged use. More for one or two quick items rather than a big pile of clothes. Like your favourite protagonist, it also runs out of steam relatively quickly so I found myself refilling with water after steaming each item. I also found that it gave no indication that the water was low (although the lack of steam was a hint!).The on/off switch didn’t seem to turn off either, so I switched it off at the mains before leaving to cool down.
Despite these small things, it starts up quickly, it looks quite pretty and the lock position for continuous steam is Heaven sent, meaning I don’t need to constantly hold my trigger finger down. It also has a rather nifty hanging hook, as demonstrated below.
Overall, I was impressed with the handheld steamer. It won’t replace my trusty steam iron but it will be used for quickly running over a shirt or two or to take the creases out of a jacket or pair of trousers before I go out (I do have a Corby trouser press, but due to lack of space, this has been demoted to the attic). It should also save me a small fortune at the dry-cleaners, which is a massive bonus in itself!
Rather than being tied to an ironing board for hours on end, it does feel quite freeing to spruce up a couple of items anywhere in the house. All I need is a plug socket and a door to hang up my garment.
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’