I have a confession — I actually love ironing my clothes.
Call it weird, call it psychotic, but I find it absolutely cathartic to watch my creased clothes smooth out with just a sweep of the iron. Since I was old enough to not burn myself with it, I’ve been doing the ironing for not just my school uniforms, but also my father’s shirts. It was all part of my Saturday routine for many years.
But when adulthood approached, ironing suddenly wasn’t as big of importance in my life. I didn’t need to wear starched uniforms anymore, and I could get away with clothes that didn’t crease as much. Of course, I did occasionally turn up in creased outfits that warranted snarky remarks. I toyed around with the idea of investing in a garment steamer – so convenient – but never actually got around to purchasing one.
Then, the Philips PerfectCare 9000 iron came into my life.
The AI story
Now, the Perfectcare 9000 iron is no garment steamer. It’s a full-on iron that comes with its own 1.8 litre water tank dock. What makes it a game-changer, however, is the technology that comes with it. Much like the many household appliances that are becoming ‘smart’, this iron comes with Artificial Intelligence (AI) already pre-installed.
This high-tech iron is equipped with the world’s first fabric sensing technology, which Philips has coined ‘ActiveSense’. Using a built-in camera on the underside of the iron and AI, the PerfectCare 9000 will automatically know what fabric you’re ironing and adjust itself to the optimum temperature and steam settings. This means your delicate clothing won’t get burnt and you won’t need to struggle to get the creases off the hardier materials.
Putting it to the test
To test it out, I laid out several items of clothing I wanted to iron: a thick cotton shirt, a satin dress, and my trusty linen shirt. Satin, as most would know, is incredibly notorious for burning easily under the iron. I was nervous, but the job had to be done.
I start off with the thickest material, which is the cotton shirt. I may enjoy ironing, but thick cotton shirts are the most challenging of them all — they never seem to smooth out evenly, no matter how high the temperature setting or how hard you press down on the iron. To add more strength, I turned on the automatic steam setting. As I lay the iron onto the fabric, heavy steam immediately gushes out to aid with the ironing process. It’s easy to glide around the fabric thanks to the SteamGlide Elite with a stainless steel base that’s twice as hard as an aluminium base and Philips’ patented six-layer coating with advanced titanium layer. In no time, the cotton shirt is unwrinkled. I am amazed.
For my satin dress, I decided to try steaming instead, like how I would use a garment steamer. Despite being a traditional iron, the PerfectCare 9000 can be used vertically as a garment steamer. Thankfully, the iron itself is fairly lightweight, so using it vertically is absolutely possible.
If you’re prone to being forgetful and leaving things boiling on the stove or forget to turn off your curling iron, the PerfectCare 9000 iron is perfect for you. Its safety features are unparalleled — if you accidentally leave it on the ironing board to answer a phone call, its fast cooling system will ensure that nothing will get burned when left unattended. If you forget to turn the iron off after you’re done with your laundry, it will also automatically shut itself down after a certain period of time. No more rushing home to turn off your iron, just in case you burn down the house.
Have children at home? No fear. The PerfectCare 9000 has a safe carry lock on the stand. Once you lock the iron in the stand, there’s no chance of it falling off and onto an unsuspecting toddler.
At RM2,999, the Philips PerfectCare 9000 iron is going to be a pricey purchase for your laundry room. But if you’re a household with a hefty load of laundry and most items of clothing have a tendency to get wrinkled, this AI-powered iron is a worthy investment. I think it’s even more of a suitable purchase if you’re the sort who invests in a capsule wardrobe of premium pieces. After all, wouldn’t it be a shame to splurge on a premium linen shirt only to burn it when ironing for the first time?