How to use a clothes iron in Belgium

Are you confused by travel adaptors? Straightforward advice for those visiting Belgium and using their clothes iron.

Belgian power outlet

Summary

First check that your clothes iron can work in Belgium:

  • If your clothes iron can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you will only need to bring the right power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron will not fit.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need a suitable power adapter for Belgium however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Belgian power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter will change the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in Belgium, so please check that the power converter [7] has a power adapter for Belgium otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Also worth noting that your own domestic clothes iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk damage in transit.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your clothes iron. Prior to using your clothes iron in Belgium please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Belgium

Will my clothes iron work in Belgium?

It depends on if your clothes iron can operate using the 230 volt power outlets in Belgium. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 230 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you'll be able to use your clothes iron in Belgium. If not then then you will need to consider buying either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter [7], read the section on will a power converter work with a clothes iron in Belgium for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Will my US clothes iron work in Belgium?

The guides on this page assume that you're a reader from the US travelling to Belgium and provide guidance for using your US clothes iron with a Belgian power outlet.

Belgium power outlets

What electrical frequency is used in Belgium?

The frequency of the current in a Belgian power outlet is 50Hz.

What voltage is used in Belgium?

The standard residential voltage in Belgium is 230 volts.

Which travel adapter do you need when using a clothes iron in Belgium?

Type C and E power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need when using a clothes iron in Belgium?

There are two types of power outlets used in Belgium, these are type E and C with the primary power outlets being type E:

  • Plug Type C - This unearthed power socket (called the Europlug) can be recognised by the two adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type E - The recessed round wall socket can be recognised by the two 4.8mm adjacent holes for live and neutral pins plus a metal grounding pin protruding the top in a triangle pattern.

A Type E power adapter [6] is suitable for powering a 230 volt clothes iron in Belgium - read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use a clothes iron in Belgium using a travel adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to use a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

How can I tell if my clothes iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your clothes iron will handle dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or plug of the clothes iron. This location will depend on the make and model of your clothes iron and could also be written on the box. Some dual voltage clothes irons might change automatically but other irons will have a button which allows you to toggle between different voltage ranges.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Belgium then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Belgian power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage clothes iron which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 230 volts used in a Belgian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Belgium.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Belgium or any other country.

Travelling to Belgium with a clothes iron

Can I carry on a clothes iron to Belgium in my luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should check that your airline who is flying you to Belgium will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also recommends wrapping cords tightly around clothes irons.

If you intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during transit.

Power converters for Belgium

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Belgium?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Belgium?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter [11] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Belgium, however a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] converts a 230 volt Belgian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron.

Can I use a voltage converter with my clothes iron in Belgium?

A voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) will allow your clothes iron using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Belgium. Travellers wishing to bring their existing domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, but it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also, a power converter is considerably bulkier and heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suitable when packing in luggage compared to a travel clothes iron.

How to use a clothes iron in Belgium using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Belgium with a 2 prong Type C power charger.

  1. Make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel iron ensure you have set it to accept 230 volts - refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Belgium you'll need to buy a Type C plug adapter [4]. This Type C plug adapter will help convert different plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Belgium by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by inserting the Type C plug adapter into the power outlet. The wall supply can be recognised by 2 round adjacent holes next to each other where the pins go.
  4. Next plug in your clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Belgian power outlet.
  6. The clothes iron can now be turned on.
How to use a clothes iron in Belgium using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Belgium using a type E power adapter

Simple instructions showing how to use a clothes iron in Belgium with a two prong Type E travel charger.

  1. Make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply; if not then don't continue because you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting; please consult the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type E plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Belgium. This plug adapter will adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet found in Belgium simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Plug in the Type E plug adapter into the Belgian power outlet. You can recognise the wall supply by the two circular holes 19mm adjacent to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet pins sit and a long metal earth pin protruding in the top to form a triangular configuration.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Belgian power outlet. You can now switch on your iron in Belgium.
How to use a clothes iron in Belgium using a type E power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium - Belgian country entry on wikipedia
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Small-Mini-Iron-Non-Stick-Extra-Long/dp/B01AK9ZUGO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1483620272&sr=8-4&keywords=dual+voltage+travel+iron&refinements=p_72:2661618011&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=2f036aaac07e425cbd203ec0166146cb - dual voltage travel iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeE.htm - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type E power outlets without converting voltage
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  11. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter