How do I use a clothes iron in Spain?

Going abroad and bringing your clothes iron? Straightforward advice for those visiting Spain and using their clothes iron.

Spanish power outlet

Summary

Check that your clothes iron can work in Spain:

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

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need to use the correct power adapter for Spain however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Spanish power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Spain, therefore please check that the voltage transformer has the right power adapter for Spain otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Also worth noting that your own existing clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in your suitcase.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 230 volts used in Spain you run the risk of damage to your clothes iron, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in Spain check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Spain

Will my clothes iron work in Spain?

That depends on if your clothes iron is designed to operate using the 230 volt power outlets used in Spain. 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 Spain. If not then then you will need to consider using either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter [7], read our section on will a voltage converter work with a domestic clothes iron in Spain for help deciding which option is more suitable.

Will my US clothes iron work in Spain?

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

Spain power outlets

What frequency is used in Spain?

The frequency used in a Spanish power outlet is 50 Hz.

What mains voltage is used in Spain?

Power outlets in Spain are 230 volts.

Which power adapter will you need for using a clothes iron in Spain?

Type C and F power outlets

Which power adapter will you need for using a clothes iron in Spain?

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

  • Plug Type C - You can identify the wall outlet by the 2 circular adjacent holes for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise the wall socket by the two large round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins along with a pair of thin metal grounding clips above and below.

A Type F plug adapter [6] is suitable for powering a 230 volt clothes iron in Spain - read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use a travel adapter for Spain. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to check if you need to use a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

How can you tell if your 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 the plug of the clothes iron. The location might depend on the make or model of your clothes iron, it should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage clothes irons will change automatically, however other models will feature a switch which allows you to change between different regions.

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

Travelling to Spain with a clothes iron

Can you carry on a clothes iron to Spain in your hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that the airline which is flying you to Spain will allow a clothes iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. The TSA also suggests wrapping wires tightly around electric items such as clothes irons. If you do intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during transit.

Power converters for Spain

Will a power converter work with a clothes iron in Spain?

The correct type power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Spain. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who wish to bring their existing domestic clothes iron, but it could be considerably cheaper to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. A power converter is also considerably heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suitable for travelling compared to a travel clothes iron.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter?

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter [11] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet in Spain, however a more expensive and heavier power converter [7] will transform a 230 volt Spanish power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron.

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

The WikiConnections guide showing how to power your clothes iron in Spain by using a two pronged Type C travel charger.

  1. Check that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible 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 make sure you have set it to the 230 volt setting; please consult the owners manual for more information on where the switch is.
  2. You'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of the power outlet which is used in Spain isn't the same shape as the plug of your clothes iron. The power adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries for use with a power outlet found in Spain by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. First you'll need to insert the Type C plug adapter into the Spanish power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by the two circular adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Spanish power outlet. You can now switch on the iron for use in Spain.
How to use a clothes iron in Spain using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Spain using a type F power adapter

Learn how to use your clothes iron in Spain with a two prong Type F power charger.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet but if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could blow a fuse, damage your iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting; consult the user guide for more information on where this switch is.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type F 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 Spain. The plug adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Spain 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. Plug in the Type F plug adapter into the Spanish power outlet. You can identify the power supply by the two circular adjacent holes for live and neutral and a pair of metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  4. Next plug in your clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Spanish power outlet. The iron is now ready for use.
How to use a clothes iron in Spain using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain - Spain country wikipedia page
  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/typeF.htm - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F 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