How do I use a clothes iron in Kenya?

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

Kenyan power outlet

Summary

First check that your clothes iron can work in Kenya:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 240 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 a power adapter for Kenya however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 240 volt Kenyan 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 Kenya, therefore please check that the voltage transformer has a power adapter for Kenya otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Please note that your own personal clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 240 volts used in Kenya you run a risk of a blown fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your clothes iron in Kenya check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Kenya

Will my clothes iron work in Kenya?

That depends on if your clothes iron is designed to operate using the 240 volt power outlets used in Kenya. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 240 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you'll be able to use your clothes iron in Kenya. 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 [5], read our section on will a voltage converter work with your domestic clothes iron in Kenya for help deciding which option is more suitable.

Will my US clothes iron work in Kenya?

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

Kenya power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in Kenya?

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

What mains voltage is used in Kenya?

Power outlets in Kenya are 240 volts.

Which plug adapter will you need to bring to use a clothes iron in Kenya?

Type G power outlet

Which plug adapter will you need to bring to use a clothes iron in Kenya?

The type of power outlet used in Kenya is type G. This power socket, also known as a type G power outlet, can be recognised by three rectangular holes with shutters in a triangular pattern for live, neutral and ground pins. A recommended plug adapter to bring for using a 240 volt clothes iron in Kenya is a Type G plug adapter [4]; read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using a clothes iron in Kenya. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also need to use a power 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 base, handle 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 can change automatically, however other irons will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltage ranges.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 240 volts used in Kenya then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Kenyan power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 240 volts used in a Kenyan power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Kenya.
  • Dual voltage will say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Kenya or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Kenya with a clothes iron

Can you pack a clothes iron in your carry on luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [8] 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 Kenya 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 recommends wrapping cables 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 advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.

Power converters for Kenya

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 [9] (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet in Kenya, however a more expensive and heavier power converter [5] will transform a 240 volt Kenyan power outlet to work with a non-240 volt clothes iron.

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

The correct type power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to operate using a 240 volt power outlet used in Kenya. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who wish to bring their own domestic clothes iron, however it could be considerably less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it will be to buy a power converter. In addition, a travel clothes iron can be substantially lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suited for travelling.

How to use a clothes iron in Kenya using a type G power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Kenya with a Type G power adapter.

  1. Please ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 240 volt power supply; if not then don't continue because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Some dual voltage travel irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure you have set it to accept 240 volts, consult the manufacturers instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to use a Type G plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Kenya. The plug adapter will help adapt plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet used in Kenya 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 240 volt outlet.
  3. Plug in the Type G plug adapter into the Kenyan power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by the three vertical holes containing shutters forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Kenyan power outlet.
  6. Your iron is now ready to be used in Kenya.
How to use a clothes iron in Kenya using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya - Kenya 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/typeG.htm - Type G power outlet
  4. Type G plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type G power outlets without converting voltage
  5. 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
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  8. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  9. 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