How do I use my clothes iron in Malawi?

Heading abroad and bringing your clothes iron? A guide for those visiting Malawi and bringing their clothes iron.

Malawian power outlet

Summary

First check your clothes iron can work in Malawi:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need the correct power adapter for Malawi but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Malawian power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer 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 Malawi, so check that your power converter [5] includes the right power adapter for Malawi otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware that your existing clothes iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk potential damage in transit.

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

Using a clothes iron in Malawi

Will my clothes iron work in Malawi?

It depends on if your clothes iron can handle the 230 volts which are used in Malawi. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to operate using 230 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you can use it in Malawi. If not then then you will need to consider buying either a power converter [5] or a dual voltage travel iron [2]. Read the guide on can you use a power converter with a domestic clothes iron in Malawi for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Can I use my US clothes iron in Malawi?

The instructions on this page assume that you're an America reader travelling to Malawi and will provide advice on using your American clothes iron with a Malawian power outlet.

Malawi power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in Malawi?

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

What is the mains voltage in Malawi?

The standard voltage used in Malawi is 230 volts.

Which travel adapter will you need when using a clothes iron in Malawi?

Type G power outlet

Which travel adapter will you need when using a clothes iron in Malawi?

Type G power outlets are used in Malawi. You can identify the power outlet by the 3 vertical slots containing shutters forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth. A Type G plug adapter [4] is suitable for powering a 230 volt clothes iron in Malawi - read the simple instructions below for full details of using a power adapter for Malawi. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to bring a power converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

The method to tell if your clothes iron supports a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or the handle. This location might vary depending on the make and model of your clothes iron and could also be written on the box. Some dual voltage models might change automatically but other models will have a button or switch which allows you to operate between different regions depending on which country you are in.

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

Travelling to Malawi with a clothes iron

Can a clothes iron go in carry on luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [8] there are no restrictions when bringing 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 taking you to Malawi will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also suggests wrapping cords tightly around electronic items. If you intend to bring a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Malawi

Do I need a voltage converter to use my clothes iron in Malawi?

The correct model of voltage transformer [5] (or power converter) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to operate with the 230 volt power outlet used in Malawi. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing 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. In addition, a travel clothes iron can be substantially lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suited for travelling.

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter [9] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet in Malawi, whereas a more expensive and heavier power converter [5] will transform a 230 volt Malawian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron.

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

A step by step guide showing how to use a clothes iron in Malawi with a Type G power adapter.

  1. Check that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may blow a fuse, damage your iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Some travel irons will typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts for use in Malawi - refer to the user guide 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 Malawi. The plug adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Malawi 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 G plug adapter in the power outlet. This plug supply, sometimes known as a Type G power outlet [3], can be recognised by three rectangular holes containing plastic shutters in a triangular shape for live, neutral and ground pins.
  4. After that plug in the clothes iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Malawian power outlet. Your iron can now be used in Malawi.
How to use a clothes iron in Malawi using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malawi - Malawi 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