How do I use my curling iron in Malawi?

Malawian power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can work in Malawi:

  • If your curling iron can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to use a suitable power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your curling iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need an appropriate power adapter for Malawi however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Malawian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Malawi, therefore please check that your voltage transformer has a power adapter for Malawi otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Also worth noting that your own existing curling iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in a suitcase. [5] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your curling iron in Malawi please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Malawi

Will my curling iron work in Malawi?

This depends on if your curling iron can handle the 230 volts used in Malawi. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron can handle 230 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you should be able to use the curling iron in Malawi. If not then you will need to consider bringing either a power converter or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Read the section on can you use a power converter to use a domestic curling iron in Malawi for help deciding which option is more suitable. [5] [AD]

Malawi power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Malawi?

The standard voltage used in Malawi is 230 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in a Malawian power outlet?

The frequency of the current from a Malawian power outlet is 50Hz. [6]

Which travel adapter do you need when using a curling iron in Malawi?

Type G power outlet

Which travel adapter do you need when using a curling iron in Malawi?

The type of power outlet used in Malawi is type G. The power socket, also known as a type G power outlet, looks like 3 vertical slots with plastic shutters in a triangular shape. A recommended power adapter to bring to use a 230 volt curling iron in Malawi is a Type G plug adapter, read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Malawi. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to use a voltage converter.  [4] [7] [AD]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

One method to tell if your curling iron can accept a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of the curling iron. The location might vary depending on the make and model of your curling iron and could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage curling irons can change automatically, however other irons will have a button or switch which allows you to toggle between different regions.

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

Travelling to Malawi with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Malawi?

Bringing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to packing your existing curling iron as it ensures that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Malawian power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Malawi. Please be aware that bringing your expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by airline baggage handlers. The cost involved in replacing or repairing an expensive quality curling iron in Malawi might be higher than buying a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] beforehand to bring along with you. If you intend to pack your own curling iron in your suitcase it is recommended to either slide it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be transported immediately after use without waiting to cool down.  [8] [AD]

Can you carry on a curling iron to Malawi?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should check that the airline that is taking you to Malawi will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cables tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against drops and knocks during transit.   [8] [9] [10] [AD]

Power converters for Malawi

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and bulky power converter converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Malawian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron, whereas a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in Malawi. [5] [AD]

Can you use a curling iron with a converter for Malawi?

A suitable voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Malawi. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to bring their own curling iron, however it can be cheaper to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. Also, a travel curling iron can be substantially lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable for packing. [5] [AD]

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

Instructions showing how to use a curling iron in Malawi using a three pronged Type G power adapter.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply; if not then do not proceed as you might blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts; please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type G plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet which is used in Malawi. The Type G plug adapter will help convert different plugs on appliances 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 voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start by taking the Type G plug adapter and plugging it in the power outlet. You can identify the wall outlet by the three rectangular slots forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and ground.
  4. After that plug in your curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Malawian power outlet. You can now switch on the curling iron to use in Malawi.
How to use a curling iron in Malawi using a type G power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Malawi Wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  4. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, costs between $5 to $10 USD (around £30 GBP / under C$35).
  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, priced around $110 USD (£100-£110 GBP / C$160-C$170).
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, costing between $10 to $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / under C$25).
  9. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated cost between $50 to $60 USD (£40-£45 GBP / under C$100).