How to use a clothes iron in Australia

Australian power outlet

Summary

First check that your clothes iron can work in Australia:

  • 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 Australia however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with an 230 volt Australian 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 Australia, so please check that the power converter has a power adapter for Australia 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. [5]
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 Australia please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Australia

Will my clothes iron work in Australia?

It depends on if your clothes iron can operate using the 230 volt power outlets in Australia. 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 Australia. If not then you will need to consider buying either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter, read the section on will a power converter work with a clothes iron in Australia for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [5]

Australia power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used in Australia?

The frequency of the current in an Australian power outlet is 50Hz. [6]

What voltage is used in Australia?

The standard residential voltage in Australia is 230 volts.

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

The type of power outlet used in Australia is type I. The wall socket (also known as a type I power outlet) can be identified by the 3 slots for the live, neutral and earth. A suitable power adapter to bring when using a 230 volt clothes iron in Australia is a Type I power adapter, read the simple guide below for full details of using a clothes iron in Australia. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to see if you have to use a voltage converter.  [4] [7]

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

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 Australia then you should be able to use your clothes iron with an Australian 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 an Australian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Australia.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Australia or any other country.

Travelling to Australia with a clothes iron

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

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons 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 Australia 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.   [8] [9]

Power converters for Australia

Do you need a voltage converter to use a clothes iron in Australia?

The correct model of power converter (or voltage transformer) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Australia. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to use their existing clothes iron, however it can be considerably less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also, a travel clothes iron can be significantly smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suitable for packing. [5]

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Australia, however a heavy and bulkier power converter converts a 230 volt Australian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron. [5]

How to use a clothes iron in Australia using a type I power adapter

How to power a clothes iron in Australia using a Type I power adapter.

  1. Please check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply - if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting, consult the manufacturers instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Australia you'll need to bring a Type I plug adapter [4]. This Type I plug adapter will convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet in Australia simply 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. Begin the process by taking the Type I plug adapter and plugging it into the wall outlet. You can recognise the wall supply by the 3 thin slots forming an upside-down triangular pattern with the top pair of slots sloping upward for the live, neutral and ground. Note that the neutral and live pins are configured reversed compared to Argentinian plug outlets so please check that your Type I travel adaptor is compatible with an Australian power outlet.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Australian power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your iron in Australia.
How to use a clothes iron in Australia using a type I power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia page about Australia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type I power outlet
  4. Type I plug adapter - Type I plug adapters use three short flat blades in a V format with the top blade acting as a grounding pin, costing around $10 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$15-C$20).
  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, between $90 to $100 USD (under £110 GBP / under C$90).
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  9. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced at around $50 USD (£35-£40 GBP / C$70-C$80).