I've been through several irons over the years, and I don't generally buy an expensive one.
My current iron has lasted me the longest of any I've owned - coming up to 10 years now - I think it's because it's a solid soleplate model.
Unfortunately it wasn't easy to find an iron like this, and even this one wasn't a perfect purchase.
The sad story of my iron and a cautionary tale for others...
I got it from ebay, as a new iron, and no issues were mentioned in the description.
It was not listed as a 'second'.
But when it arrived it had a blob of metal at the tip. You can see it in the picture.
I wanted to return it, but I had to pay the postage to do so, even though the buyer was obviously in the wrong.
The cost to do so was more than I paid for the iron to begin with, so I kept it...and learned to work with the blob! :)
To give my blocks and quilt tops a good pressing and to get the wrinkles out of my fabrics, I mist the fabric lightly.
I use distilled water, because I happen to have it around (for maintaining the batteries of my off grid system).
The spray bottle I use happens to have the loveliest mist, and that's what you want.
You want to dampen not wet the fabric....and if you need to wet a tough wrinkle, you mist a few extra times.
In quilting, you are dealing with many seams and if you iron the patches the same way you would iron a shirt, you can easily distort the shape.
Instead you should 'press' them, using a dry iron, with an up and down motion only, adding some pressure.
Avoiding sliding the iron across the seams or block prevents stretching the fabric.
I have a 'Pressing' how to, which covers general pressing, applique & pieced blocks.
You can request the free file from the Technique page of the Library here.
As you can see in the picture above, that I took of my iron this morning, I need to clean the soleplate again.
I clean up the bottom of my iron by soaking paper towels with vinegar and laying the iron down on them for a few minutes.
I then scrub the iron over baking soda soaked with vinegar, until done.
So simple & eco-friendly!