Using a clothes iron in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe power outlet

Summary

First check your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Zimbabwe:

  • If your clothes iron can run using 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you will only need to bring the right power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need a suitable power adapter for Zimbabwe however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Zimbabwe power outlet, however this is substantially 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 wall outlet used in Zimbabwe, therefore check that your voltage transformer has the correct power adapter for Zimbabwe otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Please note - your domestic clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk damage in your luggage. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 220 volts you run the risk of damage to your clothes iron, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in Zimbabwe check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Zimbabwe

Will my clothes iron work in Zimbabwe?

That will depend on if your clothes iron is designed to handle the 220 volt power outlets used in Zimbabwe. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to operate using 220 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you can use it in Zimbabwe. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter or a dual voltage travel iron [2]. Read the section on can you use a power converter with a domestic clothes iron in Zimbabwe for help deciding which option is more suitable. [7] [AD]

Zimbabwe power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in a Zimbabwe power outlet?

The frequency used in a Zimbabwe power outlet is 50Hz. [8]

What is the mains voltage in Zimbabwe?

Power outlets in Zimbabwe are 220 volts.

Which travel adapter do you need to bring to use a clothes iron in Zimbabwe?

Type D and G power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need to bring to use a clothes iron in Zimbabwe?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Zimbabwe, types G and D with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type D - You can identify this plug outlet by the three circular holes in a triangular configuration.
  • Plug Type G - You can identify the wall socket by the three rectangular slots forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.

A Type G power adapter will allow you to use a 220 volt clothes iron in Zimbabwe; read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use a clothes iron in Zimbabwe with a power adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to use a voltage converter.  [6] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

A simple way to tell if your clothes iron can accept dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, handle or the base of your clothes iron. The location might depend on the make or model of your clothes iron, it could also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other models will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Zimbabwe then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Zimbabwe 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 220 volts used in a Zimbabwe power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in Zimbabwe.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Zimbabwe or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Zimbabwe with a clothes iron

Can you carry on a clothes iron to Zimbabwe?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline who is taking you to Zimbabwe 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 suggests wrapping wires tightly around electric items such as clothes irons.

If you intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against drops and knocks during transit.   [10] [11] [AD]

Power converters for Zimbabwe

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

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to operate using a 220 volt power outlet used in Zimbabwe. A power converter is more suited for travellers who wish to use their existing clothes iron, however it might be cheaper 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 substantially lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suitable for packing. [7] [AD]

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for Zimbabwe?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for Zimbabwe?

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Zimbabwe, whereas a heavier and more expensive power converter will convert a 220 volt Zimbabwe power outlet to work with a non-220 volt clothes iron. [7] [AD]

How to use a clothes iron in Zimbabwe using a type D power adapter

A page showing how to power your clothes iron in Zimbabwe with a Type D travel charger.

  1. Check that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power supply - if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel iron make sure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting to use in Zimbabwe - consult the manufacturers instructions for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to buy a Type D plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Zimbabwe. The Type D plug adapter helps fit different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Zimbabwe by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Start by plugging the Type D plug adapter into the Zimbabwe power outlet. This plug supply (technically called the Type D power outlet [3]) looks like 3 round holes in a triangle pattern.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Zimbabwe power outlet. Your clothes iron can now be turned on.
How to use a clothes iron in Zimbabwe using a type D power adapter

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

How to power a clothes iron in Zimbabwe using a three prong Type G power adapter.

  1. Please ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't continue because you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to the 220 volt setting; please refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. If the type of power outlet used in Zimbabwe isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron you will need to use a Type G plug adapter [6]. This plug adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries for an electrical outlet found in Zimbabwe simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type G plug adapter and inserting it in the Zimbabwe power outlet. You can identify the wall outlet by the three rectangular slots forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.
  4. After that plug in the clothes iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Zimbabwe power outlet. The clothes iron can now be used in Zimbabwe.
How to use a clothes iron in Zimbabwe using a type G power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Zimbabwe Wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type D power outlet
  4. Type D plug adapter - The three pinned earthed Type D plug adapter has large rounded pins placed in a triangular shape, priced under C$10.
  5. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  6. 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, around C$30.
  7. 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, estimated price C$160-C$170.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced at under C$100.