How to use your clothes iron in Cuba

Cuban power outlet

Summary

Check that your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Cuba:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use an appropriate power adapter for Cuba but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [9] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 110 volt Cuban power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Cuba, therefore check that the voltage transformer includes the correct power adapter for Cuba otherwise you will still need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Note that your personal clothes iron might not be suited for travel and you risk potential damage in transit.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 110 volts used in Cuba you run the risk of damage to your clothes iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before using your clothes iron in Cuba please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Cuba

Will my clothes iron work in Cuba?

This will depend on if your clothes iron can operate using the 110 volts which are used in Cuba. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 110 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you should be able to use your clothes iron in Cuba. If not then then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter [9] or a dual voltage travel iron [2], read the section on will a power converter work with a clothes iron in Cuba for help deciding which option is more suitable.

Can I use my American clothes iron in Cuba?

The guides on this page assume that you are an America reader travelling to Cuba and provide advice on using your American clothes iron with a Cuban power outlet.

Cuba power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used with a Cuban power outlet?

The frequency of the current used in a Cuban power outlet is 60 Hz.

What is the mains voltage in Cuba?

Power outlets in Cuba are 110 volts.

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a clothes iron in Cuba?

Type A, B and C power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a clothes iron in Cuba?

There are three types of power outlets used in Cuba, types C, A and B with the primary power outlets being type C:

  • Plug Type A - This power socket (technically called the type A power outlet) can be identified by two adjacent slots next to each other.
  • Plug Type B - This power socket (technically known as a type B power outlet) can be identified by two thin slots parallel to each other where the live and neutral plug socket blades slide into with a hole below for the slightly longer earthed pin.
  • Plug Type C - This unearthed wall outlet, also called a Europlug, is identified by two circular holes adjacent to each other.

A Type C power adapter [6] is suitable for powering a 110 volt clothes iron in Cuba, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for Cuba. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to check if you also need to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

How can you tell if your clothes iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your clothes iron supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or handle of the clothes iron. This location might depend on the make and model of your clothes iron, it could also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other irons will feature a button or switch which allows you to operate between different regions.

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

Travelling to Cuba with a clothes iron

Can I carry on a clothes iron?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [12] there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline which is taking you to Cuba will allow a clothes iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items. If you intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage [13] as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.

Power converters for Cuba

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Cuba, but a more expensive and heavier power converter [9] will convert a 110 volt Cuban power outlet to work with a non-110 volt clothes iron.

Will a voltage converter work with my normal clothes iron in Cuba?

The correct type voltage transformer [9] (or power converter) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 110 volt power outlet used in Cuba. A power converter is suitable for travellers wishing to bring along their own domestic clothes iron, but it can be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel clothes iron can be significantly lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suited for packing in luggage.

How to use a clothes iron in Cuba using a type B power adapter

How to power a clothes iron in Cuba by using a Type B power charger.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 110 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then don't proceed because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure the switch is set to the 110 volt setting for use in Cuba; consult the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. You'll need to use a Type B plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet which is used in Cuba doesn't take the plug of your clothes iron. This power adapter helps fit different plugs from other countries for a power outlet found in Cuba by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 110 volt outlet.
  3. Plug in the Type B plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can recognise the plug outlet by the 2 slots parallel to each other with a semicircular shaped hole below for the slightly longer ground pin.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Cuban power outlet. You can now turn on the iron in Cuba.
How to use a clothes iron in Cuba using a type B power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Cuba using a type C power adapter

Instructions showing how to power a clothes iron in Cuba with a Type C travel adapter.

  1. Ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 110 volt power outlet; if it doesn't then do not continue as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to accept 110 volts, refer to the 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 used in Cuba you will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [6]. The plug adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in Cuba simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type C plug adapter and plugging it into the power outlet. This wall supply can be identified by 2 adjacent holes next to each other.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Cuban power outlet. The clothes iron can now be powered on.
How to use a clothes iron in Cuba using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Cuba using a type A power adapter

How to use your clothes iron in Cuba with a 2 bladed Type A power charger.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 110 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to the 110 volt setting for use in Cuba; refer to the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. Please check that you don't already own a clothes iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but you will still need to check that your clothes iron will work with a 110 volt power outlet). If the shape of the power outlet used in Cuba isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron you'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [8]. The Type A plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet found in Cuba simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type A plug adapter into the Cuban power outlet. You can identify this wall supply by two thin slots adjacent to each other.
  4. Next plug in your clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Cuban power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in Cuba.
How to use a clothes iron in Cuba using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba - Cuban Wiki page
  2. https://www.amazon.ca/Small-Mini-Iron-Non-Stick-Extra-Long/dp/B01AK9ZUGO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1522355912&sr=8-2&keywords=dual+voltage+travel+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=b9157d6e47f5a14e0199e66bbd8bb15e - dual voltage travel iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeB.htm - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  6. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  8. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  9. 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
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  11. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  12. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.