How to use your clothes iron in South Korea

South Korean power outlet

Summary

Check your clothes iron can handle the voltage in South Korea:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need an appropriate power adapter for South Korea but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 220 volt South Korean power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in South Korea, therefore please check that your power converter has a suitable power adapter for South Korea otherwise you will also need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your personal clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you could risk potential damage in transit. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 220 volts used in South Korea you run the risk of damage to your clothes iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your clothes iron in South Korea check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in South Korea

Will my clothes iron work in South Korea?

This will depend on if your clothes iron can operate using the 220 volt power outlets in South Korea. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 220 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you'll be able to use it in South Korea. If not then you will need to consider using either a power converter or a dual voltage travel iron [2], read the guide on will a voltage converter work with your domestic clothes iron in South Korea for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [7] [AD]

South Korea power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in South Korea?

The standard residential voltage used in South Korea is 220 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with a South Korean power outlet?

The frequency of the current from a South Korean power outlet is 60Hz. [8]

Which plug adapter do you need to use a clothes iron in South Korea?

Type C and F power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need to use a clothes iron in South Korea?

There are two different types of power outlets used in South Korea, these are type F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise the plug socket by 2 adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug socket pins slide into. Type C power outlets in South Korea aren't as commonplace as Type F outlets.
  • Plug Type F - This round wall outlet can be identified by the two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm apart from each other where the two pins sit along with grounding clips on the top and bottom. The most commonly used sockets in South Korea are Type F electrical sockets.

A Type F plug adapter allows you to use a 220 volt clothes iron in South Korea; read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a clothes iron in South Korea using a plug adapter. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to see if you need to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [9] [AD]

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 can support dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the base, handle or the plug. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron, it should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage clothes irons can change automatically, however other models will have a switch which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are visiting.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 220 volts used in South Korea then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a South Korean 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 220 volts used in a South Korean power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in South Korea.
  • A larger range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in South Korea or any other country.

Travelling to South Korea with a clothes iron

Can clothes irons go in your hand luggage to South Korea?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to South Korea 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 advices wrapping cords 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 use hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and drops during your journey.   [10] [11] [AD]

Power converters for South Korea

Can you use your clothes iron with a voltage converter in South Korea?

The correct model of voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to operate with the 220 volt power outlet used in South Korea. A power converter is suitable for travellers wishing to bring along their existing domestic clothes iron, but it might be a lot less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it is to buy a power converter. In addition, a travel clothes iron can be substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suited for packing in luggage. [7] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and heavy power converter converts a 220 volt South Korean power outlet to work with a non-220 volt clothes iron, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet in South Korea. [7] [AD]

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

Instructions showing how to power a clothes iron in South Korea by using a Type C power charger.

  1. Please make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Some irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in South Korea; consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in South Korea. This Type C plug adapter will help adapt different plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in South Korea by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by taking the Type C plug adapter and plugging it into the South Korean power outlet. You can identify this wall supply by 2 round adjacent holes. Type C plug sockets in South Korea might not be as common as Type F sockets.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the South Korean power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in South Korea.
How to use a clothes iron in South Korea using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in South Korea using a type F power adapter

Instructions showing how to power a clothes iron in South Korea by using a Type F power charger.

  1. Ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in South Korea, please consult the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6] if the shape of the power outlet used in South Korea isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron. This Type F plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in South Korea by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by taking the Type F plug adapter and plugging it in the power outlet. This round wall supply can be identified by the two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm apart from each other where the two pins slide into along with grounding clips on the top and bottom. The most commonly used sockets in South Korea are Type F electrical sockets.
  4. Then plug in the clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the South Korean power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in South Korea.
How to use a clothes iron in South Korea using a type F power adapter

See also

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  1. Visitkorea - Korea Tourism Organization site
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, £5-£10.
  5. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, estimated cost £5-£10.
  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, priced at £130-£140.
  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, costing £40-£45.