Using a clothes iron in Afghanistan

Afghan power outlet

Summary

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

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

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use the correct power adapter for Afghanistan but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with an 220 volt Afghan power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Afghanistan, therefore please check that the power converter [7] comes with the correct power adapter for Afghanistan otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your own existing clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 220 volts you run the risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your clothes iron in Afghanistan check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Afghanistan

Will my clothes iron work in Afghanistan?

That will depend on if your clothes iron can handle the 220 volt power outlets used in Afghanistan:

Will my American clothes iron work in Afghanistan?

The instructions on this page assume that you are an America reader visiting Afghanistan and provide guidance for using your American clothes iron with an Afghan power outlet.

Afghanistan power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in an Afghan power outlet?

The frequency of the current in an Afghan power outlet is 50 Hz.

What is the mains voltage in Afghanistan?

Power outlets in Afghanistan are 220 volts.

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using a clothes iron in Afghanistan?

Type C and F power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using a clothes iron in Afghanistan?

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

  • Plug Type C - The power outlet is recognised by 2 round holes adjacent to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type F - The circular wall socket (also called a Schuko socket or type F power outlet) can be recognised by two 4.8mm adjacent holes where the live and neutral pins go, plus two thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.

A Type F plug adapter [6] will allow you to use a 220 volt clothes iron in Afghanistan - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of how to use a clothes iron in Afghanistan with a plug adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

One method to tell if your clothes iron can accept dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or the handle. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your clothes iron and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage clothes irons can change automatically, however other irons will have a button which allows you to operate between different regions depending on which country you are visiting.

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

Travelling to Afghanistan with a clothes iron

Can I carry on a clothes iron to Afghanistan?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should check that the airline which is flying you to Afghanistan will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. The TSA also recommends wrapping cords tightly around electronic items.

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

Power converters for Afghanistan

Can I use a power converter with my clothes iron in Afghanistan?

A voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) allows your clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 220 volt power outlet used in Afghanistan. Travellers who wish to use their own clothes iron can use a power converter, but it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also, a travel clothes iron can be substantially lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suited for travelling.

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter [7] transforms the voltage of 220 volts from an Afghan power outlet to work with a non-220 volt clothes iron, whereas a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Afghanistan.

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

How to power a clothes iron in Afghanistan using a two pronged Type C power charger.

  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 do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a travel iron make sure the switch is set to accept 220 volts to use in Afghanistan - refer to the manufacturers instructions for more information on where this switch is.
  2. If the type of power outlet used in Afghanistan isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron you will need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. The Type C plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Afghanistan by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type C plug adapter into the wall outlet. You can identify this plug supply by the 2 circular holes next to each other.
  4. After that plug in your clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Afghan power outlet.
  6. The clothes iron should now be ready to use.
How to use a clothes iron in Afghanistan using a type C power adapter

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

How to power your clothes iron in Afghanistan by using a two pinned Type F power adapter.

  1. Make sure 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 attempt these instructions as you may 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 make sure the switch is set to accept 220 volts for use in Afghanistan - consult the manufacturers instructions for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. If the plug shape on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Afghanistan you'll need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6]. This Type F plug adapter will adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Afghanistan 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 F plug adapter into the Afghan power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by two large adjacent holes where the live and neutral pins slide into, plus two thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Afghan power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the iron to use in Afghanistan.
How to use a clothes iron in Afghanistan using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan - Afghan Wikipedia web page
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Steamfast-Travel-Steam-Voltage-1-Pack/dp/B001DTHPEQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1542891691&sr=8-3&keywords=travel+clothes+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=5f7ea8e4527bd99fbc266e82ac9e683a - dual voltage travel iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage, between $5 to $10.
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeF.htm - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage, under $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, under $100.
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced at between $60 to $70.