Who doesn’t enjoy splurging on designer clothes and shoes? However, even the most expensive fabrics start to look drab if they are wrinkled or creased. Sure, almost everybody owns an iron but the appliance can be inconvenient to use, especially if you haven’t gotten much practice or haven’t mastered the right technique yet.
Lifting an iron can also be a problem for some people and can result in frequent arm or back pain.
Luckily, we have a simple solution to your problem: clothes steamers. Not only is this device convenient to use but it is a much cheaper option as compared to dropping your clothes off at the dry cleaner.
Using a clothes steamer is among the most convenient ways to refresh clothes and remove wrinkles. This article is a helpful guide that will teach you everything you need to know about clothes steamers.
How Clothes Steamers Work
Clothes steamers dewrinkle clothes by turning regular tap water into steam. The hot steam can be used to blow over the wrinkled material by loosening the bonds between the polymer molecules in the fabric. This significantly reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
A garment steamer typically comprises of a water tank, long metal rod and a heating element. It also includes a rubber hose that can be attached to remove lint and hair.
You must add the water in the tank and wait for it to convert into vapor. The steam is applied to the garment via a rubber hose using soft, sweep motions. We suggest you hang the garment on a regular clothes hanger or on a metal rod to obtain better results.
You can choose between an upright clothes steamer and compact, travel-sized versions. Some hand-held versions include a small water tank that is directly connected to the steam blower without a rod or hose.
Benefits Of Using Clothes Steamers
Ironing clothes is considered one of the most daunting house chores: it’s not easy. Luckily, it is not the only way to keep your clothes wrinkle-free. Many people are switching to clothes steamers because of its advantages over irons and other alternatives.
Not to mention, they are much more convenient to use and can be used to de-wrinkle a variety of fabrics. Here are few benefits of using clothes steamers:
Reduces Wear And Tear
Constantly washing and ironing fabrics can wreak havoc on the fibers, reducing the life of the garment. Not to mention, it is much easier to burn your favorite dress with an iron, especially if you are not able to gauge the exact temperature of the machine. Not being careful can increase the risks of burns and may ruin certain fabrics.
Fortunately, using a clothes steamer between washing can ensure your clothes last longer.
Anybody who has googled tutorials for ironing shirts knows how tricky it can be. Ironing clothes requires a special ironing board. Unlike steaming, the process takes some practice, and not to mention you will need to use different techniques while working with different types of clothing.
On the other hand, using garment steamers does not require special training or technique. You can conveniently de-wrinkle your clothes without the use of special chemicals and devices.
Restore Specialty Fabrics
Some fabrics can be easily damaged if you are not too careful, which includes fabrics, such as organza and chiffon. These exquisite materials are often used in wedding attires and gowns. However, they are delicate and wrinkle easily when crushed inside a suitcase or in a large box filled with other items.
Fortunately, you can use a clothes steamer to gently restore the fabric without causing more damage or destroying the delicate fibers. You can also use a steam cleaner to loosen fibers and restore the shape of vests, sweaters and other kinds of knitwear.
Occasionally sending out your clothes to the dry cleaners can turn into a necessity, especially if you want to prolong the life of delicate fabrics. While dry cleaning greatly differs from steaming (it cleans clothes using chemicals), you can still use steaming as a quicker and less expensive way of refreshing clothes.
Steamers are also effective for removing odors, such as cigarette smoke or the smell of alcohol after you have spent the night out at a bar. Simply hang your clothes and use a steamer to clean it and get rid of the odors.
Types Of Clothes Steamers
Purchasing a garment steamer can be tedious, especially since they are many different brands to choose from. These appliances are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, making it easier for you to complete specific tasks. However, clothes steamers can be divided into three main categories, which include:
Standing Clothes Steamers
This is among the most commonly used clothes steamer in the market today. A standing clothes steamer comprises of a water well and a base machine that rests on the floor, a nozzle that ejects steam and a long tube that connects the nozzle with the base.
It also features a long rod to suspend the garment, which makes it easier for you to use the machine. Simply fill the base unit with water and it will then convert the water into steam using its powerful motor.
This type of model is commonly used by professional streamers. However, they tend to be more expensive since they have more attachments. Standing clothes steamers also offer different settings, making it possible for you to work with a variety of fabrics.
Travel Clothes Steamers
Not everybody can afford sending their clothes off to the dry cleansers when they are travelling. Not to mention, getting your clothes professionally ironed at hotels can affect the final cost of your stay. However, travelling cannot be used as an excuse to look shabby, especially if you have important business meetings to attend.
You obviously can’t smuggle an iron in your backpack so consider investing in a travel sized clothes steamer. This type of clothes steamer can conveniently fit in your suitcase or overnight bag.
The designs may vary so you can opt for a model that best suits your needs. For example, some models include a nozzle that is directly attached to the water tank while others directly eject steam from the base.
However, this would require you to hold the entire steamer to the garment. However, despite its advantages, using a portable clothes steamer can be convenient for some people because of its smaller capacity. A smaller well means you will have to refill the tank more often.
Handheld Clothes Steamers
Some people like to think of this model as a hybrid between the travel-sized and the standing steamer. This type of steamer takes up less space compared to the standing steamer model but it larger than the travel-sized appliance.
The handheld clothes steamer is the best option for people who live with roommates or have small apartments. Though these machines are similar to the travel model, they feature a larger water well and incorporate mechanisms that are more powerful. This makes the appliance more efficient and powerful to use.
How To Use A Clothes Steamer
A clothes steamer is one of the most convenient ways to remove wrinkles from clothes and garments. As the name indicates, these steamers heat water at a high temperature until it turns into steam. The steam is then applied to the garment via a nozzle thus eliminating wrinkles and relaxing the fibers.
While this piece of equipment is not as common as using traditional irons, it is a simple and convenient way to get the wrinkles out of many different types of fabrics. Once you have purchased the right type of steamer, you won’t be switching back to ironing anytime soon. Follow these steps to learn how to use a clothes steamer:
Inspect The Fabric
Steaming is a delicate method of de-wrinkling and can work wonderfully with most fabrics. However, that doesn’t mean you risk burning your favorite dress. Materials that can be steamed include wool, most cottons, polyester and silk.
However, fabrics, such as waxed jackets, suede and other materials, are likely to melt when used with a steamer. If you are unsure whether a garment can be steamed or not, consider testing it first. Also, don’t forget to read the labels for advice about handling.
Prepare The Steamer
First things first, you must prepare the steamer. Start by pouring cold water into the water tank of your device. Ensure that all parts of the machine have been secured properly to prevent water from leaking all over the place.
Now, plug the steamer in and allow it to heat up for about 2 to 3 minutes. Allow the machine to heat up until steam begins to form. For best results, let the steamer heat up all the way to get the best results. Test the machine before using it. You can do this by pressing the button or pulling the trigger on the handle. Determine the amount of steam produced when you release it. Use this same button to steam your garments.
Hang The Garment
Unlike ironing, steaming requires you to hang clothes. Upright steamers usually include a hanging pole. If you intend to use a handheld steamer, hang your choice of clothing or place it on the back of a chair, a door known or anywhere else you will be able to steam it easily.
Steam The Garment In Downward Strokes
Steam the garment by running the device in downward strokes along the fabric. Unlike an iron, you don’t have to worry about applying too much pressure, or pressing the fabric too hard since the steam will conveniently remove wrinkles on its own. As you slide the device down the garment, continue pressing the steam button to steam the fabric.
Let The Clothing Dry
Once you are done steaming, you will notice how the garment appears damp. At times, there may also be small water droplets. However, don’t be alarmed as this is completely normal. Simply allow your shirt to dry for a couple of minutes. Let the garment sit for a couple of minutes before you put it on or store it back in the closet.
Tips For Steaming Clothes
Now that you know how to use a steamer, here are a couple of tips to help you get the job done more easily:
Be Careful While Steaming Delicate Fabrics
Similar to ironing, special care must be taken while steaming delicate materials, such as chiffon, sheer, silk or velvet. To reduce the risk of accidents, keep a distance of a few inches between the fabric and the steamer. Also, don’t steam in one spot for too long. To avoid damaging ribbons, prints or other kinds of embellishments on your clothing, steam the garment inside out to de-wrinkle it.
Steaming Wrinkly Clothes
If you are about to steam extremely wrinkly clothes, consider steaming the fabric from inside the garment. The weight of the material against the steam will allow you to remove the wrinkles more carefully and quickly.
Consider Using A Handheld Pad
For added convenience, consider using a handheld pad as a surface to steam clothes on. While this is not necessary, it can help you de-wrinkle extremely wrinkly or dense fabrics. If you do consider using a handheld pad, use one hand to hold the steamer and the other hand to hold the pad.
Steaming Fabrics With Embellishments
When steaming clothing with embellishments, such as ruffles and pleats. Hold the machine at least 1 or 2 inches from the fabric. This will allow the material to retain its shape while you are steaming the wrinkles. If the garment is extremely wrinkled and you don’t want to risk ruining it, consider turning the garment inside out before steaming it.
Multiple Uses Of Clothes Steamers
With the introduction of garment steamers, folks no longer have to worry about getting rid of wrinkles from their clothes. One the device is plugged in, the water inside the tank quickly begins to heat up, creating steam.
These steamers are usually available as a hand-held model or with a base machine. For better results, consider using different nozzles. You may opt for commercial and industrial options compared to your usage. Here’s how you can use your clothes steamer to its best potential.
As the name indicates, this appliance is primarily used for steaming clothes and to get rid of wrinkles. All you have to do is hang the garment on a hanger or a rod and allow the machine to work its magic. The steam coming out of the nozzle will improve the appearance of your clothes.
However, the time needed to remove wrinkles can depend on the steamer’s power and the overall thickness of the material. Rest assured, this process is less time-consuming as compared to ironing, not to mention it does not require much practice or preparation.
This makes the steamer a more convenient option than ironing, especially if you are in a hurry. You can change the nozzles and attachments according to the fabric for better results. While many people only use this appliance for steaming clothes, you may use this small appliance for completing a variety of tasks.
Don’t allow the small size of the appliance to fool you. This machine can be used for more than just getting rid of wrinkles. Some other creative uses of a clothes steamer are listed below.
Thanks to the convenient, compact size of the appliance, it can be conveniently used to remove dirt and debris from your carpet and rugs like a regular carpet cleaner. This makes the appliance ideal for spot cleaning. Switch the nozzles of the device to clean tough and hard to reach spots around the corners of your home. However, using a smaller sized attachment only allow you to clean at a smaller scale.
You can use a garment steamer to sanitize a variety of cleaning surfaces. You can automatically sanitize items by using a steamer. This is possible thanks to the rising steam coming out of the appliance.
Not to mention, it is a safer option since it does not incorporate the use of additional harmful chemicals. You can use the clothes steamer to clean bathrooms, kitchen utensils and other items that need to be sterilized and disinfected.
Who said you could only use a garment cleaner for cleaning clothes? The appliance works well for cleaning draperies and curtains as well. Cleaning curtains, shutters, draperies and blinds can be a daunting process, especially if you are planning on installing them and dropping them off at the dry cleaners. This causes many people to overlook the importance of maintenance and proper cleaning.
Uninstalling curtains is a time-consuming process, not to mention, scrubbing and washing it clean requires a lot of effort. Unfortunately, leaving the drapes unclean is not hygienic for you and your family. Fortunately, you can use a small sized clothes steamer to clean shades/blinds without detaching it from the base machine.
Defrosting The Freezer
Did you know that you could use your garment steamer to accelerate the process of defrosting your freezer? Simply target the nozzle to the affected area to speed up the ice-melting process. You can also use the steamer to break down large chunks of ice.
However, be careful and take the necessary precautions before defrosting the freezer. Like any other electric appliance, ensure the appliance does not comes into direct contact with water during the defrosting process.
When you are busy cooking and cleaning, it becomes quite easy to forget about grease buildup. Grease can easily build up on stoves, fans, utensils and oven doors. Though it accumulates slowly, it can get difficult to remove if you don’t pay attention to it from time to time.
Not to mention, scrubbing the dishes vigorously may not completely remove the stain. The same can be said about grease buildup accumulated on boats, trailers, bikes and other vehicles. At times, grease buildup can decrease performance.
Simply target the nozzle on the stains, allowing it to loosen up. The steam will help remove the sticky filth, allowing you to conveniently scrape it off. Once the stains are loose, use a clean cloth to wipe off the residue.
Remove Stickers, Labels And Wallpapers
Removing stickers, wallpapers and labels can be a tedious task as they don’t come off too easily. Not to mention, removing the sticky glue residue is a difficult task. Fortunately, thanks to a garment steamer, you can easily remove stickers and labels without creating a mess.
The steam coming out of the nozzle instantly dissolves the adhesive, making it easier for you to scrap it off. This allows you to take off wallpapers and surfaces without leaving behind sticking residue.
Do you think your bedding and living room cushions could use some livening up? You can use a garment steamer to make them look as good as new. A garment steamer can also be used for tile rejuvenation as well. After all, who enjoys removing grout between the tiles?
The process can take up to several minutes, not to mention it is difficult to clean the tough spots. Targeting the nozzle between the tiles can help loosen dirt and debris molecules stuck in between. Once the tiles have undergone steam treatment, you can use a clean piece of cloth to wipe the surface, resulting in a shinier tile appearance.
Hopefully, this guide has provided you enough information about clothes steamers. Like any other electronic device, it might take you a few runs to finally get the hang of the machine but don’t lose hope. Additionally, take special care when dealing with delicate fabrics. If you learn how to use it properly, this machine will become a lifesaver for you and your family.
If you are having trouble finding the best steam cleaner for you, we ar here to help! We have a buying guide just for that purpose. Good luck!