Clothes steamer FAQ
What type of clothes steamers are there?
The two main types of clothes steamers are handheld and upright. Which one you choose depends on your lifestyle. Handheld steamers are more convenient but with smaller water tanks, while upright steamers are better for larger loads and are generally more effective.
“If you’re someone who likes to get all of your ironing or steaming done in one go then an upright steamer with a larger water tank is definitely the best option,” says fashion stylist Emma Lightbown. “If you prefer to steam individual pieces before you wear them or are looking for something easy to travel with then I would recommend a handheld.”
What should you look for in a clothes steamer?
Lightbown recommends finding a steamer with a water tank large enough for your average load to avoid refilling too often. She also says, “Look for steamers that are instant steam rather than those that leave you waiting around while they heat up the whole tank.”
How do clothes steamers work?
“Steamers work by heating up the water in the tank and channeling it to the head where the steam in released in a constant flow to get read of creases,” says Lightbown. She adds that while steamers are great for clothes, they’re also useful for other fabrics like curtains and bedding. Steamers can also be used to freshen up clothes which is especially useful for clothes than can only be dry cleaned.
How do you use a steamer for clothes?
“Using a steamer is really simple, fill the tank with water, wait for the steam to start flowing, hang your garment and then move the steamer across the fabric to get rid of the creases. You don’t need to press the steamer against the fabric. For delicate fabrics it’s best to hold it a few inches away. Steam them inside out to avoid damaging any of the details,” says Lightbown.
Retail expert Carmen Lopez adds, “It is best to steam your items from top to bottom, holding the steamer a few inches away from the fabric in each area of your garment until you see the wrinkles disappear. Gently shake the fabric out from time to time to help relax the fibres.”
Lightbown recommends using an iron for denser fabrics like denim and heavyweight cottons, but steams everything else. She especially likes steaming delicate fabrics which can be damaged by an iron, like silk, chiffon, satin and faux leather.