Clothes Steamer Buying Guide
By Displaysense's Carrie Gilbertson
Clothes steamers, popular with fashion stores and the fashion conscious, are a great way to refresh and touch up clothes quickly and easily. They work by relaxing the fibres of the fabric which eliminates wrinkles and as a bonus, removes odours. Whilst garment steamers do a similar job to an iron, they give clothing a much softer appearance and can be used on nearly all types of fabric, saving you money previously spent at dry cleaners on those hard to wash items. The only exceptions being suede, waxed fabrics or anything constructed from plastic.
When you are in a rush, they are fast to get fired up so you can quickly whizz it over your clothing before heading out the door. Those difficult to iron clothes or delicate items are a breeze as the steam penetrates even the most hard to reach parts of the garment. When clothes are removed from their packaging they are often creased and need to be pressed to make them store and photoshoot ready, making them incredibly popular with the fashion industry. Steam of over 212 degrees Fahrenheit will kill bacteria and as such sanitize anything it comes in contact with. Clothes steamers can be used all over the house, meaning that the hard to wash upholstery can easily be sanitized, disinfected and refreshed.
If you are looking to purchase one, we have compiled a guide with all the information you need to go full steam ahead and pick the right one for you.
Upright Clothes Steamers
These bigger units, sometimes known as vertical or stand up garment steamers, are more powerful than their handheld counterparts and most come with the ability to adjust the height for a more comfortable experience. It also means that many can be reduced in size for easy and compact storage. With the bigger size comes bigger water tanks, making them much better for larger laundry loads or retail shops who may have a large collection of clothing. The larger tanks mean you don’t have to refill as often, saving you time and energy going back and forth to the tap.
These professional clothes steamers also usually come with a built-in hanging capability but the design of this will vary greatly between brands. Some come with hangers and trouser clips which mean you simply pop your clothing on as if you were hanging it in a wardrobe but some come with a back board which acts in a similar way to an ironing board. The back boards do normally stop you from compacting the product down for storage so you will need to bear that in mind if storage space is limited.
Handheld Clothes Steamers
Handheld steamers are small, light and portable, making them ideal as travel steamers. Usually weighing between 1 and 2 kg, they are easy to transport to events, weekends away or for quick touch ups after a long journey. If storage space is really tight, these are compact enough to be popped in a drawer or small cupboard without taking up too much room. They work in a very similar way to upright steamers but they are less powerful and have far smaller water tanks, which is why they are often used for touch ups and small jobs.
How do I use a clothes steamer?
Clothes steamers are incredibly easy to use so do not fret, follow these simple steps to get wrinkle free clothes in no time at all. First off, fill the tank with water and place back into its holder. Add any attachments you wish to use and if it has adjustable settings, set it according to the material and turn on. Once it has reached full steam, point the nozzle at the clothes. Do not place the head onto the material, hold away from it so the steam floats over the fibres. It is best to work from the bottom upwards and make sure to keep the head upright. Keep hands away from the steam and NEVER steam clothes when you are wearing them. Always remove the clothing and hang up for steaming.
How do steamers work?
Garment steamers work by creating steam which relaxes the fibres in the clothing and means creases and wrinkles simply drop out. If you have ever hung your clothes in a steamy bathroom to smooth out the wrinkles, this is the same concept but far more effective.
Why buy a garment steamer?
They are an effective way of removing wrinkles from items and can be used on a wider variety of materials as they do not press against the material. They can be small and compact so they take up less storage space than the traditional iron and ironing board. They also have the added benefit of being able to sanitize as they reach very high temperatures which kills germs and removes musty smells. It means you can refresh worn clothing which will cut down on washing loads or dry cleaning costs. Cleaning your sofa covers or curtains can be a difficult process but not with a clothes steamer as you can leave the covers on and the curtains hung whilst simply running i over them to quickly and easily refresh and disinfect them.
How do I clean my fabric steamer?
Always read your instructions guide and follow their advice. The cleaning process will vary between brands and makes. For ourwe recommend monthly descaling with our .