Garment Steamers: Your Ultimate Guide




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A garment steamer is a great option for anyone who wants to remove wrinkles and odors from their clothing. But that’s not all! They can also be used to clean upholstery, drapes, and other textiles.

There are many reasons to invest in a garment steamer. They are convenient, energy efficient, and will save you some money on electricity.

You will find that most garment steamers are very easy to use. Some are small and compact, and fit right on your countertop.

There are also full-size appliances better suited for heavy-duty steam ironing for jeans, curtains, and other things.

What is a garment steamer?

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A garment steamer is a device that is used to remove wrinkles from clothing. A steamer is typically handheld and has a nozzle for directing steam over clothing. One of the main benefits of a garment steamer is that they are not as dangerous as ironing.

In addition, they work faster than a traditional iron, and they are energy efficient. If you don’t mind spending a little more than you would on a traditional iron, then a new garment steamer may be just what you need.

Also, most models offer touch buttons to adjust temperature and time.

A garment steamer can be a great way to keep your clothes looking crisp and feeling fresh. They are the alternative to ironing, especially for spots that are difficult to reach.

What are the different types of garment steamers?

There are many different types and garment steamer models. The type you choose will depend on your needs. In the market, you will mostly find the Full as well as Handheld Size.

But first, let’s see the features you should consider when comparing models.

Want to buy a Garment Steamer? Consider these features when comparing models.

  • Size and weight of the steamer, as you may need to lug it around with you.
  • How much continuous steam it can provide.
  • Wattage is another important consideration. A higher wattage will allow the steamer to create more steam, which means it can handle heavy-duty tasks with less effort.
  • Accessories and/or attachments. The hose should be long and flexible so that it can be used in different positions with no fuss. It should also come with different nozzle and brush attachments so that it can be used on various fabrics or clothing.

Full Size Garment Steamer

A full-size garment steamer is a large, roomy model that fits comfortably in most homes and takes up less space than an ironing board.

PROS of a Full-Size Garment Steamer

  • Wide steam head that can cover a large area at once.
  • High-powered steam output to remove creases in fabric.
  • Useful for garments that cannot be placed on an ironing board such as curtains, women’s bras and printed shirts.
  • Can sanitize upholstery, drapes, and even carpets.

CONS of a Full-Size Garment Steamer

  • More difficult to use – it requires some practice to learn.
  • Not as portable and requires more storage space
  • More expensive

The Best Full-Size Garment Steamers

Below is my handpicked selection from the research I did for this article:

hidden gem
Hamilton Beach Full-Size Garment Steamer
  • Water tank 85 ounces
  • 1500 Watts of power
  • 90 minutes of continuous steam
  • Uses tap water
Anthter Professional Steamer for Clothes
Anthter Professional Steamer for Clothes
  • Water tank 85 ounces
  • 1500 Watts of power
  • 90 minutes of continuous steam
  • Auto shut-off
most durable
J-2M Jiffy Garment Steamer
  • Water tank 85 ounces
  • 1300 Watts of power
  • 90 minutes of continuous steam
  • Durable and quality components

Notice that in this list, I have included three models that have a lot in common. They have a similar level of features and a similar price. This is because, in my experience, these are the best appliances in terms of quality and price.

Handheld Garment Steamer

The best part about having a handheld garment steamer is that it’s simple to use. Gone are the days of lugging around an ironing board and sitting in a cloud of steam, hoping that you’re going to get everything wrinkle-free.

PROS of a Handheld Garment Steamer

  • Travel size
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight

CONS of a Handheld Garment Steamer

  • Smaller water tank
  • Takes longer to steam iron
  • Shorter life expectancy than a full-size steamer

The Best Handheld Garment Steamers

In the table below, you will find my handpicked selection from the research I have done for this article:

Rowenta DR8120 X-Cel Powerful Handheld Garment Steamer
  • Water tank 6.76 ounces
  • 1600 Watts of power
  • 10 minutes of continuous steam
  • Uses tap water
BLACK+DECKER Advanced Handheld Garment Steamer
  • Water tank 7.4 ounces
  • 1400 Watts of power
  • Extra length cord
  • Auto shut-off
Conair Handheld Garment Steamer Turbo Extreme Steam
  • Water tank 7.3 ounces
  • 1550 Watts of power
  • 15 minutes of continuous steam
  • Turbo button

How does a garment steamer work?

A garment steamer is a device that uses steam to remove wrinkles from clothes. It heats water to produce steam. As you pass the device over the fabric, the steam removes wrinkles from clothing.

Here are the steps for using either a full size or handheld garment steamer.

Step 1.

Fill the water tank to the max line. It is important to use distilled or purified water. Tap water usually contains minerals that can build up in a steamer and leave a residue on your clothes.

Some models allow the use of tap water, which, for me, was a very important factor when choosing my Garment Steamer.


Step 2.

Turn the steamer on and let it warm up for about two to three minutes. Sometimes you may notice that the device stutters or splutters, which are caused by water deposits.

So, before using the appliance, wipe down the steam head of the garment steamer with a damp cloth or paper towel and wait for a nice and even dispersion of steam to come out of the nozzles.

Step 3.

It’s time to steam your clothes. Use your offhand to grab part of the clothing and hold it downward, stretching it slightly. Then start at the top of the garment and work your way down.

Use a slow, up-and-down motion for 10-15 seconds. Remember that you are not flattening the clothes like you would with an iron. Just let the steam deeply penetrate the fiber to release the wrinkles.

Step 4.

Let the garment dry for two or three minutes since you are using water and steam, and the clothing may be a little damp.

Can a garment steamer be used on delicate clothes?

Yes, you can use garment steamers on delicate clothes, such as silk and silk-like synthetics. An iron should not be used on those fabrics because it may cause damage, while steaming is a gentler way to complete the task.

When done, these fabrics should feel soft and should no longer contain any wrinkles.

Similarly, when using a steamer on wool, cashmere, and wool-like synthetics, these fabrics should be in a slightly damp state to ensure the best results.

What type of garments should not be steamed?

With steam cleaning, there are certain fabrics that you should always take extra caution with.

These include materials such as leather, suede, and velvet, which should not be subjected to an excessive amount of moisture.

Of course, you can’t really generalize something like this, but, in my experience, the best way to steam these materials is from the interior, which might help to remove creases and mild odors, and freshen the fabric.

My Conclusion about Garment Steamers

There are many garment steamers on the market today, of many different types and sizes. They all work similarly, but it is important to consider how one might benefit you and compare models before making a purchase.

I bought a full-size model, and I use it every day to remove wrinkles, but I also love to sanitize my mattress and upholstery, usually 3-4 times a month. It only takes a few minutes!

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One response to “Garment Steamers: Your Ultimate Guide”

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