Tips on How to Use a Clothes Steamer Effectively

by Katherine Brennan

Using a clothes steamer is an excellent way to keep your clothing items looking excellent--without a hefty dry cleaning bill. Steam cleaning is faster than ironing and keeps the fabric in better condition. Using a clothes steamer efficiently and effectively is simple with a few tips and tricks.

Delicate Fabrics

When steaming delicate fabrics, such as silk or cashmere, do not let the steamer head touch the fabric. Instead, hold it about an inch away to steam while avoiding potential spotting. Also, when steaming velvet or boucle sweaters, steam from the reverse side of the garment.

Basic Garments

Never steam on a flat surface. Instead, hang the item so that gravity helps pull out wrinkles further. For example, steaming trousers is most effective when they are hung by the cuffs. When steaming, keep the head of the steamer upright so that the moisture runs down the hose and back into the machine. Do not press the steamer on the fabric as if you were ironing; this could saturate and damage the item. Instead, run the steamer lightly down the fabric.

Heavy Fabrics

Heavy or hard-to-iron fabrics such as jackets, furniture slipcovers, tablecloths or curtains are also made easier with a clothes steamer. To steam heavier items effectively, try steaming on both sides of the garment. Remember to keep an eye on the water level in the steamer and make sure that you have enough to steam your items. Steaming your fabrics is simple and may even become your alternative to ironing.

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About the Author

Katie Brennan is an award-winning freelance writer in Denver. She realized her passion for prose at age 12, when she published a non-fiction essay in a national book. Brennan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and English from the University of Iowa.