A Guide to Steaming Clothes - How to Use a Garment Steamer

By: Annabel Love

Many people do not enjoy ironing their clothes. Ironing takes up a lot of time and it can be difficult to get the wrinkles out even if you are very careful with your fabric. A garment steamer uses steam to get the wrinkles out. It does not require any extra tools as an iron can, so it is easy for anyone to use. You can use a clothes steamer to quickly and easily remove wrinkles from your clothing without the need for an iron. In the following Guide to Steaming Clothes, you will learn how to use a garment steamer to get wrinkles out of your clothes we will show you how to decide which type of steamer is best suited to your needs.

There are two main types of garment steamers, handheld and full-sized. The first thing that you want to do is determine whether or not you need a handheld or full-sized garment steamer before making any purchases. If you live in an apartment, studio, dorm room, RV, small space with no storage space available then a handheld steamer would be perfect for removing wrinkles from clothing on the go! On the other hand, if your home has ample amounts of storage and/or countertop space then a full-sized steamer may be something to consider.

How To Choose The Best Garment Steamer For Your Needs?

When choosing a garment steamer, there are several factors that should be considered before making a purchase decision. First, look into whether or not the device has a built-in thermostat. Most modern garment steamers include this option, which allows users to select either hot or cold temperatures. While this isn’t necessary, having the ability to change the temperature helps ensure that the garments remain safe while undergoing treatment. Next, check the warranty period. Many manufacturers offer warranties ranging from 30 days to three years, depending upon the type of product purchased. Look closely at the terms of the warranty because sometimes companies will only cover repairs within the first year after purchasing the item. Finally, make sure that the unit includes a cleaning brush. Since garment steamers often contain reservoirs filled with water, it’s essential to regularly wash the appliance thoroughly to prevent bacteria growth. Having a cleaning tool on hand ensures that you won’t have to worry about wasting valuable storage space by keeping the machine covered in lint.

If you're someone who likes to keep things simple when it comes to getting dressed, then a handheld garment steamer might be right for you. These machines tend to be smaller than full-size models, and they don't usually come equipped with many features such as adjustable settings or temperature controls. However, this doesn't mean that these devices aren't effective at what they were designed to do -- namely, wrinkle removal. In fact, most handhelds work quite effectively at doing exactly that. They typically feature a one-button control panel where you adjust the amount of steam being emitted through the nozzle, along with some sort of indicator light to let you know how much longer until the machine shuts off automatically. Some models will allow you to set the timer manually too, allowing you to choose between different levels of steam output. This makes it easier to find the setting that works best for each individual piece of clothing. Handheld garment steamers are ideal for quick fixes during busy times, since they take less effort to operate than larger models. If you want something portable enough to fit in your overnight case or backpack, yet powerful enough to tackle large pieces of clothing, consider investing in a handheld model.

The Nori Press Steamer / Iron

The Nori Press Steamer / Iron is a great option for those who wish to get rid of wrinkles, while still maintaining the integrity and look of their favorite outfits. It has an ironing board built into its handle which allows you to press like traditional irons do without having to lift your onto a solid surface or move them around in order to properly steam/iron them. Not only that but it also allows you to steam fabric vertically which helps with wrinkled collars and cuffs and any hard to reach spots

This Nori garment steamer is the perfect solution for those who are always on-the-go, because of its small size and lightweight design! It's easy to use as well; simply fill up the water tank (which takes only about two minutes to heat up), turn it on, and start steaming. Since the Nori Press Steamer / Iron is small enough to travel, you'll be able to stream anywhere!

Features: -  Small enough to travel - Heats in just two minutes - Vertical steaming capabilities for hard-to-reach areas like collars and cuffs - Lightweight design

Another great thing about the Nori Press Steamer / Iron is that it's easy to clean. Because of its unique construction, you'll be able to easily remove all water residue from inside of its reservoir tank by simply flipping down a small door just under the handle. Then, using your fingers or a paper towel, you can wipe away any dust or debris that may have accumulated inside the tank.

The Nori Press Steamer / Iron is truly an all-in-one garment steaming solution for those who are looking to remove wrinkles from their clothing without damaging them! No need to carry around multiple tools in order to get your clothes ready for an important meeting or night out, the Nori Press Steamer / Iron is everything you need!

Traditional Handheld Garment Steamers

If you are looking for a steamer that is more traditional, then the handheld garment steamers may be what you're looking for. This type of clothing steamer has many advantages over its full-sized counterpart, but it also comes with some downsides as well.

Traditional Garment Steamers typically have smaller water reservoirs than full-sized units, which means having to refill them more often. They are also typically less powerful, so they may take a longer time to remove wrinkles from your clothing. It is important that you keep these things in mind when deciding between using this type of steamer or full-sized garment steamers for removing wrinkles from your clothes

There are multiple types of handheld garment steamers, each with its own unique features that make them stand out from one another.

The next thing that you need to consider is whether or not your home is equipped with a 110 V power supply as most handheld garments steamers operate on this voltage.

Full-Sized Garment Steamers

If you are looking into purchasing a full-sized garment steamer, you will be looking at a variety of factors such as the size of its water tank.  The larger the water tank is the longer you can steam. 

The wattage of a steamer is one of the most important things that you will need to consider when choosing between full-sized steamers. The higher the wattage, the faster it will heat up and provide steam for your clothes.

Before buying any model, always check customer reviews. This way, you can get an idea of what other customers think about the product and if it’s worth your consideration.

Another thing to keep in mind when making a purchase is how long you will need to wait for the steamer to be ready, especially if you only have one or two items that you want steam pressed. Some full-sized garment steamers can take up to 20 minutes before it is ready.

If you are limited on working space, then consider buying a steamer that has a built-in hanger so you can hang your clothes to be steamed.

If you travel frequently, then a smaller handheld steamer like the Nori Press may be the best option for you. Not only does it reach the desired heat level quickly but it comes with its unique Fabric Facial.  The Fabric Facial freshens your clothes which is an important added feature when you're on the go.  

Before making any purchases, always check its voltage as well as how much steam it produces and if the water tank is removable or not. Handheld garment steamers will require less space than full-sized ones so they are perfect for those who live in smaller spaces.

Some handheld garment steamers take up to 20 minutes before they are ready while full-sized models can be ready in less than a minute depending on the wattage and how much steam it produces. 

Finally, if you are looking for a model that has multiple features such as built-in hangers or clothes racks make sure to look into the product description before making your purchase. This will help save money in addition to time when picking out your steamer. With these tips and tricks, you should be able to pick out an affordable, reliable, high-quality steamer for your needs.

Which Fabrics Can be Steamed and Which Ones Cannot?

You may think that only cotton should be steamed, but the truth is that all fabrics can be steamed. You just need to remember to follow these guidelines:

- Always read labels and instructions before you attempt any kind of fabric care. - If it warns against steaming, don't do it! - If it instructs you not to iron or dry clean, then don't steam either. Steaming won’t fix whatever issue the label has with the fabric; in fact, if done incorrectly your clothes could develop an even worse problem than when they started. Be sure to take note of words like "wrinkle-free" or “no wrinkle” on clothing labels because this most likely means that the garment can’t be ironed or steamed.

- Don't steam silk, suede, leather, or fur. These materials can very easily become damaged through the heat of a steamer and it will affect the look of your clothes in both cases! - It’s important to remember that natural fibers like wool dry clean more effectively than steam.

- Use a steamer on textile bags, hats, and purses! They will come out looking much better than if you used an iron or other methods for getting wrinkles out of fabrics.

Here's a Quick Check-list of Fabrics That Can Be Steamed

- Coated or laminated fabrics, including polyester blends, can generally be steamed. Check your label!

- Cotton and linen may not produce the same degree of wrinkle reduction as synthetic fibers, but they still benefit from a steam treatment.

- Tissue paper should not be placed under the clothing to be steamed. - Insulated fabrics such as fleece and wool do not take well to steam.

- Silk and synthetic fabrics should be steamed on the wrong side to prevent damage.

A Quick How-to Steam Guide:

How to use a Clothes Steamer:

  • Hang the item on a clothes hanger
  • Fill your steamer with distilled water or tap water. if your steamer allows, but make sure you don’t fill it to the top. You want enough space for steam and heat to circulate properly inside the device
  • Turn on your steamer and wait until it has heated up completely (the heating time will vary based on your steamer model)
  • Place the tip of the device a few inches away from your garment and move it slowly to prevent water droplets from wetting your clothes. Be sure that you are not too close or too far away, but at an appropriate distance for whatever type of fabric is being treated.  Your steamer instructions will most likely guide you.
  • The heat produced by steam can be very intense, so be sure to hold the steamer firmly and keep it steady while you are moving
  • Make sure that your clothes get sufficient time in contact with steam by brushing them lightly for several seconds. But make absolutely certain not to brush back and forth since this will only worsen any wrinkles
  • If necessary, turn around the garment you are steaming and repeat the process on any other areas that need treatment
  • If you wish, hang your garment immediately to reduce wrinkles
  • Once finished using your clothes steamer, unplug it from its outlet and allow it to cool down before cleaning and storing. Unplugging a hot device will protect against electrical accidents if contact is made with the device while it is still plugged in and hot
  • Clean out the water tank and pump so that they will not clog up over time. Unplug your steamer before you start cleaning
  • Once cooled, wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth using mild soap (or use an anti-scale solution if there are hard water deposits)
  • For stubborn stains, use vinegar or lemon juice diluted in water to loosen up deposits
  • Allow the device to completely dry before plugging it back in.

FAQs About Steaming Your Clothes

- Will steam leave any watermarks on clothes from the machine itself?

The garment steamer uses steam to get wrinkles out of clothes. It will typically not leave any watermarks on your clothes because it doesn't come in contact with them.

- Does steam help to get rid of any odors?

Steam is great for removing bad smells from your clothes. You can use a garment steamer to get rid of any trapped odors that are in the fibers of these fabrics, and it doesn't have to be used with an ironing board or on some other type of metal device because you will not come into contact with the steam itself.

The new Nori Press uses the Nori Fabric Facial to freshen your clothes while you iron and steam your garments. There's more info on what liquids you can use in a steam iron here.

- Does it work well on all types of clothing materials?

The garment steamer works best with cotton and linen, but you can also use it on other types too like silk or wool. Just always be certain to check your labels.

- How should I set up the steamer to get the best results?

You will typically want to use distilled water so that there are no mineral buildups or any other contaminants in your clothes machine. You should check your steamer manual to see if you can use tap water.  Also, try using a brush attachment so you can steam more difficult places like between buttons and zippers on clothing items. However, for the Nori Press, it's recommended that. you use the Facial Fabric which will not only steam but simultaneously freshen your garments!

- Is there a specific temperature that clothes should be at before you are able to place them into the steamer?

You should set the clothes steamer to medium heat. This is typically between 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit, which will be hot enough to remove wrinkles but not burn your fabrics. The Nori has a fabric temperature guide right on it.  

- How long does it take for steam clothes?

The time will vary.  It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on how many items you are trying to get out of the garment steamer.

- Is it effective to use a steamer for quick touch-ups, or should I still iron my clothes?

You can use a steamer for touch-ups. It's recommended to use the Nori Press whenever your short of time as it only takes a few seconds to reach the desired temperature. 

- What is the best way to clean a garment steamer?

You should always unplug your garment steamer after use. You may want to clean the machine every time you are finished with it so that mineral deposits do not build upon any of its surfaces.

- What happens if I don't clean my clothes steamer?

If you do not properly maintain your clothing steamer or iron, then this can cause it to become clogged or not work properly.

- What is the best way to clean my clothes steamer?

Some people will recommend using vinegar or citrus fruits to get rid of any tough stains on your garment steamer, but you should always refer back to your machine's manual for its cleaning instructions.

- Does it cost more than an ironing board and iron combined?

Steamers can cost more than an iron, but it's typically not too much depending on the type of machine that you choose.

- Does a clothes steamer work better than an iron?

A steamer is great for getting rid of wrinkles and odors while also saving time in your day because it doesn't require that you set up an ironing board. The Nori Press being both a handheld steamer and an iron in one makes it very convenient and a quick solution.   You can consider using a full-size steamer if you have several items to steam.

- How do I know which steamer is the right choice?

Choosing a good quality garment steamer will depend on what you plan to use it for and how often you intend to use it. If you have a large family and are always in need of steaming then you might consider a large unit with a large capacity water tank.  However, if you're in the market for something that heats quickly and is more compact then a Nori is for you.  

- How does a handheld clothes steamer work?

A handheld garment steamer uses steam to remove wrinkles from clothes items by directing steam into the fabric. The steam heat penetrates deep into the fabric and that is what removes the wrinkles. 

Shop The Article

The Nori Press

The Nori Press

$120.00

Our premier wrinkle-removal product designed to press, steam and refresh your clothes with ease. The best part? No board, leakage or headaches included.… read more

Fabric Facial

Fabric Facial

$15.00

Meet the Nori Press’ Partner in crime. This 8 oz. steam solution can be used as a spray or fill agent to improve your iron’s performance. … read more

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