Once you start using a steamer you ask yourself how you ever functioned without one but if you haven’t used one before and you’ve been considering it can feel intimidating after all it shoots hot steam how are you supposed to know how to use it so in this article i’m going to teach you everything you need to know about steaming by the end of it you’re going to be able to steam your clothes and other things around your house like a pro and i’ll also tell you the difference between steaming and ironing so you never make that mistake again.
Choosing a Steamer: When you’re choosing a steamer to use at home you can obviously get those really large ones that you see at the mall I personally don’t want to store one of those in my house so I have opted for a small handheld model that I am truly a fan of now a few things that I recommend you look for in a handheld steamer you want one that is easy to fill so this bottom pops out and in very easily you want one that has a continuous steam button so that you don’t have to constantly press and move your hand at the same time that can sort of get tiring and the other thing I really like to see is a good sole plate okay and the sole plate is essentially what you have on an iron so it means if steaming isn’t quite doing the trick you can kind of hold the steamer right up to the garment and you get a little bit of ironing action two other things to look for you want one that has good high pressure typically when you spend a little bit more money you’re going to get a better quality machine so always keep in mind that you get what you pay for and you want to find one that comes with attachments like a lint brush this also allows you to use your handheld steamer on fabric and if you plan to use your steamer to treat delicate items that you have at home the setup for steaming is simple you need a sturdy surface where you can hang your garment so that you can gently tug it and move it around you can get your drying rack you can put it up as high as it’ll go and you can use that for steaming some people even have drawing racks that flip out of their wall and tuck back in those are terrific for steaming and you can also pick up a hook from the dollar store or a hardware store just one of those removable hooks that hang over the top of your door it’s inexpensive and it works really well.
Distilled Water? Now in some steamer circles there’s a hot debate as to whether or not you should use distilled water i’ll clear it up for you if the instructions for your machine say to use distilled water use distilled water or if you live in an area with hard water you can use distilled water in your steamer as well if you have regular water you can just use tap water now the reason you want to use distilled water is because if you have hard water after you’ve used the benefit of the water what gets left behind are mineral deposits they kind of look like white flakes they’re pretty gross and they can clog up your machine over time so you could use tap water if you lived in an area with hard water or you could issue those instructions all together but you’re going to get build up and your machine’s not going to work as well so distilled water if it says so or if you live in an area with hard water otherwise tap water should do.
How it works: Steamers generally work the same way but it’s worth spending a minute or two skimming the instructions to make sure you understand how your particular unit works in general you’re going to fill up the reservoir with water plug it in you’ll attach any attachments before the steam starts generating if you need them otherwise the machine should be fine just as is and once you get the green light if your machine turns a green light on it means it’s ready to go what I like to do before I steam is to activate it and just let it go for a minute the reason this is important is because the last time you steamed a little bit of water got left behind in the system and it might sputter at the beginning so in order for you to get a nice consistent stream just let it run for a minute and then you can get down to work. Okay so if your shirt got some wrinkles in it and what you want to start with is one section you don’t want to do like an overall steam you kind of want to think of your shirt or your garment in sections and you want to work section by section and just like in cleaning we’re going to work from the top to the bottom. So i’m going to get my steamer going it’s ready and i’m going to hold the garment taut down at the bottom and i’m just going to gently work my way up and down section by section if there’s a particularly tough wrinkle you can actually hold it over this section for several seconds even up to 30 sec, the idea is the steamer is going to shoot steam into the fibers it’s going to help relax them and release wrinkles and odors and what I like to do for the sleeve is I kind of like to stick my hand in there obviously I will move it when I get down to the cuff but it kind of helps spread things out a little bit and i’ll work slowly section by section top to bottom holding it over any specific areas if it’s rather difficult now as I mentioned earlier if your steamer has a sole plate on it then you can kind of hold your soleplate which acts like an iron right up to the garment itself you can kind of cheat a little bit.
Steaming vs Ironing: A steamer can be great to work out wrinkles in items that are difficult to iron or items that you don’t require a crease in I also find they don’t work well on stubborn fabrics like linen that shirt or even thick cotton shirts like this one steamers never work for me so if you find that you’ve used a steamer on a garment and is just not getting them wrinkle free you’re gonna have to go up to the iron what an iron can do is not only use steam and moisture to loosen wrinkles but it can also use pressure and when you’re pressing a heavy iron against an ironing board the pressure combined with the heat and the steam really eliminates wrinkles I mean if you’ve ever used an iron it’s an annoying job but it is quite satisfying at the end because you get perfectly flat stuff now this would be great for a thick garment also if you’re one of those people that likes to iron your linens your napkins sheets like that stuff has to be pressed by the way ironing and pressing they’re kind of used interchangeably essentially what you’re saying is you want it pressed completely flat and wrinkle free also if you need a perfectly done collar cuff or crease you’re going to need to pull out your iron.
Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you next time.
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