How often have you spent half your morning getting ready for work, trying to smooth out unyielding creases on a shirt or blouse?? And Sunday ironing of clean laundry, which takes up a third of your day off? When your iron’s capabilities are no longer enough, a steam iron can help, smoothing out creases with a jet of steam.
We will help you choose a quality steamer that makes ironing fun and prolongs the life of your favorite items!
How To Steam Your Clothes (The Right Way)
These tips and tricks will make steaming garments a breeze.
A little history
The first steamer, the prototype of today’s appliance, was patented in 1940 by the American company Jiffy Steamer, and was created to reshape the popular fedoras of the time. Subsequently, the device became more clothing-oriented, there were many models, differing in characteristics, size and price. For the domestic consumer, steamers became available only in the early 2000s, were received with great enthusiasm and to this day enjoy great popularity. But originally – the case of the hat!
Why do you need a steamer: areas of application
Main purpose – quickly, comfortably and, most importantly, gently smoothing out creases, creases in textiles, fur or even leather. It’s easy and simple to tidy up your clothes and give them a neat and fresh appearance. The treated fabric is softened and made more elastic.
Powerful models able to become a very real alternative to the classic iron, and sometimes really help out in situations where he can not help. For example, smoothing clothes made of thin and delicate materials (which should not come into contact with heated soles), outerwear, blouses, shirts, dresses with complex decorative elements is better to entrust it to the steamer.
Applied in the home, the devices are not only effective in combating creases in clothing, but also quite extremely sought after device –. Useful functions such as steaming curtains, disinfecting upholstered furniture, children’s toys, removing unpleasant odors, refreshing, humidifying.
Incredible demand for the device and Professional applications. Hotels, boutiques, bridal salons, dry cleaners are used to maintain large quantities of garments without risk of drying or damaging them. The steam temperature is normally below 100°C°С.
What Steamers for Clothes
Varieties of steamers for clothes can be divided into several, and the choice of one or another of them depends on the tasks assigned to the device, the functionality and relevance of the characteristics of the purposes for which it is purchased.
A simple, convenient and compact type of steamer, the principle of operation is not much different from that of an electric kettle. Moreover, in this capacity, most manual devices can be successfully used. The most relevant version of this option in the role of travel accessories, but is suitable for homes to perform not the most complicated tasks on the smoothing of products made of light fabrics (shirts, blouses, shirts, etc.).), neutralizing bacteria and «absorbed» odors.
Advantages of hand-held steamersLow weight, compactness (can be easily placed even in a small bag).
DisadvantagesLow power, limited run time due to small water tank volume, poor performance on natural fabrics (linen, cotton) and some heavy fabrics (drape, tweed, cashmere).
This is considered the classic model. It consists of a floor-mounted body with a water tank and heating system, a hose with a steam iron at the end and, in most cases, a vertical stand with hangers for hanging clothes.
Structurally they can be:
- Self-flowing. Again – kettle principle. In the boiler, the water is heated, and the resulting steam flows through a hose to the outside through holes in the iron. Originally, all steamers were gravity-fed until their hegemony was broken by more advanced models, about which below;
- With steam pressure. In this case the steam generated is retained in the boiler by a special valve, until the optimum pressure is reached. In this way a more powerful output stream is ensured, which penetrates more intensively and deeper into the fabric fibers. Accordingly, smoothing becomes as efficient as possible.
The advantages of a floor-standing steamer: power is significantly higher than manual models, continuous operation, advanced functionality.
К disadvantages include: a decent size and weight, higher price, not the best maneuverability.
These devices are a kind of combines, capable of performing the functions of two or more separate appliances with a single steam generator. They are more economical and take up less space.
The most common choice:
- Steamer Steam Cleaner. These models are equipped with additional nozzles for cleaning vertical and horizontal hard surfaces, upholstered furniture, sanitary ware. Another option – Steam cleaner with steamer function. The main difference – Increased power, steam pressure and temperature;
- 3 в 1 – Steam cleaner, steam cleaner, iron. For these devices additionally available ironing function with a powerful and almost professional steam iron;
- Steamer with ironing board. Thanks to the folding design, the device can perform the usual functions of vertical treatment of clothes or turn into a horizontal mini ironing system, where the steam iron in a triangular shape replaces the traditional iron.
The main criteria for choosing the steamer
This parameter mainly determines the speed of heating. In most cases, the amount of steam, although not always. It is better to choose handheld models with capacity of not less than 1000, floor-standing models with capacity of not less than 1000 – from 1500 watts. Otherwise, there is a very high probability of joining the ranks of disappointed users, who consider the steamer a useless apparatus.
Water tank capacity
The bigger the pressure, the longer the appliance will run continuously. And therefore more things can be steamed, and more thoroughly.
Measured in grams per minute. How much steam is supplied to the fabric per unit of time directly affects the efficiency of its processing. You want a appliance that handles the most complex needs – Choose a vaporizer with high intensity.
Unit of measure – bar. The most common pressurized steamers are universal steam cleaners. Not a bad value is considered a value of 3.5 bar, 5 or higher – just fine.
Number of modes
Advanced models have separate steam levels for different fabrics. This format is best for professional use in stores, ateliers, hotels. For household models one standard mode is quite enough. Steam temperature up to 100°C will not cause problems even for the most delicate materials.
The more it is, the more convenient to use the device. But when choosing a steamer with a long hose, be sure to clarify – Whether the iron has a heater? If not, it’s a disadvantage.
Steam iron material
Metal soleplate is stronger, more durable and reliable than plastic soleplate. If the device in question has the function of horizontal steaming, it is not unreasonable to pay attention to the presence of a special coating that improves slip.
Inexpensive steamers usually do not have any protection against limescale buildup, and in order to avoid breakage, they require distilled water, which must be purchased periodically. That’s why, over time, the familiar perception «cheap-expensive» is becoming increasingly blurred.
The best mid- and high-priced dehumidifiers are usually equipped with filtering and softening systems and are more economical in this regard.
Modern steamers are quite functional, which is why the choice is so difficult. However, the extra accessories included in the package can be a very useful bonus and help expand the capabilities of the steamer.
- Scrubbing brush. Purpose of the nozzle – Cleans outerwear of lint and dust with simultaneous steam treatment;
- Pants clips. Helps to form arrows. True, one should not expect the same result as with a classic iron;
- Bar for working with difficult elements of the cut. This kind of board, facilitating smoothing collars, pockets, cuffs, etc.п.;
- Protective mitt. Allows to effectively cope even with complicated tasks without fear of burns on hands.
Best manufacturers of steamers
At the domestic market of steamers a well-known company has established itself Philips. Its range is represented by very decent models of all formats – and manual, and floor, and multifunctional. It’s just a pity that they are often overpriced.
Russian brand Kitfort (made in China) presents to consumers quite technological, modern, and at the same time affordable steamers. That’s when you can talk about good value for money and functionality. With the quality seems not bad, but there are criticisms.
In the budget segment it is possible to find decent copies of the classic «Chinese» (One would like to hope that no one believes in their «noble» origin) Polaris, UNIT, Mystery. If you choose a cheaper one, pay attention to the quality of materials and warranty period.
The most popular products are supplied to the market of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan by a domestic company «Grand Master», The company that owns the three popular brands:
- MIE. The models of this brand traditionally hold high positions on the market of steamers and ironing appliances. The products are positioned as being made in Italy, but you will not find any markings confirming this fact on the device. And that probably means that they produce it «Italians», who prefer to eat with chopsticks. Nevertheless, the characteristics, functionality and efficiency are at the top;
- GM (Grand Master). Powerful, multifunctional and modern devices for household and professional use are produced under this brand. The price, as well as on MIE is not little, but the quality and possibilities are worth it;
- 3A Super Jet. Presents household models of economy class.
What is important to know before buying
Some users overestimate the capabilities of a steamer when they purchase it, or choose a model with few features that fit their needs. Unfortunately, sometimes manufacturers (and often sellers) embellish the quality of their products (goods).
Let’s look at some common mistakes and misconceptions:
- The steamer completely replaces the iron. The most common myth. While there is some truth in this statement, you should not always count on a miracle. Although it is possible to iron delicately complicated types of fabric, which are very difficult to iron even with powerful irons with direct high temperature heating and the same steam, it is unlikely to be rational in terms of time and effort;
- The appliance is capable of removing stains. There is no sense steaming stained clothes, they need to be washed. On upholstered furniture «ingested» Steam can soften the dirt, but the final removal is possible only with the use of detergents and mechanical action.
- The presence of the system of protection against limescale 100% solves the problem. Not always. In some regions the water hardness is so high that no softening filters can help. You then have to use a distillate.
Which steamer to choose in the end?
The answer to this question is quite predictable: the best will be the one that will best meet your needs, the most convenient and easy to use, which has all the necessary features for quality performance of the required tasks. A bigger warranty is desirable, the price – It’s an individual matter. It is worth paying attention to the design of the device, because nobody cancelled the aesthetic component.
We hope that the information received from our review will help you to approach to a choice of the steamer for clothes with knowledge, and for acquaintance with the best models of steamers of different categories you can use a separate rating.
* please note that the reliability of the information and the results of the ratings is subjective and does not constitute advertising