If you're in a pinch to deal with wrinkled clothes and equally tired of ironing, you should consider switching to a steamer. Steaming is an easy and effective way to de-wrinkle any fabric, and it's gentle enough to use on lightweight and delicate items. Not to mention, it takes a lot less time and effort than ironing.
If you're ready to retire your iron and switch to a steamer, here are our top at-home steaming tips:
Make sure the fabric is safe for steaming.
While steamers work wonderfully for fabrics such as cottons, silks, wools and polyesters, some fabrics should not be steamed. If your garment is suede, waxed, or you're simply unsure whether it can be steamed, carefully test the steamer on a small corner of the fabric before using it on the entire garment. Extremely delicate fabrics like chiffon, sheer or velvet may be steamed, but should be treated with extra care. For those, make sure you don't steam in one place for too long and keep a few inches of distance between the steamer and fabric.
Prepare the steamer.
A garment steamer works by heating water to produce steam. The steam is then applied to clothing through a nozzle, which relaxes the fabric's fibers and removes wrinkles. To prepare the steamer for use, pour cold water into the water tank and allow two to three minutes to heat. Once steam begins to form, test the steamer before applying to clothing by either pulling a trigger on the handle or pressing a button so you control how much steam will be released.
Hang the garment.
The easiest way to steam a garment is while the clothing is hanging. If you are using an upright steamer, it will typically come with a hanging pole attached, or if you're using a handheld steamer, you can hang your garment on a hanger and place it on a shower rod, door knob, or anywhere high enough for the garment to hang.
Run the steamer in gentle, downward strokes.
You don't need to press firmly on the fabric as the steam gently removes wrinkles on its own. As you slide the steamer down the garment, press the steam button or pull the trigger on the handle every so often to apply the steam evenly. With extremely wrinkly clothing, start by steaming from the inside or underneath the garment so the weight of the fabric against the steam can help get the wrinkles out more quickly.
Let the garment dry.
Your garment may feel damp after a fresh steaming and there may be some small water spots, but it's nothing to be alarmed about. Simply let the garment sit for 10 minutes after steaming to allow it to dry before wearing or hanging in your closet.
Now, if you're expecting your clothes to look as flat and crisp as they do when they come back from the cleaners, you may want to hang onto that iron of yours, or let us handle it for you at your nearest Tide Cleaners location - there are 21 locations across the Phoenix metropolitan area. Otherwise, if you have items that can forego that perfect, fresh-from-the-cleaners look, these tips will have you steaming wrinkles away in no time.