Benefits of a clothes steamer: things you may not have known
Steaming as an alternative to ironing is not completely new, but some of the benefits may surprise you.
1: Preserves fabrics
Did you know that washing clothes in a washing machine causes irreversible damage to the fibres? During the wash cycle clothes rub together and the fibres weaken, and over time will lead to rips and holes. The chemicals used can also weaken the fibres, not to mention the damage to the environment the chemicals can cause.
Steaming your clothes is effectively a non contact, non chemical process. If your clothes are unstained, steaming can be a great way to freshening up fabrics without damaging the fibres.
2: Kills the wrinkles, protects the fabric
Like the washing machine, ironing can, over time, damage the fibres of your prizes garment. A clothes steamer is a direct replacement for the iron and not only protects the fibres, it is easier and faster to complete.
3: Preserves the environment
Caring for clothes with a steamer is also caring for the environment. Many people dry clean suits because they don’t know how to iron them, or are afraid of damaging them if they do, this damages the garments and is not good for the environment. Steaming is quick and easy and with the right steamer its very effective.
4: Helps to remove stubborn stains
Pre-treat the stain and then steam for 30 seconds; the heat of the steam will work with the pre-treatment to remove the stain.
5: An odour eater
Steaming clothes is a great way to remove odours. The steaming process kills 99.9% of bacteria that causes odours. Tip: for heavy odours first spray the offending area with water and white vinegar to help deactivate the bacteria.
6: Allergy friendly
Steaming also eradicates dust mites and pollen, helpful in the hayfever season when pollen sticks to your clothes. Also an ideal tool for moth control, steaming clothes can kill moth larvae which can cause irreparable and costly damage to your favourite garments.
7: Convenience on the move
If you travel and need to remove creases in your hotel room before a meeting the clothes steamer makes a perfect companion. There’s no need for an ironing board, you steam on the hanger.
Things to look out for when buying a clothes steamer
According to Which? there are 6 key features to consider (we’ve added an extra two):
Weight – if you are planning to travel you will need portability (and already by not needing an ironing board you are saving space) your clothes steamer needs to be light. Most range from 900 to 1500 grams, the Propress MINI comes in at just 750 grams.
Continuous steam – look for continuous steaming to save having to hold you finger down. Both the Phillips Steam&Go and Propress MINI offer this feature as an extra to the steam on demand setting. The MINI also comes with an auto shut off feature if left unattended.
Steam settings – the ability to vary the steam flow. The Tefal Hand Steamer offers 3 settings.
Fast heating up time – the Tefal Hand Steamer and Propress MINI achieve 45 seconds, followed by the Phillips just under a minute.
Water tank capacity – the Tefal packs a 200ml water tank compared to 70ml for the Phillips. The Propress holds 130ml but with the optional extra BIG BELLY capacity can increase to 230ml, giving the best of both worlds; lightweight for small tasks, capacity for larger jobs.
Suitable for all fabrics – important to check this especially for delicate clothing.
Heated steam plate – an important feature as it prevents spitting and wet spots, and can be used to press the fabrics for even better steaming results. The Propress MINI comes with a unique coated steam sole plate.
Heritage – some brands are new to the market of steaming, so look up their history. The Propress MINI is the result of over 40 years development of steamers for the fashion industry, and a firm favourite for London Fashion Week.
Concerns from Which?
It’s hard to iron edges or get in to corners. The Propress MINI however has a heated steam plate so you can press the head on to the fabrics for better results.
Water tanks can run out in minutes. The Propress MINI lasts for 7 minutes on continuous steam, but 23 minutes using the BIG BELLY optional extra.
Can be tiring to hold. The Propress MINI weighs in at just 750g.
So check out the Propress MINI now.