6 Steps To Use Clothes Steamer (Step-By-Step Guide)

Many people don’t like ironing clothes. Frankly, it gets pretty repetitive and kind of boring after a while. The good news is, there is a way to make it way more interesting!

If you’ve never tried steaming your clothes instead of ironing them, now is the time. If you are not sure how to use a steamer or if it seems too complicated, don’t worry – you will learn everything about it in this article.

Things To Know About Clothes Steamer

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Before diving into specific instructions, let’s understand how a clothes steamer works and its components.

How Does Clothes Steamer Work?

A clothes steamer is a device whose main function is to heat cold water and disperse it in form of steam. When this steam is directed toward clothes, it relaxes the fabric and therefore eliminates wrinkles.

Apart from removing wrinkles, steam can also help reduce odors and may assist in killing certain bacteria, though its efficacy varies. They come in various shapes and sizes, but they always have similar important parts.

  • Water tank – This is a part of a steamer where you are supposed to put the water. It’s recommended to use distilled water, as it is free of minerals that could cause buildup or corrosion. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about any corrosion or build-up over the years of using your clothes steamer.
  • Heater – This part of a steamer is usually hidden and you don’t have to think too much about it. It works automatically and it turns liquid water to steam by heating it up. Sometimes it takes a minute or two for the heater to reach its full capacity and start turning water into steam, but some of the weaker steamers take up to five minutes.
  • Hose and nozzle – Hose is a part of a clothes steamer that brings water from the water tank to the nozzle. The hose can come in different lengths, and you should choose the length according to the space you have in the room where you steam your clothes. The nozzle is a part of the steamer from which the steam emerges to iron your clothes. There are various types of nozzles and you choose which to use depending on the material of the clothes you plan on steaming.

Most clothes steamers come with a hanger to put your clothes on when steaming them. This is also very practical because you don’t have to worry about finding a particular space when you want to steam clothes. It also doesn’t take a lot of space.

How To Use Clothes Steamer

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One of the advantages of a clothes steamer is that it is not at all complicated to use. Each one comes with detailed instructions so you should read those carefully, but here are the steps that can be applied to whichever brand and size you decide to use.

Step 1. Put Water Into The Tank

The first step of using a clothes steamer is to put water in the tank. You don’t want to put too much or too little – generally around ⅔ of the tank should be enough. Avoid using tap or bottled water unless you don’t have a choice. As mentioned, distilled water is the safest for use.

Step 2. Prepare The Clothes

Prepare the clothes for steaming on time so the heater isn’t turned on for long before you start steaming. You should turn your clothes inside out so you eliminate any risk for damaging them. Put the hanger in a way that you can easily reach it with the steamer’s nozzle.

Step 3. Turn On The Steamer

The next step is to turn on the steamer. Most steamers come with different levels of power and pressure. You should follow the instructions to see which level you need for the particular fabric you are steaming.

When you turn it on, you will want to wait for a few minutes until the water starts turning into steam so you can use it properly. Most steamers have a red and green blinking light – red signaling that you should wait and green signaling that the steamer is ready for use.

Step 4. Start Steaming

When both your clothes and the steamer are ready to use, you can start steaming your clothes. Don’t put the nozzle too close to the garment – it should be around two to three inches away for the delicate materials, and a bit closer for the regular fabric, but never directly on it.

Use the same hand movements while you steam – either downward or upward. Make sure to treat every area of the garment equally. When you see that your clothes don’t have any wrinkles on them, put them away, preferably on another hanger. It’s not smart to fold them right away because they need to dry first.

Step 5. Let Your Clothes Dry

Letting your clothes dry thoroughly before folding them or putting them on is essential in preventing new wrinkles from forming.

Step 6. Empty The Water Tank

When you have finished steaming all of the clothes you wanted, make sure to empty the tank of the remaining water.

That’s it! Even if you’ve never seen a steamer before, you can rest assured that it will be easy to use it.

Why Is Clothes Steamer Useful?

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You may be wondering why you should even buy a clothes steamer if you’ve been using iron in the past. Here are some of the reasons that may convince you.

It Saves Space

One of the biggest advantages of using a clothes steamer is that it can save a lot of space. If you use a smaller one, you will only need a small part of the wardrobe, pantry, or storage room to safely leave it there until the next use.

You won’t need any additional equipment as a clothes steamer usually comes with a hanger too that doesn’t take up space either. Compared to the ironing board which can be really big and impractical, the steamer is a lifesaver, especially for small rooms and apartments.

Travel Friendly

As mentioned, clothes steamers come in various sizes, but the best ones are those that you can take with you on a holiday or business trip. These clothes steamers are usually small and compact, so you can always find space in your suitcase for yours. T

hey are so practical and useful because you don’t have to worry about your clothes being wrinkled when you get them out of the suitcase. You can just turn on your steamer and they will be as good as new in no time.

Less Risk For Damage

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With clothes steamers, you don’t have to worry about your clothes getting damaged or burnt as long as you follow the instructions carefully.

An iron presses a large area of the clothes at very high temperatures while steamers don’t even touch the clothes. You can use a steamer on more delicate materials, like silk.

It Is More Practical

Ironing big areas of fabric, like drapes, can be really time-consuming when using an iron. Clothes steamer allows you to steam your clothes right after hanging them.

Considering the fact that steamers sterilize the fabric, you wouldn’t have to wash your drapes as often either. Simply refresh them once every few weeks with a steamer and they will look brand-new.

It Doesn’t Have Only One Use

Buying a clothes steamer will not only remove wrinkles from your clothes. This is a great gadget to use on other surfaces in the house as well, such as beds, bedding, tables, toilet, and the kitchen.

As mentioned, steam can kill up to 99% of bacteria and germs, so you can use it to sterilize the areas where you eat, sleep, and prepare food.

The usage is similar – just turn on the steamer and point the nozzle to the area you want to treat. Hover over it for a few seconds before moving to the next part and then let that area dry before using it again.

This is also useful when you have unexpected guests and the bedding you want to provide has been unwashed in your wardrobe for months, as well as for the clothes that are clean but haven’t been worn for a long time.

Additional Tips For Using Clothes Steamer

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Now that you know what a clothes steamer is and how to use it, here are just a few more tips on steaming your clothes with it.

Don’t Expose Skin To Steam

As useful and practical as the clothes steamer is, you should still be careful when handling it. Keep in mind that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is approximately the temperature of the steam emitted from the steamer.

It is very hot and it can cause serious burns if your skin gets directly exposed to it. Make sure that you don’t have any children around as they can get curious quite fast.

Be Careful With Colored Clothes

Since the temperature is very high, there is a risk of color running or getting damaged when it comes to steaming the colored clothes. Always check the highest temperature at which you can steam the clothes to avoid this from happening.

You can also test the steamer on a small, hidden part of the garment and if the color is not running, it is safe to use on the rest of the clothing.


Clothes steamer is a gadget that is very easy to use and has multiple benefits to it. It is great for traveling, for gentle materials, refreshing drapes, and even for sterilizing surfaces in your home.

Steaming clothes is fast and effortless, but you have to be careful because of the high temperatures this device is operating at.


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