Ideally, most people use garment steamers to make their clothes look sharp. Even though most people understand this reason, there are several myths people have about garment steamers. This article will help you understand about 3 common myths:
MYTH 1: CLOTH STEAMERS REQUIRE CHEMICALS TO WORK
Some people think that garment steamers must use chemicals so that they can work. As a matter of fact, cloth steamers only require chemicals if you intend to dry clean your clothes. Therefore, chemicals are not a requirement for a normal usage of the steaming unit. Normal usage refers to steaming clothes, upholstery, fabric, bedding, drapes etc.
Before using your unit, you should read the instruction manual carefully before you start operating your steamer. Most manufacturers usually recommend use of distilled water (soft water) when steaming because it does not contain any minerals. This is important to reduce build-up of calcium in your steaming especially in the house affecting the flow of steam and performance. However, if you have access to hard water only, you can still use the unit but you will require regular maintenance practice to maintain your unit operating optimally.
MYTH 2: MOST GARMENT CLEANERS ARE INEFFECTIVE SINCE THEY DON’T HAVE TEMPERATURE CONTROL
Most people believe that they can only steam a particular type of fabric since their cloth steamer does not have a temperature control system. On the other hand, others believe that their clothes get wet after steaming because they were unable to control the temperature of the output steam. These two misconceptions are not true.
Firstly, your clothes become wet or damp after steaming because the temperature emitted from the steamer is too high and your fabric is cold. The difference between the two causes condensation which results in formation of water droplets. Therefore, if the rate of condensation is higher than the rate of evaporation of water from your garment, your fabric may become wet. To rectify this problem, you should control the distance between the steamer head and the fabric you are steaming. This is important because it controls temperature reaching your fabric solving the myth that cloth steamers are ineffective without temperature control.
However, I cannot be able to give you the exact distance between your steamer and the fabric to get the best results. But, with experience and using the right technique, you will be able to figure it out. Ideally, the thicker the clothing, the closer the steamer head should be and vice versa.
MYTH 3: CLOTH STEAMERS DO NOT WORK WELL ON HARD FABRIC
This is another common misconception among people. Depending with the type of garment steamer you are using (hand held or standing garment steamer), results may vary. You should know the type of fabric you have before purchasing a cloth steamer to make the right choice. If you have hard fabric e.g. cotton denim, wool, polo tees etc., you should go for a standing garment steamer because it’s more effective. One thing you should understand about garment steamers is power. The higher the power, the higher their temperature and velocity of water vapour used in steaming fabric.
With power of about 800-1000 W, hand held garment steamers have a low operating power and hence they are suited to steam polyester, silk and other soft fabrics. Also, even though they steam these fabric, they need a lot of effort and time going forth and back. Therefore, they cannot steam hard fabric effectively.
On the other hand, standing garment steamers are effective with heavy fabric because they have a high operating power of about 1500 W. with the right technique and experience, these steamers can be used on a range of fabric both heavy and soft.
Therefore, depending with the kind of fabric you need to steam, you can purchase the right steamer for the job. A garment steamer removes creases and wrinkles easily and faster than a conventional steamer iron. However, you can use an iron if you need a very crisp suit or skirt for an important meeting or occasion.