If you plan on steam cleaning your clothes, there are a few good tips that will be helpful to follow. Doing so can prevent you from causing damage to the garment steamer itself and even the steamer. If you don’t follow the below five tips, you might end up with a ruined garment or two at the very least. In a worst-case scenario, it could cause irreparable damage to the garment steamer, thereby forcing you to purchase a new one. Fortunately, these five tips are pretty basic and don’t require much time in order to follow through with them.
1. Follow the Directions on the Garments
The first thing you want to do is make sure that you’re not doing anything that has been expressly prohibited for that particular fabric. In order to see how you should be cleaning a garment, look at the label and follow the instructions. If it says dry clean only, you’re safe using a garment steamer to clean it. On the other hand, if it tells you that heat should be avoided or that the garment should only be washed in cold water, you could cause damage to the fabric itself by applying heat from a garment steamer.
2. Follow the Directions for Using the Steamer
A garment steamer is no different than any other piece of equipment. They operate just a little bit differently, but they all come with directions. For some reason, people have a tendency to ignore the directions and go straight to using the product. This can cause you to overlook some important features. More importantly, it might mean that you’re not using the garment steamer in order to get the best results. Therefore, you should always read the instructions and follow them to the letter for the garment cleaner that you are using.
3. Use Clean Water
You don’t want to use a questionable water source when you’re talking about putting it in your steam cleaner. The reason is that you’re then using that water to create steam which is being applied to your garments. Using water from a source that isn’t completely clean would be like putting the clothes that you launder in a washing machine into a tub full of dirty water and expecting the clothes to come out clean.
It’s really best if you decide to go with distilled water and refrain from using any other type of water because then there are no questions about how clean it is. Otherwise, you might not be getting those garments as clean as you think and you might even be putting some less than attractive deposits on them that will force you to have them dry-cleaned in order to get rid of the spots.
4. Don’t Allow the Steam Cleaner to Touch the Fabric
They are a lot of people that make this mistake. Most of it really comes down to being impatient. Ideally, you want to hold the steam cleaner two to three inches away from the fabric. The more delicate it is, the less heat you should be putting on it. Under no circumstances do you want to hold the steam cleaner directly onto the fabric. This can cause damage to both the fabric and the steam cleaner, so it’s something you should refrain from doing regardless of the circumstances. In addition, don’t get in the habit of holding the steamer extremely close to the fabric because you’re trying to rush the process along. You’ll get the best results if you keep it the correct distance from the garment you’re cleaning.
5. Don’t Hold the Garment Steamer in One Place
Another way you can cause damage to the fabric or the steamer is to just hold it in the same place, even for a few seconds. Remember, anything that gets hot enough to turn water into steam is plenty hot and if it’s hot enough to burn you, it can do the same thing to your fabric. You never want to hold the garment steamer still. You don’t want to move it quickly, but you do want to keep it moving at all times. If you find yourself being distracted, just turn it off and come back to the project later when you can devote your full attention to it.
As you can see, it’s easy to follow these steps. None of them are difficult. It might mean that it takes a little bit longer for you to get the results you want but it also means that those results will be more to your satisfaction. By keeping these five simple steps in mind, you can keep your clothes in good shape and use your garment steamer for years to come because you won’t be causing damage to either one needlessly.