If you spend a lot of time sending your garments to the dry cleaner, it might be worth it to invest in your own garment steamer. Basically, this gives you the chance to clean the garments that you would prefer not to put in the washing machine, and it means that you can reduce the number of trips you take to the dry cleaner each month.
However, there are some types of fabric that shouldn’t be cleaned with a steamer. If you want the best results, it’s important to use your steamer on the right types of fabric and to follow the instructions on the individual cleaner you have purchased.
3 Fabrics You Shouldn’t Steam Clean
There are three different situations where you should never use a steam cleaner on a particular garment. The first involves anything made of suede, even if suede only makes up a small portion of the overall material. This is not a material that responds well to steam cleaning so if you have anything suede that needs to be cleaned, it’s best to take it to the dry cleaner and let the professionals handle it. They have the right tools and techniques to do it correctly.
2. Waxed Fabrics
Similarly, you shouldn’t use a steam cleaner on materials like letter jackets and similar types of garments because they frequently use wax to finish these garments. The steam cleaner can cause it to melt. This can ruin the garment permanently.
3. Embellished Material
You also need to avoid using your steam cleaner on anything that has been embellished with material that can’t stand up to high heat levels. If the tag says that the item should only be washed in cold water, it’s not safe to use a steam cleaner on it. If it tells you that the item should be dry cleaned but to avoid high heat, go ahead and take it to the dry cleaner instead.
Certain Fabrics Require a High Level of Caution
It’s a good rule of thumb to realize that if you have any type of fabric that is extremely delicate, you should either use a great deal of caution when cleaning it with a steam cleaner or just let a professional clean it in the first place. To be more specific, be very careful when you’re cleaning anything that’s made of silk, satin, chiffon, or velvet.
You also need to use a great deal of caution if you are steam cleaning any type of sheer material. All of these materials are extremely delicate, and they can easily be damaged. If you do make the decision to clean them with a steam cleaner, don’t allow the head of the cleaner to get too close to the material.
Whatever you do, don’t touch the head of the cleaner to the material itself. Ideally, you want to keep it about two inches away at a minimum. In addition, make sure that you continuously move the steam cleaner so that it never sits in one place. It’s best to work on a piece of material that you don’t wear very often and get comfortable with it before you pick your favorite garment. You might even decide to go purchase some delicate material and practice on it before you practice on your own clothing.
Using a Steam Cleaner on Other Material
For other types of materials that frequently need to be dry cleaned, a steam cleaner can work very well. Some people even use it to freshen clothes, so they don’t have to wash them as often. A perfect example involves jeans. According to experts, jeans should not be washed every time they’re worn. Therefore, a lot of people have turned to steam cleaning in order to keep them fresh and to kill any bacteria, so they can wash them less often.
Regardless of what you’re using a steam cleaner on, get comfortable with using that cleaner and pay attention to what you’re doing every time you use it. This can help you avoid making mistakes like allowing the head of the cleaner to sit in one place on a garment, potentially causing damage.
In closing, it’s important to remember that not every person is going to find an immediate use for a steam cleaner, but there are plenty of people out there who have a real need for one. Going to the dry cleaner every week is expensive, not to mention the added hassle of having one more errand to run on an already busy day. Therefore, having your own steam cleaner can make all the difference in the world because it will save you money overall and it saves you time as well.