If you use a garment steamer at home to freshen garments between washes, you might be wondering if you should be using a specific type of water. You most likely bought the steam cleaner to make things easier on you and to keep your clothes fresh and clean. Obviously, the last thing you ever want to do is damage your garments or the steam cleaner itself. Therefore, it’s important to know what type of water you should be using in the system to ensure that damage doesn’t occur.
Does the Type of Water Really Matter?
If you happen to live in a house where you have extremely hard water, it matters a lot. Hard water refers to water that has a lot of mineral deposits in it. It usually happens when you have well water, but it can happen in other circumstances as well. You’ll know it when you see it because it leaves deposits that are often white or yellow in color on the end of your faucet heads and in your toilet bowls. If you have a problem with hard water, you have probably had more than one faucet that became clogged by the mineral deposits.
If you’re using that same type of water in your steam cleaner, you not only run the risk of clogging up the head of the steamer, but you’re putting all those impurities onto your garments every time you clean them. You may or may not see the impurities right away in the form of stains, but if you do this often enough, you’re probably going to end up ruining the material.
What if You Have City Water?
Even if you don’t have issues with hard water, that doesn’t mean that it’s always ideal to use the water out of your tap for your steam cleaner. You’d be surprised at the number of impurities that exist in city water. Sometimes you can’t see them, but you can taste and smell them. In addition, you have probably seen news reports of people that have city water and when they turn on the tap, water comes out brown or even black.
Clearly, dirty water isn’t something that you’re going to use when you’re cleaning your garments. It just doesn’t make sense. The thing is, it might not necessarily matter if you can’t see the impurities. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
What Type of Water Should You be Using?
If you really want to keep your steam cleaner working flawlessly for as long as possible and you want to protect your valuable garments, you really should refrain from using tap water no matter where your water comes from.
Instead, choose bottled water that is distilled. It’s important to make sure that it’s labeled as distilled water. Bottles that are labeled as drinking water or spring water have more impurities than water that is distilled. This type of water has gone through a special process to cleanse it of all impurities. It’s the type of water that people frequently use for in-home water fountains because it doesn’t clog up the pumps that allow these systems operate.
The same is true when using it in a steam cleaner. You don’t have to worry about it clogging up the head of the steamer or damaging the clothing. In addition, you can buy an entire gallon of distilled water for somewhere between $0.80 and a dollar, so it isn’t like you’re going to have to spend a lot of money to get it.
If you really don’t want to have bottles of distilled water sitting around your house, you might choose to go with few other alternatives, provided you have the right circumstances. For example, it might be safer to use tap water if you have a water filtration system. It’s still not as good as using distilled water, but it’s better than nothing. The same is true for water that comes out of a water cooler or even the pitcher from your refrigerator that filters out impurities. In a pinch, any of these three ideas work. However, it’s best if you stick with distilled water as much as possible.
Using a steam cleaner can really cut down on the amount of time you spend lugging clothes back and forth from your house to the dry cleaner but it’s important to do it right. The last thing you want to do is think that you’re cleaning your clothes when you’re depositing a bunch of impurities all over them. If you’re careful about the type of water you use, you shouldn’t have any worries.