Ironing vs Steaming

Having used a run-of-the-mill iron, whose steam function didn’t work at all, for a long time, I could say (and only exaggerate a little) that my life has changed ever since I have started using a steamer. It’s one of those standing ones with a hanger at the top and a water deposit in the bottom structure. It features some clips on the hanger as well to hng tricky items and it can be rotated 360º, which really comes in handy. Here are what I think are the benefits and disadvantages of steamers:

+ Quick

Steaming clothes really is so much faster than ironing. I simply hang the item of clothing on the hanger, turn on the steamer (it takes less than a minute to heat up) and I get it done in a few minutes.

+ Very easy

If I’m completely honest, before having a steamer I would avoid wearing certain blouses on days when I just didn’t feel like going through the hassle of setting up the ironing board and then trying (and failing) to make it look perfect. A steamer pretty much does all the work for you!

+ Gets rid of odors

You can also use a steamer on curtains, duvets, sheets, etc. to clean and disinfect them.

+ Less harsh on fabrics

I’ve done some research on the topic and I’ve found out that steaming is less harsh on fabrics than ironing. It makes sense, since you aren’t pressing the fabric but rather loosening the wrinkles out of it. It’s probably the reason why I have seen them being uses in so many clothing stores.

– Drying time

One of the disadvantages is that clothes can remain a bit damp for a while after. Obviously, the longer you steam the damper it will be. It’s not something that bothers me too much but I do account for the drying time when getting ready.

– Difficult to press with

Although my steamer has an attachment for this purpose, ironing works better for pressing collars, hems and the like. It’s not impossible with a steamer but it’s definitely something to keep in mind!

– The heat

It seems obvious but using this in the summer can really work up a sweat! And you have to be very careful not to put your hand anywhere near the steam (which can be difficult, since you’re constantly trying to adjust the piece of clothing to steam it).

And a few tips for using a steamer…

  • Avoid pressing the steamer flat onto clothes, as it can cause water stains. Try to hold it tilted forward so that the steam can escape.
  • Use the attachments to get more precise results. Mine came with a clip type attachment I previously mentioned for doing hems, collars and sleeves as well as one to avoid water stains.
  • Use the hand that isn’t holding the steamer head to pull the item of clothing taut so you can get all the wrinkles out.


Which do you prefer? Do you have any ironing or steaming tips?

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

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