Fashion Magazine

What We Need to Know About Clothes Steamers

By Sayedero Enytan @fashionengineer

There is nothing worse than looking like a crinkle-cut as you step into a meeting, or getting off a plane and people looking at you as if you wrapped yourself in your clothes to keep warm then put them back on as you landed.

But worst of all, and I'm sure this has happened to all of us at least once in our lives, running into an ex when you just quickly popped down the shop to get a few bits. Earth open up now and swallow me whole. Quick. At least those were the words running through my head; like a kid sprinting towards a cake.

Iron vs Steam Iron.

The regular iron that we grew up with, well after the war era where they were essentially filled with hot coals, were the standard plugin and get hot dry irons. Where you had a dial for increasing the wattage and temperature and, if you overdid it, you ended up with a scorched t-shirt. Fun.

Nowadays, as with technology constantly evolving and seemingly taking over, the steam iron has now become the standard. The norm. Sales agents would probably scowl at you if you asked for anything other.

So what is a steam iron then? Well, although it has the same concept of the dry iron, and pretty much the same shape, it offers better features.

Options like added steam bursts to help the process go faster, because who 'enjoys' ironing, and anti-wrinkle heat temperatures to make your shirt look smooth as glass. Click here https://www.marthastewart.com/1531069/how-use-steam-function-your-iron for a quick tip on how to effectively use the iron and its steam features.

What to look for when buying a steam iron.

Unfortunately with all the added features, there is also more research involved in choosing what will work for you, but we'll discuss the priority ones and the most popular options.

Firstly the soleplate is the teardrop-shaped metal bit at the bottom that touches the clothes. You are going to want one that is scratch-resistant and easy to clean. They have newer models which come with a non-stick coating, this is great to ensure you don't char any garments in the foreseeable future.

Then the wattage gauge is at the top of the priorities list as it determines how hot the iron can get, how quickly it can reach that temperature and because it is essentially a steam iron, it can affect the amount of steam produced if the wattage is too low.

Of course, shopping around and seeing the lifestyle you have and what will be cost-effective for your schedule is going to play a role in the final decision, but take a look at this Garment Steamer Guide for a head start into your wrinkle-free future.

See Also

A comfortable grip is going to make this horrible but necessary process more bearable, comfort is key, no matter how high tech the iron is, so hold the handle in the shop, imitate an ironing action and see the feel of it.

Then you have the niggly factors, but not necessarily the be all end all decision-makers, of the length of the power cord so you have the convenience and flexibility of ironing anywhere if need be. Steam holes, many or few, will show you how much steam will be produced, the more holes the more steam the easier the ironing. Bobs your uncle.

5 Advantages of Using a steam iron.
  • Safety. The latest models now come equipped as standard to have an auto shut off option, so no more worrying about whether you left the iron on while driving to work and wondering if you will come home to a crisp of a room.
  • Angle. This is especially handy when it comes to curtains or bedding, odd angles and tight spaces and certainly nowhere near a long enough area to lay it flat. You can now iron these without having to worry about losing power, steam or heat.
  • Steam. No doubt the objective of it all, it's less intrusive than any hot plate being raked over the clothes, and no more having to hang the clean laundry in the bathroom while you shower. See this link to hear what the people have to say.
  • Settings. What's great is that you can do all kinds of fabrics and all styles with just one iron. You just put it on the appropriate setting and steam volume and away you go on silk, cotton and even denim.
  • Speed. The amount of time we dedicate to ironing is minimal as it is, usually, an 'as we need it' type operation seems to be going on in my household, but with steaming the process is practically halved. No more leaning into the iron to press it as flat as possible or get maximum heat to the crinkle.
The Ironing board.

The number of designs and models on the market today is mind-blowing. It used to be a basic flat plank that shaped to a tip on one end, with legs to stand and a plate at the back to rest the iron on.

But no. Today they are all about compatibility and foldability. If only they could come up with a concept of the iron 'doing' the actual iron ability then we'll be onto something. I guess they do in a way what with ironing businesses popping up everywhere, but it's not for everyone. Certainly not me as my mother preached each morning.

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