Last Updated on July 13, 2021
Garment steamers, also called clothes steamers, can be used instead of an iron to remove wrinkles from clothing in your wardrobe. If you are on the fence about whether or not you could benefit from having a garment steamer in your house, you might be happy to learn how versatile they can be.
Thanks to the hot steam these handheld steamers produce, they can be used for quite a bit more than steaming clothes and removing wrinkles. In this article, we answer the question of what is a garment steamer used for and explore the many things that can be done with one, some of which may surprise you. If you don’t already own a clothes steamer, be prepared to want one by the time you are done reading.
7 Different Ways to Use a Garment Steamer
Now that we have an idea of what a garment steamer is used for, let us now look at the different ways we can use a garment steamer.
Option 1: Steam Clean Upholstery
Aside from steaming and eliminating wrinkles in fabrics used to make clothing, garment steamers can also be used to clean fabric or upholstery on furniture, drapes, and pet beds.
Using a handheld steamer will get these items significantly cleaner than your vacuum. It will also help to remove stains and kill germs and bacteria, all without the need for any harsh chemicals. Some steamers also come with a brush attachment that can be useful when cleaning upholstery.
After steaming your furniture, let it dry completely before using it again. You may even want to aim a fan at it or tune on an overhead fan in the room to help the moisture evaporate as quickly as possible.
Most fabrics can withstand the heat from a garment steamer but always check the care label before you begin steaming to make sure.
Option 2: Remove Stubborn Stains in Carpet
You can also use a garment steamer to remove stains in the area rug or carpet. Try using your steamer on areas with high foot traffic to reduce signs of wear and tear. You can also try using a carpet safe detergent in combination with your steamer but don’t put it inside the reservoir, or it could damage the heating element within.
The steam will also help kill dust mites, sanitise, and eliminate germs and bacteria, all of which can be highly beneficial to anyone who suffers from allergies.
Option 3: Sanitise Hard Surfaces
Most garment steamers reach temperatures that are hot enough to sanitise and disinfect. This means that they can also be used to clean hard surfaces. This includes countertops, bathroom surfaces, mirrors, windows, tables, and even inside your refrigerator.
As long as your specific steamer reaches at least 100 degrees celsius, it can be used to sanitise surfaces.
Option 4: Eliminate Mildew and Hard Water Stains
Similar to sanitising, steam is also a suitable cleaning method for removing hard water stains around faucets and killing mildew that develops in drains. The heat helps to break down the residue buildup that gets left behind and gently washes it away without the need for any scrubbing.
Option 5: Break Down Grease
The cleaning power of a garment steamer is also great for breaking down and cleaning grease stains in your clothes or on your countertops and oven. One of the main benefits of using steam to clean grease is that it doesn’t require chemicals. When done right, it is also much easier and requires only a minimal amount of physical effort on your part.
Option 6: Refresh Car Interior
One of our favourite ways to use a garment steamer, other than for garments, is for cleaning the inside of a car. The steam can effectively remove stains in the upholstery and clean the dashboard and other console compartments. Using your garment cleaner on your car is like detailing your car but is much more cost-effective.
Option 7: Steam Cleaning Mattresses
Depending on the mattress you have, steam cleaning the surface could be a convenient way to keep your bed fresh and free from sweat stains. While you sleep, you shed dead skin cells, and many people also sweat. This causes dirt and skin to build upon the surface, and cleaning your bed frequently can preserve its integrity and improve durability. However, some foams cannot withstand the amount of heat in the steam, so always double-check with the care label or manufacturer before using a steamer on your mattress.
Other Garment Steamer Considerations
Here are some other pieces of information that can help you when using your garment steamer.
Garment Steamer Pro Tips
- Delicate fabric that is dry clean only should not be steamed. This includes silk and other delicate fabrics.
- When steaming fabrics or new materials, always test a spot first.
- Please wait for your garment steamer to heat up before using it completely, or it won’t work as well or be hot enough to sanitise any surfaces.
- Read the user manual thoroughly. Each steamer is different, and the manual will help you use your device to the best of its ability.
- Check care labels on clothes and other fabrics before steaming them.
- Put clothes on a hanger in an open area to steam them.
- Don’t overfill the water reservoir. This will make it easier to burn your skin with hot water and will also make it difficult for the appropriate amount of pressure to build up within the water tank.
- Use distilled water or purified tap water in the steamer’s tank. This will help prevent mineral deposits from building up on the machine or the items you are steaming.
- Please don’t use a steamer on unsealed surfaces or surfaces with paint, wax, or stain as the heat could damage them.
Are Garment Steamers Better Than Irons?
A garment steamer can be used instead of a steam iron, but does that mean they are a better tool? Considering all of the things you can do with a steamer, they are certainly more versatile than irons, but whether or not that makes it a better tool will depend on your personal preferences. If you enjoy ironing garments, then a traditional iron will be better for you, but if you want one tool to accomplish various cleaning tasks, then a steamer may be the best choice for your home.
Using Your Garment Steamer
What is a garment steamer used for? Aside from ironing out clothes, you can use it to sanitise upholstery, hard surfaces, and car interiors. Now that you know about all of the different cleaning tasks a garment or clothes steamer can help with, you can easily clean your kitchen countertop or bathroom surface. You can also use your handheld steamer to remove carpet stains.
Either way, remember to test new fabric and delicate materials first. Additionally, avoid steaming any fabric that recommends dry cleaning, so read the user manual thoroughly. Lastly, wait for the water tank to heat all the way, and you’ll be steam cleaning things around your home like a professional in no time at all.
What do you use your steamer for? Let us know in the comments below!