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Garment Care, Advice & How To June 19, 2017

Choosing the Best Garment Steamer



Imagine waving a wand to magically remove wrinkles from your clothes. Well, today you can pretty much do that with little effort on your part. Garment steamers take the guesswork out of caring for your best jacket, or that silk shirt you never wear only because it wrinkles so easily. Steamers release the fibers, letting them relax so you can, too.

Donna Smallin Kuper, organizing and cleaning expert, and author of the bestselling book, Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness says a garment steamer “refreshes fabrics.” It adds moisture to your most precious finds and gives them a much-needed lift.

Both handheld and floor models have their benefits, so it’s important to determine what type of garment steamer works best for your needs.

Handheld Steamer

A handheld steamer is great for travelling. Super lightweight and a breeze to maneuver, you can stow it in your carry-on luggage. Also, if you live in a small apartment then you may wish to consider a handheld steamer, as it can be conveniently stored in a drawer when not in use.

Though don’t mistake the smallness of a handheld steamer for a lack of effectiveness. Quality handheld steamers heat up in less than a minute and can tackle the wrinkles on your most rumpled shirts. If you’re looking for a quick and stress-free way to steam a garment then a handheld steamer may be the one for you. Another plus of these models is that some have sleek stainless steel soleplates for pressing touch ups. And due to their ease of use, you can use them to quickly tackle other areas of your home such as sanitizing and freshening up pet beds.

Tip for handheld steamer: Make sure to place your garment in an area where it can hang freely such as on a shower rod. This way you have access to both sides of the item and the steam isn’t compromising a surface in your home like a wall. 


Floor Standing Steamer

Because the tank in a floor model contains more liquid, you don’t have to fill it up as often. Also, many standing models have a removable hanger to suspend a shirt, skirt or pair of pants. Some standing models come with a brush for delicate fabrics such as velvet that have a nap.

Look for a floor standing steamer with commercial-grade quality components so you can task it to steam out your duvet cover or dining room curtains, and all your clothes for many years to come. Also, easy-roll casters are a handy feature to allow you to move freely throughout your home. There is no need to sacrifice elegant design with a commercial grade garment steamer if you do your shopping homework.

Tips for floor standing steamer: When filling with water, emptying or while not in use, always make sure that the steamer is powered off. Also, it may seem like common sense, but a surprising number of people attempt a quick steam touch up while wearing the garment as they are steaming. Steam from a quality garment steamer is very hot and will scald the skin in a fraction of a second.


Many people swear by garment steamers because they get the job done quickly and make garments look fresh and new. And while they don’t clean your clothes steaming can save you bringing your items to the cleaners just because they’re wrinkled, or when you need to get a bit more use from a garment until you have time to get to the drycleaner. Another thing, both drycleaning and washing in the machine can wear clothes prematurely.

“Using a steamer at home won’t clean your clothes but it will buy you time in between washes,” says Kuper. “You’ll save money by minimizing cleaning, and your clothes will last longer.” 

Whatever model you decide on, using a steamer as a garment pick-me-up and for regular pressings will keep your valued closet items fresher and more attractive for longer.

At Reliable, we do what we love, and we take pride in doing it right. Quality, functionality, design and customer service play an equally important part in delivering what’s right for you. From irons to steam cleaners to sewing machines, you can count on us to be right there with you. That’s the Reliable Way.