Style Q&A: Ironing vs. Steaming

Q: I hate ironing because it takes so long but I also don’t like wrinkled clothes. Do you have any stylist tips on how to get wrinkles out when you’re in a rush in the morning? Are those steamer things I see in retail stores an inexpensive option?

A: Yes, you are definitely on the right track! I have two steamers (one travel size, one commercial size) and couldn’t live without them! The most functional option that I would recommend if you are going to buy one is the handheld travel steamer (this is the one that I have). It will heat up quickly, is easy to use, is inexpensive, and can also fit in your suitcase for travel. This one is also perfect if you only see yourself needed to steam one or two items quickly in the morning.

If you plan on using the steamer for heavier loads (steaming all of your clothes after doing laundry or if you have a whole household to do), I would recommend a commercial-size steamer (this one is great). These are stationary models, usually with an attached garment hanger and steam nozzle. They will hold more water than the handheld, allowing for a much longer steaming time before you have to fill up again.

Two hints for steaming beginners: let the steamer fully heat up first before you start (if you don’t water droplets will spray onto your garment because it hasn’t fully converted to steam yet, leaving you with big water spots). Also, always steam from the inside of the garment – you will apply more direct pressure to the fabric this way, allowing for a much better release than from the outside

Quick tip: If you’re really in a hurry, a fine misting of wrinkle release spray (I even use Febreeze sometimes) or even just plain water in a spray bottle will help to release wrinkles in a pinch. Spritz your clothes while on a hanger, give it a couple wafts/shakes to release some of the wrinkles, and let it dry while you finish getting ready. You might not get 100% wrinkle-free this way, but you’ll at least be better off than you started.

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One Response to Style Q&A: Ironing vs. Steaming

  1. Sonja says:

    Perfect! Can’t wait to buy my first steamer! 🙂

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