Steaming vs Ironing: When to Iron Your Clothes and When to Steam Them

Before we step out of the house, we always want to make sure that we look good. We take a shower, comb our hair, and put some perfume on our clothes. However, these things aren’t enough to make you look good.

You also need to ensure that your clothes are neat. After all, you wouldn’t look pleasant if your clothes have wrinkles.

There are two ways to remove creases on your garments. You can either iron the fabric or steam it. The question is, when should you iron your clothes, and when should you steam them?

Before we proceed to this Steaming vs Ironing, let’s identify the difference between these two tasks.

What Is Ironing?

Ironing is the act of pressing or smoothing clothes or fabric with a hot iron. This equipment transmits the heat onto the garment. It also requires an ironing board where you can place the piece of clothing that you want to smoothen out. That way, you can press the iron to the apparel with ease.

However, ironing clothes wasn’t easy before. Old folks used irons with charcoal, or they heated the iron on top of the stove to make it warm. This old-fashioned way of ironing garments delivers a better finish as it has more weight than the flat iron that we use today.

How to Get the Most out of the Clothes Iron

To ensure your clothes look neat and wrinkle-free, you need to do the following:

  • Setting the Temperature – Check the settings of the temperature so that you’re getting the right amount of heat from the iron.
  • Use a Clothes Iron That Has Holes – An iron with holes works like a steamer. The more holes it has, the more steam it releases. With this tool, you no longer need to buy another device for steaming your clothes.
  • Use Iron Guards – The purpose of this tool is to protect the clothes from burning while you are ironing. You just need to place it on top of the fabric before pressing it.
  • Lower the Temperature – If it’s your first time ironing the fabric, you need to start at a lower heat before moving it up.
  • Avoid Lime Deposits on the Iron Plate – Use distilled water to prevent lime deposits.
  • Damp the Cloth with Water – Spray water on the garment to ease out stubborn wrinkles.

What Is Steaming?

Steaming is a safer and gentler way to remove creases on your clothes. Moreover, it kills germs and bacteria. This can also help eliminate unpleasant odors so you smell fresh as long as possible.

Like ironing, it uses a tool to steam the fabric. However, it doesn’t need direct contact. You just need to hold it a short distance from the cloth.

The purpose of the hot steam is to smoothen out the wrinkles on the fabric. The steamer releases it and directs it onto the garment. Meanwhile, the steamer wand holds a distance between the cloth and the steamer. Its purpose is to provide a smooth finish without the direct application of heat.

The good thing about a steamer is that it doesn’t occupy too much space. It doesn’t need a board, which can take up space in your room. You just need to suspend the clothes and start steaming them. Furthermore, you can do it wherever you are, as long as the steamer is with you.

Things You Must Do Before Steaming the Garment

There are a few things that you must do before heating the fabric. Here are some of them.

  • Test the Steam on a Patch of the Garment – If you are going to steam a colored garment, you need to test it on a small area of the fabric. That way, you can avoid ruining the color of your clothes as it tends to run when you apply moisture.
  • Use It on Sealed Areas – The sealed parts of the cloth has a higher tolerance to heat. Use this method on these sections to avoid ruining the fabric.
  • Do Not Over steam – Over-steaming can result in blowing the seams on your jacket.

Steaming vs Ironing: When to Iron or Steam Clothes

Now that you know the difference between ironing and steaming, it’s time to discuss when to do these things.

As mentioned earlier, ironing clothes requires pressing the material to make it look neat and smooth. However, not all fabric types need this process. For instance, if the fabric of your outfit is polyester or silk, you can’t press an iron on it as it will only ruin its look.

Furthermore, it is not the best time to iron your apparel if you are in a rush. Clothes with ruffles, pleats, and creases need more time to evenly smoothen their surface.

However, it doesn’t mean you have to leave your house with creased clothes because you can’t iron them. Again, if you’re wearing a silk or polyester dress, you can steam it instead. It is the best way to flatten the surface. Because you don’t need to apply heat to your clothes directly, you will not damage the fabric.

But like ironing, steaming doesn’t work well on all types of fabric. It will not remove wrinkles on clothes that need pressure. For instance, clothes with short collars and suit pants will not work on steamers because they need the pressure to smoothen their surface. Even hems need ironing as well, especially if it’s quite tricky to lay them flat.

In other words, you need to consider the fabric of your outfit before you iron or steam it. Otherwise, you could ruin your clothes.

What Is the Best Way to Smoothen out Creases and Wrinkles?

Ironing and steaming are the best ways to remove creases and wrinkles on your clothes. They may use different methods, but they both make your outfit look good.

When choosing between ironing and steaming, you need to consider the fabric of your apparel. Some clothes are ideal for ironing while others are for steaming. Know which material is best for ironing and which is perfect for heating. That way, you will get to remove creases and wrinkles with the right method. However, you need to do these things the right way so your clothes will look neat.

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