Steam cleaning your clothes is a great way to skip the washer and give your clothes gentle yet powerful cleaning. You can use a small handheld steamer if you don’t have a lot to steam at once, or invest in a larger steamer that can run longer.
When you are ready to steam your clothes check out these 7 great benefits your clothes are reaping from being steam cleaned instead of traditional washing.
1. Preserves Clothing for Longer
You can ruin your clothes by washing them too frequently. Over time, as you wash clothing, it wears the fabrics down. And, there is a limit to how many times you can wear certain items before washing. Typically speaking, here is roughly how long you can go in between washes:
- Tops: 1-2 wears
- Dresses: 1-2 wears
- Pants/Skirts/Shorts: 3-4 wears
- Jackets/Blazers: 5-6 wears
- Coats: once every 6 months.
Opt to steam clean them in between washes to help extend the life of your garments and reduce how much weekly laundry you have to do.
These guidelines do not take into account any unexpected spills or stains that can be spot cleaned or treated before steaming.
2. Gets Rid of Stains
You can use a steam cleaner to help spot clean and treat stains. Using a steam cleaning may not be your first reflex when it comes to stain fighting, it can be a great backup for stubborn stains.
Pretreat the area with a stain fighter and then follow up with a steamer to blast water in and wash away the stain. If you prefer a more natural stain fighter then you can opt for white vinegar. Make sure that you do not rub the stained area, as this will damage the fibers of your clothes and spread the stain.
3. Dry Cleaning Substitute
If you own clothes that are dry clean only then you can save money by learning how to steam clean them. Sure some dry clean only clothes are able to be washed in a machine on the gentle cycle, but it is gentler to steam clean them.
The only fabrics you are unable to steam are suede, plastic, waxed jackets and any other materials that are prone to melting at high temperatures. You can steam clean delicate fabrics like chiffon, sheer, silk and velvet, you should just take extra care when you do.
4. Kills Odors
When water is heated to a boiling level, it is strong enough to kill the bacteria that creates odor. This is a wonderful way to freshen up your shirts and jackets that may have lingering odor but are not really dirty.
To really take out stubborn odor, you can spritz the area with with a one part water, one part white vinegar spray. This will help neutralize the odor while the steam penetrates through.
5. Reduces Allergens
Using steam will also reduce the allergens on your clothes and deter them from attracting more allergens like dust mites. The steam will penetrate through the fibers of your clothes, pushing out any dirt and allergen attractors.
After steam cleaning, the possibility of attracting dust is greatly reduced, so that your clothes sitting in the closet or drawers will not be collecting dust or dander while they are waiting to be worn.
6. Blasts Away Wrinkles
One of the main reasons people steam clean their clothes is to eliminate the wrinkles. When steam is introduced to the fibers of your clothes, it relaxes them allowing the fabric to release the wrinkles.
Steaming will leave your clothes damp, so you will want to hang them before you steam and then leave your clothes on the rack to dry. This also utilizes gravity to help your clothes retain a wrinkle free structure during and after drying.
If you are without a steamer and need to fight wrinkles, you can use the popular shower technique. Hang your wrinkled item on the back of the bathroom door and turn the shower on.
Make sure any vents or fans are off and allow the room to fill with steam. Run the shower for about ten minutes. Bonus points if you can shower while using the steam to de-wrinkle your clothes.
7. Free From Detergents
Steam cleaning your clothes will do all of the above benefits without you having to use any detergent. This is a great way to save money and cut down on any fading or skin irritant issues that detergents can cause.
If you feel like your clothes need an extra boost of something to ensure they are getting clean, then you can use a spray bottle of one part water and one part white vinegar. Lightly spray your clothes before you begin steam cleaning them. Vinegar is a super strong cleaner that works wonders on tackling stains and odors.
While it can seem like a lot of work to steam a large load of clothes, you can cut down on how much you have to do by taking a few minutes each day to steam your clothes as you change out of them.