Can a steamer change your life? Obviously not, but it can make it a damn sight easier. I’ve used the pro versions of these for years on delicate fabrics and clothes that can’t be pressed on an ironing board: all good photographic studios have one for fashion shoots and when I worked at Ann Taylor in San Francisco many years ago all I was really allowed to do was get jiggy with the steamer in the stock room.
I’ve been eyeing up a small hand-held, dual-voltage steamer for trips for a while now – whoever decided to spread the urban myth that you can drop creases out of women’s clothes by turning on the shower and shutting the clothes is bonkers.
If you can even find somewhere to hang your clothes in the bathroom where they will get enough steam but won’t get wet from the shower good luck to you, and you’ll need to run that boiling hot shower full pelt for about an half an hour at the very least to get the creases out. If they ever do fall out, that is. Which is basically never, in my experience.
But a full size steamer? I live in a one-bedroom London apartment, with no utility closets and no under stairs cupboard so there’s nowhere to keep one out of sight. But when I recently unearthed several suitcases rammed full of my clean origami-ed jackets and coats from the attic at my mother’s house I started to think seriously about buying a one. Whilst I love my dry cleaners, who I’ve used for over fifteen years, I really didn’t want to unnecessarily subject clean clothes to an expensive and chemical battering.
I did the maths: a suit jacket or crumpled winter coat will cost around a tenner in London to dry clean. So I need to steam seven items meant for the dry cleaners, and then the steamer – at £66 – has paid for itself. I counted up: I had ten things in the urgent need of de-crumpling pile.
Reader, I bought the steamer.
And I bloody love it. As does my cleaner, who does some of my ironing, and whose voice now sinks an octave when she talks about the steamer. I swear I’ve seen her stroking it. It’s incredibly simple to assemble and to use. Just fill the tank up from the tap, put the item of clothing to be steamed over the integral hanger, turn the dial on the steamer, and wait for the head to start steaming. Then simply remove the head and attached hose from the stand and start steaming the piece of clothing – it’s just like hoovering a vertical carpet.
It heats up in under a minute and when I am running late and need a silk dress or shirt de-creased it is far more effective than an iron in half the time – and with a more professional finish. I wouldn’t bother using it for work shirts or anything cotton as a general rule, although today it did a good job of getting out some light creases on a denim dress I’d worn once.
Do be careful with the steamer head tho – I dropped it earlier today and managed to scald my shin. Do not let children anywhere near it: steam burns are f*cking painful.
Heats up in just 30 seconds
Can be used on all fabrics including delicate and dry clean only
Removes creases and odours from fabrics without washing
Suitable for domestic and professional use