How to Steam Garments

A handheld steamer is only effective if you use it properly. The first thing you want to do is figure out how to use a clothes steamer. To begin, fill up the tank with water (distilled preferably). This will help ensure you don’t transfer any musty smells to your garment.

Please avoid covering the steam head with anything. Covering it may cause moisture build-up in the head and lead to spillages. Just clean the head with an alcohol wipe, followed by a dry washcloth to ensure it’s not wet.

After cleaning the head, switch the steamer on. If there’s any water spillage, it will most likely happen when you switch it on. Once the steamer is filled up and turned on, relax and wait for it to heat up. It should take about 15-20 minutes. When it’s ready, you’ll see hot air coming from the steamer's head.

Getting to Work


If you are steaming gowns, wedding dresses, or suit jackets with delicate materials, chances are you won’t be able to finish in one day. A good idea would be to start with the worst ones. If you don’t have lots of experience, avoid starting with dress shirts with delicate fabrics. Leave those for when you are more confident.

When it comes to the actual steaming, there are several recommended methods. One of the most effective techniques is to move the steamer nozzle in a circular motion instead of back and forth or in an up-and-down motion on your clothing. As you steam, hang your garment and hold the steamer head directly two to three inches away.

You may be intimidated by the process if you have never steamed clothing before. However, if you set up the steamer correctly and use the correct technique, it will be easy to remove both major creases and minor wrinkles.

If your steamer directly drips on your clothing, don’t freak out. Please avoid rubbing the spot. It should dry out without a stain.

Should I Steam From the Outside or Inside?


This is a common question. The majority of experienced steamers work from the inside to remove wrinkles faster. It’s recommended to do this with chiffon and silk shantung bridesmaid dresses. Pulling the dress and working on it from top to bottom inside it tends to help release wrinkles more effectively.

Some Mistakes You Should Avoid


The clothes steamer will sometimes leave a water ring. You can use a hairdryer on the lowest warm setting to help dry the spot quickly while hanging your skirt or blouse. It shouldn't leave any stains. In the meantime, you can take a hot shower so it dries before wearing it.

When removing wrinkles from a wedding dress, especially one with a skirt with multiple layers of fabric, don’t just work on the top layer alone. Instead, steam the individual fabrics and layers, starting from the inside out. That way, the skirt will fall as it should. Learning how to steam clothes is not difficult. You only have to stick to the tips and instructions and you'll do great!

Video Tutorial: How to Steam a Wedding Dress


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