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How To

6 Reasons Why You & Your Wardrobe Should Love Steaming

Sep 23, 2020

"Does steaming clothes kill bacteria and germs?" It's a question we get a lot at The Laundress, so we've broken down the benefits of steam cleaning clothes and other household fabrics:

Does steam cleaning clothes kill bacteria? Yes! Steaming kills most germs and removes wrinkles from items that aren't best suited to launder or dry clean.

Does steaming clothes remove odors? Yes! Steaming cleaning removes odor-causing bacteria and allergens that attract mites. After steaming, spray on some Fabric Fresh Classic for added scent and freshness.

Do garment steamers clean clothes? The Jiffy Steamer kills most germs and keep items fresh between wearing and washing, especially "Dry Clean Only" items. Add, Ironing Water to a garment steamer or iron for a fine fabric finish and add the Classic scent, the ultimate clean laundry smell. (Read our guide on how to iron here.)

Steaming Clothing is a great way to save money and keep your clothes looking their best. For more expert home cleaning and fabric care tips, visit the Clean Talk blog.

Steaming provides the safest and gentlest finish for laundry items, releasing wrinkles for a natural finish. When it comes to steaming clothes vs. ironing them, not only does steaming avoid any risks posed from ironing (such as burning and unintended creasing), but the steam kills most germs and bacteria, which helps eliminate odors. A steamer is a great investment. You’ll find it pays for itself very quickly, saving you time and money by reducing drycleaning.
Steaming can do so many wonderful things for your clothes. The Laundress is here to tell you exactly why you should steam, and how to do it too.


We at The Laundress steam everything! Here are some reasons we love it:

Kills Germs:
Steaming kills odor-causing bacteria

Alleviates Allergies:
Steaming removes allergens that attract dust mites. A key to controlling allergic reactions is controlling the dust mite population in a home.

Removes wrinkles:
Steam out wrinkles using a steamer to create a more relaxed, casual finish vs. the crisp finish from an iron.

Freshens Items Between Washing Or Dry Cleaning:
Keep items fresh between wearing and washing, especially woolens and dry-clean items. This will both reduce drycleaning expenses and wear on items!

Cleans & Freshens Items Not Suitable To Launder Or Dryclean:
Steaming kills most germs and removes wrinkles from home furnishings such as upholstery and drapery, mattresses, pillows, bed skirts, bedding, and carpeting.

Keeps Air Clean:
Steaming requires nothing more than water and heat and, therefore, is non-polluting compared with mite eradication methods that require the use of detergents and other chemical agents.


The best way to finish woolens, silk, and delicate items is to steam them. Steaming also works great for cottons, linens, and durable synthetic fabrics, providing a casual finish. We opt to iron only when we want an extra-crisp finish.

Wool, Cashmere, Wool Blends & Wool-Like Synthetics

Woolens appear wrinkled after washing, so we steam to release the wrinkles and fluff the yarns. Never iron woolens as this practice can crush or flatten the natural pile of the yarns. Don’t have a steamer handy? Use an iron set to the “steam” setting, hovering over the item – do not make contact.

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Silk, Silk Blends, Silk-Like & Delicate Synthetics

Steaming is also ideal for silk and delicate fabrics that cannot take high or direct heat from an iron.

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1. Hold the steamer nozzle (or head) to hover over the fabric.

2. Drag the steamer over the fabric. It’s ok if you touch the steamer nozzle to the fabric. This will not damage the item.

3. Steam the item, top to bottom. Systematically move from shoulder to the end of each sleeve or from waistband to each pant cuff.

4. If the item has lining, steam the lining first. Then steam the outside of the item.

Tip! Add The Laundress Ironing Water to the water tank for an added scent while steaming.

Disclaimer: All techniques are based on textile science. Not all garments perform and react as science would predict.

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