Hate Ironing? You Need A Garment Steamer In Your Life!

by Paris B on · 78 comments

in Clothes,Gadgets,Product Reviews

I don’t know about you ladies out there, but if there is one household chore I hate… and I mean HATE! … its ironing. I’d sooner mop the house and wash bathrooms than iron my clothes. I’d sooner dress in knits than cotton shirts and dresses.   I’d sooner hire someone just to iron my clothes, if I had the means to. You get the general idea. I hate ironing.

clothes steamer Hate Ironing? You Need A Garment Steamer In Your Life!

A few years back however, I purchased a contraption that hasn’t made me love ironing clothes any more, but it has made me tolerate ironing just a little bit better. Enter the clothes steamer, or garment steamer, however you want to call it.

You might have seen this contraption in boutiques or the fashion departments in departmental stores. I used to notice it but I never quite thought about buying one for myself. It was only when I was chatting to a friend who used to own a boutique, that she pushed me into buying one – the best investment you can ever make, she told me. Know what? She was absolutely right!

Thanks to her connections, I purchased my clothes steamer from one of those little shops where boutique owners go to buy their supplies. So, mine is the industrial version, the one you will see being used in little boutiques – the not very attractive version. Since then, I’ve noticed in recent years, that some popular household brands like Phillips have come out with a more domestic version of the garment steamer that looks better.

clothes steamer2 Hate Ironing? You Need A Garment Steamer In Your Life!

Do excuse the mess. My laundry room is always a disaster icon razz Hate Ironing? You Need A Garment Steamer In Your Life!

The concept behind the clothes steamer is simple. The water in the holder is heated up and the steam generated is pushed up through the hose and out through the nozzles. It is this hot steam that “irons” the wrinkles out of your clothes.

Using it for the first time takes a bit of work because its not quite as easy as you might imagine it. To optimize the use of the steam, you have to iron from the inside of your clothes. So, you hang your dress on a hanger, then slide the nozzle under and inside, and watch the wrinkles fall out on the outside. Its almost magical, especially when you are working with delicate and light material.

Be warned however, that steam is very hot. Science class would have taught you that steam is generated only with boiling water and it is at the same temperature as boiling water, so using a clothes steamer is a very hot, sweat inducing affair, and one if you are not careful, can cause burns on your hands. I’ve blistered my hands countless times from being careless or overly optimistic.

I find that using a clothes steamer has cut down my ironing time, especially when I work with light material – chiffon, silk – or synthetic material – nylon, polyester. These materials are delicate to start with, and using a conventional iron can sometimes result in disaster. With the clothes steamer you don’t have to worry about burning, melting or scorching your clothes of delicate fabrics anymore. Just run the nozzle lightly under the fabrics and you’re done. Especially helpful for clothes with strange cuts or ruffles or lace too.

However, cotton shirts and clothes still need the press of a conventional iron. Using a steamer helps the wrinkles fall out, but it never looks as crisp or smooth as when you press it with an iron. So guess what? I’ve reduced the number of cotton shirts in my wardrobe – yes, I hate ironing that much icon razz Hate Ironing? You Need A Garment Steamer In Your Life!

Who needs a clothes/garment steamer?

  • If you hate ironing
  • If you can live with some wrinkles in your cotton shirts, you (and I) can use this on cotton shirts and clothes too.
  • If you wear a lot of clothes made of delicate or synthetic material.
  • If you want to get wrinkles out of your knitwear.
  • If you don’t want to spend too much time on your ironing.
  • If you like gadgets.

I can’t extol the virtues of a clothes steamer enough. It is truly a Godsend for ladies who hate ironing or who don’t want to spend so much time on your ironing or who have clothes of delicate material that you don’t know how to handle. I don’t have to worry about burning my clothes anymore, and I still don’t enjoy doing my ironing, but at least when I do it, I know I’m getting it done more quickly icon smile Hate Ironing? You Need A Garment Steamer In Your Life!

Oh and it makes a great face steamer too – LOL! (Kidding! Face steaming is a side effect, don’t go holding it to your face or you will likely steam the skin off it icon razz Hate Ironing? You Need A Garment Steamer In Your Life! )

Do you own a clothes steamer too? Do you love this as much as I do? Or are you now contemplating getting one? I promise you, you will not regret it one bit!

Paris B

I purchased my clothes steamer from a boutique supply shop for about RM350 about 2 years ago. There is no brand and is some random Made in China product. There are various brands available for domestic purchase now and I know Phillips has one but I don’t know the price.

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[ 78 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Hasegawa Ayane April 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

Have the exact same one. Still hate ironing and steaming my clothes. There is no hope for myself hahaha XD

I basically use the steamer for clothes which can’t be ironed lol Don’t enjoy sweating part very much :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Urgh! I don’t hate ironing any less either! But at least I’m getting it done more quickly and getting a facial and sauna at the same time haha!

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LeGeeque April 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

I’ve contemplated this for years because i detest ironing too. would it be better if you steam the cotton shirts while it is still sort of damp?

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Actually, I sometimes steam the cotton shirts then quickly run an iron through them. That is, if I want them to look more crisp. Most of the time, I …Er… Don’t bother :P

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electronicfly
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 9:09 am

The Phillips one is about RM400, and it isn’t that great, as the stand they provide isn’t attached to the steamer, so if you don’t weigh it down properly, a small pull and tumble it goes! The tank is quite small too, so after say 3 or 4 dresses you’ll need to refill =/

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Ouch! That’s expensive. I thought it was about RM200 :P thanks for letting me know. I can get through quite a few clothes before having to refill thanks to the big water bottle provided in mine

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Shay April 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

I hate ironing too. So I hardly wear shirts anymore.

I shall get a steamer when I get my own place and move out from parents! :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Ooh is that happening soon? ;) I hardly wear shirts or even blouses anymore. A pity because a nice shirt can look smart and professional. Instead I’m in my comfy knits and dresses lol!

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Shay April 23, 2012 at 6:00 am

Sigh. Unfortunately, I have to wait a while more as the property prices are still crazy.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Boo to crazy property prices :( they’re starting to shoot through the roof here too. It’s scary especially for those looking for their first home

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germs April 22, 2012 at 9:13 am

this looks perfect for me! i seldom wear shirts because they always end up making me sweat like mad in this hot weather, once saw this at an electronics exhibition for about just S$60 or RM120! now i’m regretting not buying it after reading your post, heh.
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Hehe I’m sure there will be another chance :) I even use this on t shirts sometimes, of they are too crumpled. Makes you look neat in a tick!

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giddy tigress
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 9:34 am

I actually received a clothes steamer as a gift. It’s an Amway one, but I haven’t gotten into the hang of using it yet. Might take it out of the closet soon!
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Lucky you! It takes a bit of practice to get it right (and not to burn yourself) but its very useful :)

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Vivi
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 10:21 am

I have one of this from Novita. I forgot how much I bought it for, though. It’s a life-saver! Like you said, it’s not as powerful as the old-school clothes iron but it’s great for emergencies and soft fabrics. But got to be careful not to use the steamer to often in an enclosed room with not much ventilation as it produces lots of moisture. I used to keep it in my room until I discovered a big (and I mean big) scary patch of mold growing on one of my walls.
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Ooh good tip! I usually have my windows open because the room can get all steamy like a sauna otherwise. Or I do it in my living room where I can watch tv at the same time :D

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Jennifer April 22, 2012 at 10:42 am

Haha, I can so relate to this ironing gripe :) I had the same thought as you about knits and I love knits. I had a fabulous Braun iron which I bought from Singapore. A faulty adaptor then zapped it to death. I sent it back to Harvey Norman KL and they could not fix it since the spare part was no longer available. My heart was shattered because that iron was such a magical helper for my ironing chores! But thanks to the extended warranty, I was given credits to purchase another iron in the store. Guess what? They don’t sell Braun irons in Harvey Norman KL. Argh!!! In the end, I settled for a Tefal steam iron which costs about RM400. Still not as good as my Braun, but will settle for that than the conventional iron which destroys most of my clothings leaving shiny marks. On the contrary, I used to hate ironing but with a good steam iron, I am ok to do ironing because I like to see my clothes neat and tidy and wrinkle free.

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shah April 22, 2012 at 11:06 am

i’m like you, jennifer. love my tefal steam iron to bits. used to dislike ironing until i converted to the steam iron. now i enjoy ironing (and the beautiful results i get), especially on those days when i need to relieve some stress ;)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Ahhhh sounds like I need a steam iron :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm

You are absolutely right about getting a good iron. When I made the transition from normal heavy iron to steam iron, I thought it was awesome. But I dropped my iron and it was never the same since :P I was also looking at the Tefal iron till I got the steamer. I do still need an iron for shirts. The old one just doesn’t cut it anymore boo! that said, who’s to say we can’t wear knits to work eh? ;)

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Lisa April 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

I don’t hate ironing now as I iron every morning before going to work. One or two pieces the most. Done within 3-5 min. I shudder to think of the days in the past I will iron a whole pile of clothes to last me a week. That was one reason I can’t enjoy my Sundays. And don’t you hate it when after ironing and few days later when you bring out the clothes to wear and it’s not so wrinkly free still? Yes, I have lots of cotton clothes. Thus, ironing everyday is the solution ! ;-)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm

You know what, Lisa, I actually did this for a spell. Then I got lazy because it meant I had to look for my outfit the night before and before I j we it, I was back to ironing a mound of clothes every other week LOL

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Janice April 22, 2012 at 11:45 am

I agree fully with u Paris B :) I was really happy when i got my first Novita Garment Steamer several years ago! I used to dislike ironing but finds it much easier and faster using a steamer. I love playing my favorite music and singing alone to it while steaming my clothes and doing household chores has never been so relaxing hehe..

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Haha I wouldnt out relaxing and ironing in the same sentence but I get ya totally! I usually do it with the tv on. A good time for me to catch up on tv too. I sometimes end up watching the weirdest programmes for want of something to watch lol!

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Sze Ling April 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Fear not, you’re not alone. I probably hate ironing just as much as you.
I’ve been contemplating about the steamer for almost a year now. But could never justify spending that much money on an “iron”.
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Now you need one, Sze Ling ;) I didn’t think I could or would spend that much on an iron either but it would appear it was either this or a good steam iron which would cost about the same. A good iron does make things easier but never more enjoyable :P

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lavender April 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hi Paris

I hate ironing as much as you do if not more. I only take out my iron once or twice a year. When I buy clothes I will look for fabric that needs no ironing. Cotton shirts – what’s that? ha ha…I only have not more than 5 in my closet and I rarely wear them. I think I should get this gadget.
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Lol!! Once or twice a year? Ok you win :) Since I got the steamer I can afford to get clothes of delicate fabric. At least I know the creases will fall out easily, I won’t ruin them and they will look good :)

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Rainy Days & Lattes April 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I hate ironing so much that I don’t even have one! LOL I’d rather bare the wrinkles and get NEW clothes… this is how bad it is. I need a clothing steamer! I need to check out the domesticated ones since I have no hookups to purchase industrial ones :D glad I’m not the only one who hates ironing!

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Oh wow you must have a huge wardrobe :) I got mine from a shop that sells supplies to boutiques. You might have something similar where you are, or there’s always online shopping ;) from what I can tell, the difference lies in the capacity of the water tank, and the pole.

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Cindy Tong April 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I really hate ironing cloth and guess what those nice blouse or pant always need extra ironing…so i send to dobby nearby my house like once a month which cost about rm1.2 per piece which i think is quite reasonable…rather than i spent hours ironing..

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm

A few people have told me that too but Sadly I’m also a bit of a miser :P besides if I had to send everything to be ironed, it’d cost me a pretty penny ;)

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Jyoan April 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I hate ironing too. I want to get a pressure iron. That’s the best.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

A pressure iron? Thats the first time I’ve heard of it. I only know about steam irons :D but anything that will make this chore easier (not necessarily more enjoyable though) is welcome ;)

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Jyoan April 23, 2012 at 1:40 am

lol, making it easier… … Pressure iron is like really the only thing I want, but it is so costly, I still can’t convince myself to part with so much at one go.

Philips has 3 I think, ranging from $300+++ to $600. And then there is this LauraStar that is a straight $700. LauraStar has a special ironing board that if you buy, will cost $1500 or so, together with the iron.

I myself am pretty convinced LauraStar is way better than Philips because I have seen the demonstration, and that the $300+++ Philips one will make me feel cheated. LOL.

LauraStar sells only at selected megaCourts here.

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Jyoan April 23, 2012 at 1:44 am

Oh yeah, and I have resorted to buying low-crease material, less cotton, more silky feel.

And I’ve also decided to have more cheaper blogshop clothes, so that I only need to rotate my wardrobe after some 4 weeks or more. =PPP So I can slowly iron, and iron less… =P

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm

This is so new to me! I’m going to take a look the next time I go past an electrical department or store. Anything to make ironing easier!

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Jen April 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Thanks for the affirmation. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a steamer for a while now. You’ve just convinced me. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Hehe you won’t regret it, I’m sure! ;)

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rudi April 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Count me in the “hate ironing” group – actually it’s DETEST ironing but I used to love my linens and cottons and that very crisp look and labored at it.

Hence most of my clothes now are non-iron material. In fact i don’t even know where my iron is anymore haha.

As few (extremely few) that need ironing are seldom worn and like Cindy Tong I just send it to the laundry shop.

A cautionary tale to Lisa – I used to iron what I want to wear for the day in the morning too. One morning I woke up and there was no electricity and I had to go to office in my least wrinkly outfit. Gotta have at least 1 extra ironed outfit for emergencies dearie.

I wonder if domestic steamers work as well as industrial ones? Any one who has tried both types?

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm

I used to be very hard working. I’d starch my shirts and press them to crisp smoothness. Now, I just make sure there are no obvious wrinkles :P I don’t know the difference but you can get a similar steamer to mine (uglier than the Philips type but with a bigger water tank) at any shop selling stuff for boutique owners. If you know the area around Kenanga Wholesale Centre, there are a couple of such shops there.

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Sunny
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

When I have enough space in the house I need one of these! I’m not a big fan of ironingt, but luckily I don’t have that much to iron anyways mwahaha
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Ooh lucky you! That’s one of the fun things about having cool weather. Most heavy materials don’t need ironing unlike light ones :P

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Polly April 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I don’t hate ironing at all, in fact I quite like it! I find it quite therapeutic and I derive great satisfaction from seeing crinkly crumply clothes flatten out into smooth straight pieces in my hands! :-)
But I did get a Novita garment steamer some time last year cos I thought it would save me some time in my ironing. Yes, it’s particularly good for soft material such as chiffon and silk — makes ironing these clothes such a breeze! — but I always have a problem ironing the bottom “rim” of some tops (e.g. T-shirts), cos if I’m holding on to the bottom, the steamer head can’t touch the bottom cos my hand is there, and if I let go of my hand, then the top is just “floating” and there is nothing to provide some “tension” for the steamer head to iron against. So not sure how to overcome this problem…

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Aww Polly wanna do mine? Hehe To tackle the problem of the bottom and sides when steaming, I use the head to create the tension. I hold one end of the side of eg t shirt, and use the head to run it sort of taut on the bottom, vertically. If that makes sense? For light materials, I float them on top of the steamer head and they usually iron themselves out quite quickly.

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Swati
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm

oh yes, I so want one :) I hate ironing to the core and that’s one of the main reasons amny of my clothes lie ununsed!!! and, many of the times, I am not really happy with the services where one can get their clothes ironed. I shall deifnitely check them out.
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I know! I had some part time cleaners in once and asked them to do some ironing, which they also do. But it was as if the shirts weren’t ironed at all :P I haven’t tried sending them out to a laundry but I’d be upset if I did and they were damaged or not well done.

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Shleesy April 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Omg. I guess I’m the odd one. I love ironing, I will iron 90% of what’s in my wardrobe (yes, this included tees, cotton underwear/sleepwear, pillowcase & bed sheet).
I was introduced by a friend whose hostel in SG that did undie ironing for him during his school day- undeniable truth ironing makes the clothes more comfortable to wear.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Haha! Definitely the odd one out Shleesy ;) but its very fascinating especially bed sheets?! How do you fit that on the board? But I have to agree with you. Ironed clothes definitely feel nicer and look much better too. My aunt used to tell me to press everything because she said it made every piece of clothing look good :)

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Stephanie/Yukaeshi
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm

I own a garment steamer and I dare say that for me, in most cases it works better than ironing! :P I don’t mind ironing though, but we have a weekly maid to do that for us so I’m spared. The garment steamer is normally a back-up for when we urgently need clothes ironed and the maid hasn’t gotten to it yet haha!
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Lucky you to have someone iron for you ;) I tried one of these services once but it was as if my shirts weren’t ironed at all. Lucky it was part of a cleaning package or I’d have been mad to pay for that :P

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Natalie April 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I’ve hate ironing so much. Dread it. Most of the time I would only wear the clothes in wardrobe that requires the least ironing effort. Haha. I bought an expensive steamer last year but it doesn’t seem to work though. Either the machine is faulty or I’m not doing it right. Reading this post makes me wanna give my clothes steamer another try. :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 22, 2012 at 11:50 pm

I thought mine didn’t work too but it turned out I was doing it the wrong way :) you have to get the steamer head inside, under your clothes and with the other hand, pull it taut. Once you get that, it works a treat!

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xin
Twitter:
April 23, 2012 at 9:17 am

i have tried one at my cousin’s house before, it works fine for delicate material like u said, but got the guys’ shirt, it’s still meh :(
however, as much as i hate ironing, i iron everything in my wardrobe :P can’t stand the wrinkles

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 25, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Can you come iron mine? :P definitely, a steamer isn’t for cotton shirts. Gotta iron the guy’s shirts still… So might as well iron your own eh? ;)

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Stacey
Twitter:
April 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

sounds a litte trickly to use, to steam from underneath the garment? i always see the boutique shop assistant steam the garment from the outside..

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm

If its new or already pressed, steaming the outside will work. For very stubborn creases, you need to go underneath. I think it’s to do with the physics of steam and an enclosed space that gives a better effect else the creases won’t fall out from the inside. At boutiques, clothes come pressed and are steamed to just get them hanger ready :)

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