To Iron Or to Steam? |

Most people, throughout both the UK and the US, use a steam iron to press their clothes before wearing. This is just the norm, generations of people have grown up seeing their parents iron their clothes and presume this is how it’s done. They never question it. However, you may have heard of a garment steamer. They are powerful steam machine designed to force steam into your clothes, dropping wrinkles out and leaving a super pressed finish. They are most widely used in the fashion industry where the clothes are delicate or made from super fine and expensive material. The risk of scorching the fabric through using a steam iron may be too great.When using an iron, you will place it out flat on an ironing board and run the iron up and down the clothing, pressing the wrinkles out it. You turn the garment round the ironing board, doing the garment section by section, positioning it awkwardly to get into difficult places. With a garment steamer, you will hang the garment, usually on a pole provided for this function, and simply move the hose up and down the clothing. All wrinkles will then literally fall out of the clothing. This is an incredibly efficient as well as safe way to iron your garments. Not only that, they leave your clothing very fresh too.The garment steamer however is not the clear winner. The biggest issues facing them is that first of all, they are a little more dangerous than ironing. You will often burn yourself using a garment steamer. No matter how careful you are, you are handling a hose that pumps out hot steam; you will eventually pass it over your skin or hold the nozzle incorrectly. Some of the lower quality models may even spit water out the hose and will burn your skin. The main drawback is that it is much more difficulty to press creases into your clothing. If you are ironing a dress shirt or dress trousers and need to press a crease in, with a garment steamer, you have to use and attachment, holding the crease in place whilst you steam. With a steam iron, this process is much simpler and quicker.There are also advances in ironing technology such as steam generator irons which produce amazing amounts of steam for hours on end. These can be used as very efficient garment steamers as well as steam irons. This blurs the boundary between the two, perhaps combing the best of both worlds. In the end, the choice is down to personal preference. A quality steam iron will cost roughly the same as quality garment steamers. You could of course opt for a steam generator iron and get the best of both worlds.