Our colleagues, who absolutely hate ironing, endeavored to test steamers as an editorial experiment. Will they be able to replace irons and how thorough could they perform ironing? You can find the answer in this article.
Buying home appliances is a delicate issue. Even if you had enough money to buy all the existing assortments in a store, there would be a different problem: where to keep all this wealth and what to do with it? It so often happens that toasters, food processors, blenders and coffee makers are actively used only for the first couple of months, and then are left forgotten in a closet. We decided to correct this misunderstanding and launched a series of articles “Testing appliances / utensils”.
We are not going to tell you about the variety of devices (sales consultants are doing this job rather well), we will try to explain how useful they are, how to apply them and which miracles they are capable of. You will have to decide for yourself if you could live without them.
We should admit, we are not particularly fond of ironing. We try hanging the washing so that it would be even and look proper when dried. In the summer we do not bother if a blouse collar gets wrinkled or dress ruffles are a bit rumpled during drying. We can just spray them with water or even them out with a flat iron. But, sometimes we get an undeniable urge to iron.
In most cases our dislike towards ironing is caused by common laziness. We do not want to bother setting up an ironing board, uncoil the irons cord, then weight while the iron heats up . And, after that meticulously coiling the cord back, storing the board away…This is so tiresome, that we manage to make do without it in most cases!
When the two steamers were simultaneously brought to our office for testing, we gladly agreed to try out the new products in hopes that it somehow would change our attitude to the ironing process. Just to make clear: everything in these two steamers beginning from size and ending with possible application is absolutely different. The first one you can even take to your work while the second is ideal for everyday use at home.
The hand-held steamer: Philips GC320 Steam&Go
Specifications: constant steam streaming up to 24/min, power intake 1200 Watt.
We went straight to testing as soon as they arrived. First, we had to fill the basin with water. Due to its compact size the steamer capacity is just 0.06L. This is enough to iron one blouse (but if it is too rumpled you will have to add some more water). The device heats up instantly and starts emitting steam. It’s even faster than 60 seconds declared by the manufacturer. It should be used to steam your clothes solely in a vertical position (your blouse or trousers should be hanging) and under no conditions should you prop the clothes that you are ironing against any surface. I mean that your clothes should freely hanging in the air.
The steamer has perfectly managed wrinkles on fabric (especially on those like chiffon or silk). It left occasional wet spots the size of a dollar bill, which dried up quite fast without any traces. Difficulties came when we tried to even out lace ruffles on a dress. The manufacturer’s instructions say that you need to stretch them for better results. we tried doing it but the dress was constantly sliding off the hanger, besides, it was very uncomfortable to do it with one hand. The instructions also recommends steaming just washed (i.e. wet) clothes. We have tried both methods and did not notice any difference.
Conclusion of the test
To our mind, the Philips GC320 Steam&Go steamer is more suited to iron clothes during morning haste: it heats up rapidly, you do not need to set up an ironing board and moreover, you can store the steamer in a special bag to hide in a closet. For more thorough effect – i.e. making creases on trousers or ironing bed sheets – you would not make do without a good old iron and an ironing board!
Clothes steamer: Vitesse VS-694 5085
Specifications: steam pressure — 1.5 bar, steam stream — up to 45 g, power 2030 Watt.
The steamer resembles a vacuum cleaner in appearance, with a hanger attached to it for whatever reason. The steamer is complete with a brush for cleaning lints and dust from the fabric, a clip for trousers to help making creases and a heat-resistant mitten to protect your hand from steam. It takes just several minutes to assemble it and it’s use is intuitive. We didn”t even need to take out the manual.
The appliance is rather powerful and can easily handle those things that were laying in a dryer for too long. Vitesse evens out all creases very fast and leaves practically no wet spots or traces behind. The steam boost power is strong enough to make using the heat-resistant mitten quite necessary.
We have no idea how we could live without this appliance. It is an ideal device for ironing delicate fabrics and clothes, for example something with beads or sequins. Steam does not stretch the fabric and leaves no rumples on your clothes. Which is a common case when you use an ordinary iron. But it is inconvenient for pressing creases on trousers or skirts. It would be great if the steamer was complete with special clips for keeping your clothes in place.
All in all, the steamer is an absolutely necessary thing in your household. Especially if you have a lot of clothes with delicate types of fabric. But, we still would not refuse using the good old conventional iron!