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How to Use Steam Iron: Iron Your Clothes Better than Ever

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Almost all of us want our clothes to look crisp and smooth, don’t we? Especially when we are going to the office, attending a meeting, or even when we are at home preparing to join a virtual video call.

A steam iron can get this work done in a more time-efficient way as opposed to a dry iron. Besides, knowing how to properly use it is the next step that you require right after you own it.

Now, before mastering how to properly use a steam iron, let us have a brief look into some of the basics of a steam iron to become more aware of its features and some precautions.

Steam Iron – What is it?

Steam iron is a special type of iron that has a water reservoir and a coil built inside it. It uses 2200 watts of power on average to function. When the electricity is passed through the coil, it instantly produces heat and makes the soleplate hot enough to produce steam once the water reservoir drips some water into it.

Shortly after, the steam is then released through the soleplate holes to make the clothes soft and damp enough to easily get rid of any deep wrinkles from the clothes.

Consequently, you get an astounding finish in a time-efficient way which you wouldn’t otherwise have achieved by using a dry iron.

Precautions Before Using Your Steam Iron

Cover Surface with Protective Cloth

This cloth will work as a protective feature against damaging your clothes as well as the surface over which you’re going to iron.

Avoid Iron Burn

The surface temperature of an electric iron can go more than 200°Cwhich can cause an instant burn or injury to your skin.

Don’t Pour More Water Than Needed

Pouring water over the limit scale inside the reservoir can cause a sudden release of excess water over clothes which is unwanted for some fabrics.

Avoid Ironing Over Plastics/ Buttons

We know plastic gets melted by heat. Since most of the shirts do come with plastic buttons, we need to avoid ironing them.

Don’t Rest the Iron Over Cloth

This may completely damage that part of your cloth if you put the iron directly over it.

Avoid Ironing Over Metals/ Zipper

Ironing over a zipper or any type of metal can cause permanent scratches on your soleplate. So be aware of that.

10 Easy Steps in Using Your Steam Iron

By this time you know all the fundamentals of a steam iron, and of course, how to not screw your work by avoiding some silly mistakes.

So, now you can go ahead and check out some steam irons to buy. We’ve got a roundup article covering best steam irons available. Read more to find the suitable one for you.

But after buying it, you have to learn to properly use it. Here are 10 easy-to-follow steps to use your steam iron properly:

Step 1: Select a Garment for Steam Ironing

Arrange all the clothes in one place which are needed to be ironed. Besides, try to read the tags/ labels on them to determine whether they can be ironed.

If so, try to determine the type of fabric they are made of and in which settings (Low/ Medium/ High) they should be ironed. Now, you can sort the garments according to their built material and iron them with the required settings in place.

Step 2: Get the Materials Required

To use a steam iron, you will require 3 things-

  1. Some distilled water,
  2. A flat surface or an ironing board,
  3. The iron itself.

Besides, you may also require a multi-plug if the cable of your iron isn’t long enough to be attached to the power board.

Step 3: Prepare the Area

It is always better to iron on an ironing board because it can absorb heat produced from the soleplate. Besides, if you don’t have one, just try to find a flat surface and place a protective cloth on top of it.

In addition, try to select an area near the power board and avoid flammable areas and objects nearby at all costs.

Step 4: Fill Up the Water Tank

Now, fill up the water tank with distilled or filtered water to avoid calcium build-up. Don’t pour excess water than the limit or what’s instructed.

Finally, attach the water tank back into the steam iron properly if it’s detachable.

Step 5: Place the Garment Properly

Make sure your garment is properly stretched on top of the board or surface. This will allow the iron to remove wrinkles more effectively.

Not-to-mention, make sure it’s not folded anywhere unwantedly, or else it will create stubborn wrinkles which will be hard to get rid of.

Step 6: Unbutton Your Garment if it Has Buttons

As we know ironing over plastic buttons can cause them to melt, you should always unbutton your clothes before you iron them.

Besides, this will also protect the iron soleplate from getting scratches if the buttons are made from metal.

Step 7: Set the Temperature Compatible with Your Fabric

Not all fabrics can absorb high heat. Some can only absorb low to medium settings depending on the type of material (For instance- Silk, Wool).

Besides, we can easily determine the accurate type of fabric of the garment by reading the tags attached to it. Duly note that, the more the temperature, the more the power consumption.

Step 8: Iron the Front Side

Now that you are done with the prerequisites, start ironing your cloth from the front side. Remove the wrinkles by releasing steam over them.

You can divide your clothes into different sections and start ironing sequentially to cover every part of the garment.

Step 9: Smoothen the Back Side

After the front side is adequately ironed, turn over your cloth and start ironing the backside.

You can similarly separate the sections this time for your convenience and make sure to get rid of all remaining wrinkles as oftentimes the backside has them more.

Step 10: Hang the Garment Immediately

Finally, don’t lay the garment idly onto the surface or board after it’s done ironing. It may again catch unwanted wrinkles. Instead, hang it on a hanger to allow for natural air drying.

Tips for Best Using Your Steam Iron

The best time to iron your clothes is right after getting them from the washing machine. It’s because they stay in a damp condition which allows for efficient ironing. Besides, to protect a dark-colored cloth, be sure to iron the other side only.

For cleaning your steam iron, you can use a combination of white vinegar and distilled water in equal proportion and fill it into the water reservoir. Besides, it’s been found using baking soda can effectively clean out the soleplate of your iron.

And, don’t forget to turn off the iron before unplugging it.

Tips for Setting the Temperature

Unless the fabric is made of cotton, we should choose low to medium temperature for garments made of Silk, Wool, or Polyester. Don’t forget to check the type of material on the product label or tag.

Tips for Ironing Shirts

You should iron the back collar of your shirt first and start from the edges to the middle to avoid creases buildup across the collar point.

Next, you should iron the cuffs in the same way followed by ironing the sleeves and shoulders to the front and back part of your shirt.

Tips for Ironing Delicate Clothes

Instead of ironing directly over delicate clothes or wool, you can cover it with a cotton fabric to safeguard it or just use an iron guard for better protection.

Tips for Ironing Stubborn Wrinkles

Make sure to always turn on the steam function and choose the appropriate temperature according to the fabric when ironing stubborn wrinkles.

Besides, you can sprinkle some water over those wrinkle areas (Only if the fabric can absorb) given the steam function isn’t enough to dampen the fabric.


Steam irons are explicitly one of the greatest inventions in ironing technology. The main benefit of owning a steam iron is the ability to use it either as a dry iron or steam iron as needed.

Yet, it is always critical to know the proper use of it beforehand to get the best result out of your clothes regardless of their material. Thanks for reading.


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