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Published On
February 2, 2024

Cloth Steamers Vs. Iron – Choosing The Right Tool For Your Work Clothes

Written By
Osi Egwuogu

Cloth steamers have had quite a resurrection these past years. But we still have regular cloth irons that have been ruling the wrinkle-free world since forever. Which brings the question: Cloth steamers or clothing irons? And for people who go to work every morning and are looking for the quickest way to get ready, the answer to this question might just be the key to leaving home earlier than before. 

In our article, we will carefully ‘iron’ out the differences between these two wonderful inventions while providing insights into the pros and cons that define each tool. Let’s dive right in!

Understanding Cloth Steamers

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The steamer is a relatively newer invention than the iron which uses hot steam to remove wrinkles from clothes and fabric. It has two components, the container and the warmer. The container stores water while the warmer boils it, converting it into approximately 15 minutes of hot steam. 

Some steamers are small and handheld, while others are the industrial type that features a telescoping pole so that the steaming work can be done on hanging fabrics like curtain panels without using a ladder.

Steamers work by releasing hot steam, which takes out creases and wrinkles from a small distance. They do not actually come in direct contact with the clothes they are being used on, thus reducing the risk of burns or damage to the materials. This is one of the reasons why they are more suited for delicate fabrics like silk, wool, and velvet that would ordinarily cave under the heat of irons.

The heat from steamers has also been proven to kill germs, thus providing a deeper clean for your clothes. 

This tool is not all pros though, as it has its own share of disadvantages, such as:

  • The water container needs to be constantly refilled.
  • It does not allow for precision creases or crisp edges.
  • It is not efficient for tougher materials like cotton.

Exploring The Iron’s Domain

The iron is the perfect tool for getting a crisp press or a precision crease on your trousers or pleated curtain. Also, the temperature change feature allows for versatile fabric ironing. By simply adjusting the temperature, the Iron can effectively handle the resilience of cotton and the fineness of linen within minutes of each other. It is, however, generally smarter to start on the lowest setting with materials that require a lower temperature and then scale up gradually. 


  • It typically requires an ironing surface.
  • It is not very portable or suited for travel.
  • It will burn or damage certain fabrics.
  • It requires skill and some training to use.
  • It is not suited for hanging materials such as curtain ramps.

Tips To Consider When Choosing Steamer Or Iron

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Now you’ve got a brief idea of how these two appliances work, let us go in-depth into the factors that will determine which one is best to use for any situation.

1. Choosing Based On Fabric Types

One of the most important factors to consider is fabric type, especially when you’re in a hurry. The cloth steamer is recommended for delicate fabrics like silk, wool, and clothes with heat-fast colours. Conversely, stronger fabric types like cotton are better left to the precision of the iron. So if you’re going to wear a pleated skirt to work or cotton pants, ironing would be the best option. But if you’re thinking chiffon, use a steamer to avoid last-minute burns on your clothes.

2. Time Efficiency

Imagine you are running late for an important meeting. All your favorite dresses are wrinkled from the drier, and you’re wondering what to use for a quick fix. Well, the steamer wins in this case. They are excellent for quick touch-ups, effectively banishing minor wrinkles with ease. On the other hand, if you’ve got time and need to straighten out a large volume of clothing, then your iron is better suited. Efficient bulk ironing often requires a lot of time and energy. 

3. Energy Consumption

Generally, cloth steamers are more efficient for conserving energy. The design is such that after heating the water, you can use the hot steam for some minutes before heating it again. 

Irons consume more energy, but this can be minimized by following simple smart tips. For instance, you can iron clothes in bulk, use a good irnoning board, and iron in a well-ventilated room. These tips will help you reduce your iron’s energy consumption.

4. Maintenance And Longevity

Another important consideration would be care and maintenance. Cloth steamer maintenance is straightforward and requires only minimum effort to keep them in optimum condition. They are, however, not as long-lasting or durable as irons. Iron durability comes from the material and technology invested in making them. Although this increases the need for maintenance, it also means that you could have your iron for a couple more years with the right care. 


And that’s it. With the following tips, you have all the info you need to decide which one of these tools is best for straightening your clothes when you are in a hurry. If you’ve got little time and need your silk shirt wrinkle-free, it will be wiser to use the cloth steamer instead of struggling with the temperature adjustments on your iron. But say you’ve got about five minutes plus commute to get your denim pants straightened, your cloth steamer wouldn’t do you any favors.

Clean Tu Casa is the team to call for any cleaning service in Atlanta. We offer Atlanta residential cleaning services and corporate cleaning services. We provide commercial cleaning services in Marietta,  Buckhead, and Brookhaven areas. Whether you want a one-time, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly cleaning, simply reach out to us for your free quote today.

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