Even before it was chic to be cheap, I always hand-washed many of my clothes as much as possible. I just prefer the smell of hand-washing detergent to the smelly chemicals the dry cleaners use. I also seem to have the one thing I want to wear stuck at the cleaners. And of course, it’s expensive. $8 billion is spent on dry cleaning a year, and, depending upon where you live, dry cleaning a suit can cost more than a good lunch!
Alas, if you hand wash something, you often have to press or iron it, afterwards. When an item has complicated tucks or embellishments, or it is made of a very delicate fabric, or it has a lining, or needs to be precisely pressed, this si a problem. I’m pretty good with an iron, but still, I’ve ruined, burned or melted my share of good clothes.
Recently, a new appliance has come into my life that’s made freshening and pressing things in my house easier, better, more pleasant, and much cheaper: the Conair Deluxe Fabric Steamer (srp. $99.00). This device not only saves you money and is convenient to use, it also can save your clothes and help the environment, too. In fact, the 1400-watt Conair Deluxe Fabric Steamer is so fabulous, it’s been named the exclusive garment steamer at Mercedez Benz Fashion Week for the Fall 2009 collections in NYC!
You don’t have to be Michael Kors or Diane Von Furstenberg to love, or own, a clothes steamer. This Conair Deluxe Steamer is accessible to everyone. It’s a pro-style, home version, that rolls from room to room to freshen everything from clothes to curtains, to bedding.
I had never used a clothes steamer before, but I loved the idea. After some very minor assembly such as putting the hose and nozzle together in the machine, you simply fill the plastic water reservoir with tap water, plug in the machine, and it’s ready in minutes. You simply run the steam nozzle over your item and watch the wrinkles, almost magically, disappear! The Conair Deluxe Steamer comes with a Pro Crease attachment with a trouser clip system (looks a bit like a giant chips bag clip with holes) that does an awesome job to make a crisp crease like you get from traditional irons or dry cleaning. You don’t have to use the hangar on the telescoping pole, you can lay something flat on a tabletop and “iron” with it if you wish.
I have a floor steamer, so I already know that steam can be a powerful way to clean and freshen–and it makes so much sense! The clothes steamer kills the bacteria that causes odors. While it isn’t the same as washing something, it will press and freshen so at the very least, you can get more mileage out of your clothes before cleaning them. The Conair steamer made clothes smell better–honestly! It also removed the wrinkles on everything I tried, and it did so without the potential to burn or melt even delicate buttons and fabric–now that’s, fantastic! The steam nozzle does heat, but it still safetly got the wrinkles out of jeans, linen, and even my husband’s suit.
This steamer requires an initial investment, but it will pay dividends for years. In tough economic times, DIY makes a lot of sense. The steamer uses nothing but water to freshen and press your clothes–free! Depending upon how often you tend to clean and press things, you could save a true bundle, very quickly. There are some other savings, too. Dry cleaning not only costs money, but there’s an additional cost to your health (and to the environment) from the noxious chemicals dry cleaners use.
If you live in a small space, you have to find room to store the steamer. The actual size is about the size of a vacuum cleaner, and the telescoping rod with hangar that holds the hose, collapses down, but it’s still something you’ll probably want to store in a closet (unless you want to dress yours up as a hat stand or something clever. *there are two smaller versions, including a compact version $34.99 and a hand-held steamer $19.99. While I’m not throwing out my bulky ironing board and iron (some thigns still benefit more from ironing), I am happy to say that since I have started using the Conair Deluxe Steamer I have made fewer trips to the dry cleaner. And now I can easily freshen my curtains and bedding (with two cats–this is a must) and made my home environment cleaner and more pleasant. You just can’t do that with an iron and the dry cleaner probably doesn’t make house calls! The thing I appreciate the most, actually, is that I actually enjoy using the steamer…it’s easy and fast, and fun to use, and gives you instant gratification. Now that’s, priceless!
The Conair Deluxe Fabric Steamer Model GSHDR is available at drug and mass retailers nationwide