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Steamer reviews

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Carlo, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    I bought this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=4323036015 When my last one finally burned out and in the interim got one of those 29.99 Conair ones from Wal-Mart. Figured both were worth a review here since I am always yelling at folks to quit dry cleaning so much and get a steamer. The ConAir one is a light duty job - ALL the water has to boil to generate steam so it is a little slow to start but once cooking works pretty well. For the average guy who plans to use it once per week this would suffice. The Quicksteam Professional is awesome, my old one was a lighter duty one from the same manufacturer (SteamFast) but this one is a monster - steams up fast and releases a LOT of steam very quickly. Hang up 6 suits on the shower rod and this baby will have them completely unwrinkled in about 2-3 minutes. Dress shirt requires one pass. For $150 on ebay this will save you hours of ironing and thousands on dry cleaning while making your clothes last a LOT longer. ..also has accessories you can order to use it as a steam cleaner. For the 100th time - if you want your clothes to last, hang'm up, brush them off, remove any visible dirt, steam it, let it hang loose for a day and stick it in the closet. Your stuff will last a LOT longer.
     
  2. mistahlee

    mistahlee Senior member

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    Good info.  You've persuaded me, for one.
     
  3. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    when you steam the cloth .. does the cloth get wet? or can you manage to unwrinkle the cloth without it being so much wet..
     
  4. mano

    mano Senior member

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    The fabric may become somewhat damp, but not wet. You'll see the fabric "relax" as you go over it, even though it may take a few passes. I steam my pocket squares when I make each fold, and the silk does become wet. I just let them sit for a while and they dry out.

    I've used two different Jiffy steamers and they're fantastic.  Great build quality and engineering.  Whichever steamer anyone buys, make sure it's good quality and construction.  They should last many years.
     
  5. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Anybody have any experience with the Rowenta steamers? I have seen them for sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and my wife tells me they make very good stuff.
     
  6. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I have a rowenta portable steamer, and it works OK, but I am thinking I'm not using this thing correctly as I'm using it as if it were an iron... should I just hang things up and fire steam at them?
     
  7. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    The good steamers do not 'spit' water droplets so they don't make it wet. If you start at the bottom and pass the wand from bottom to top the steam goes up both sides and the wrinkles completely fall out and relax. DO NOT lay it flat as you would an iron, hang the item up and let gravity work for you.

    Same thing on a business trip - Fill the tub with HOT water, hang your clothes in there and shut the door and then go to dinner... when you get back the clothes will have MOST of the wrinkles gone and you'll sleep better... flying dries you out.

    LOL, ...used to spend 5 nights per week in 6 different hotels before I said to hell with it and decided to make ties :)
     
  8. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    I've had one and I just don't think it generates enough steam to make much difference. After I use it, my wife tells me to just take the pants to the cleaners because they're still wrinkled. Will soon get the Jiffy Esteam or maybe what Chuck recommends.
     
  9. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    I like the Rowenta ones. I've always had fine luck with them (but Im not so much a stickler for unwrinkled clothing... what can I say, I dont really care how I look for my 8am class).
     
  10. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    (JLibourel @ 17 Sep. 2004, 3:02) Anybody have any experience with the Rowenta steamers? I have seen them for sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and my wife tells me they make very good stuff.
    I've had one and I just don't think it generates enough steam to make much difference. After I use it, my wife tells me to just take the pants to the cleaners because they're still wrinkled. Will soon get the Jiffy Esteam or maybe what Chuck recommends.
    I haven't used the Jiffy but I have seen one operating, seems pretty much the same kinda deal. Jill and I came home today with 50 new garments to get ready to ebay... I hung everything up and steamed out some very wrinkled items and got everything reasonably fixed up in under 2 hours. that's 50 ...quite a bit of steaming. One thing to look at is how it fills, the new one I just got holds 196 oz - 4 hrs worth. They work a LOT better if you use distilled water since you're not dealing with deposits. I'm seriously thinking of looking for a line of these things to carry one of these days - they are really worth the money.
     
  11. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I got the SF-465 today, that thing is BADASS. I steamed some shirts in about 20 seconds and ties that I thought were permanently wrinkled came clean in about 10-15 seconds. You can currently buy this bad boy on Amazon.com for $120 shipped, but there is a $25 discount coupon if you buy $125 in housewares, so add something for $5 (I got a La Creuset spatula) and you will get this steamer for $100 shipped.
     
  12. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    I have a Rowenta hand steamer, $4 at thrift store in like new condition. It works all right, but you have to squeeze the squeaky trigger thing a million times over the course of doing a few garments. It's a little irritating. Plus the brush on it (removable) is really stiff, so it could actually damage some items. I've only used it on a few things so far, but it definitely helps, especially with lighter weight fabrics and knits. Not bad if you can find one for $4. Incidentally I saw another one at the same thrift store a few days later, with a different brand name but exactly the same as the Rowenta, at least externally. May have been Salton or Conair, one of those houseware brands.
     
  13. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    Doesn't an iron also have a steam feature that would do the same thing. Obviously, it'd be less steam, but I don't see the difference.
     
  14. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    it's much faster and more effective to use the steamer as it makes large amounts of dry steam, while irons and small steamers typically throw water out which is bad for silks and some materials.
     
  15. My View

    My View Senior member

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    I use a steamer as well but I find it to be more useful straightening out the creases in pants (because they are thrown in the washing machine) than in my business shirts (which I throw in the washing machine and which come out terribled wrinkle).

    For shirts, I still think a conventional iron does a better job at giving it a neat pressing.

    One question for other steamer users: how do you maintain/reinforce the "crease" which runs from the line of your pants (I don't know how else to describe it but I am referring to the neat, desirable "line" which cuts each leg right through the middle left and right). Using a conventional iron, you align the pants legs and you put a piece of smooth cloth over the pants and you press, creating a very neat line. But you can't do that with a steamer.
     
  16. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    My issue with ironing shirts is that it's difficult to go near the placket without getting the iron near the buttons which I don't like to do, I can generally steam shirts to perfection in about a minute, what type of steamer are you using?
     
  17. mano

    mano Senior member

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    Steaming and ironing are different processes, even though both use steam. When you steam pants, hang them as you would in your closet, from the cuffs. That way the crease remains as it should. When I tried to steam very wrinkled shirts that had just been washed, I soon found out that they really needed to be ironed. I got most all of the wrinkles out, but the shirt looked "relaxed" but not crisply ironed.

    Re: which steamer to buy, Jiffy has been the best for many years and they're used by professionals. I saw my model steamer used at my local Saks. From what I've been seeing over the past year, steamers are gaining in popularity. Accordingly, I would expect other manufacturers to come out with equally high quality steamers and for the prices to come down.

    Gotta love an open market economy.
     
  18. My View

    My View Senior member

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    drizzt3117> It's a Singapore brand called "Novita" - not particularly well-known internationally I suppose but I presume all makes are more similar than dissimilar. Â The model is SS19 (click here for the link: http://www.novita.com.sg/steamer.htm) I agree with mano that the shirts look at best "relaxed" and not crisply pressed. Â That's my problem - I want it to look really crisp. (especially in Singapore when it's NOT the norm to wear suits/jackets, the shirt is open to greater scrutiny) mano> I steam my pants the very way you described: hungs from the cuffs. Â Do you not feel that with each wear, the crease line gets less distinct and unless you press it with an iron, it's difficult to restore this line?
     
  19. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    For creasing trousers (after having steamed them out) I will lay the leg flat and cover it with a thin cotton cloth to keep the hot metal off the wool and use firm pressure once or twice down each leg - perfect.

    Using an iron as a steamer - sounds great in theory, living in theory generally seems to result in wasted hours/days... a real steamer for $100 or so will save you hundreds in cleaning (thousands???) and cut the time from 15 minutes with a kinda sorta steamer iron all in one thingy versus 2 minutes with the instant cloud-o-steam kind... what's your time worth?
     
  20. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Pants have to be pressed from time to time to maintain the crease. Steaming is good for in-between times to get them back into shape, but it will relax the crease just like it relaxes wrinkles. Pressing the crease with an iron takes me maybe 2-3 minutes per pair of pants. No big deal.
     

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