I recently bought a Rowenta IS9100 Garment Steamer and have some practical advice for anyone using it, or any other steamer, really.
User a baker’s mitt in your hand not holding the steamer head to protect yourself and be more effective with your steaming. I don’t know why nobody’s mentioned it online (which one could find easily), but that’s why I’m writing this.
In most commercials for steamers you see, the users barely touches the garment. Then, when they do touch it to hold it, or stretch it so they can run the steam head over certain parts fully, they do it like the steam coming from the head is just vapour from a stage smoke machine or something.
Reality is, of course, very different from commercials meant to sell you on their products.
Unless all you have is really delicate stuff, you will need to hold your garment a lot more than you might think, no matter which steamer you use. Steam is steam and steam is needed to take out those wrinkles. You will also need to get the steam head near your hands on many occasions to get to those last places you want to straighten out on the garment, and the steam coming out of the head will burn you really badly if your hand is in the way for just a split second too long!
I sensed this potential danger mere minutes into using my new steamer, which I would say is generally pretty good but will review in more detail later. Fortunately, I immediately thought about my baker’s mitt as a way of preventing my free hand from getting burned so I got it out and sure enough, it worked to perfection. More fortunately, I never bake so the mitt, left to me by my Mother, was clean. You may not have that luxury, but getting an extra baker’s mitt or glove shouldn’t be a huge new expense. If you read this before you’re buying your steamer, buy one with the steamer.
The baker’s mitt on your free hand won’t impede you enough to render it ineffective for you to do your steaming, even if it’s a mitt without the fingers and just the thumb. I would even say it enhances your ability to steam because you don’t have to worry about burning your hand in the back of your mind, or be careful where you put it to get to certain spots to get steamed and take out the wrinkles. You just go for what you see, in any way you think can work to hold the garment and place the steam head, and do it!
That’s the way it should be, but you’ll need to protect your hands if you’re going to be able to steam your garment freely and with peace of mind.
As an extra precaution, if your eyesight isn’t great and you have to lean in to see if the wrinkles are out to the degree you like it, wear safety glasses or just wear your glasses while you do it so you don’t have to lean in. Steam may still be rising from the fabric or the steam head if you don’t remember to move it.