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Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Surprising Things You Can Clean With a Clothes Steamer

Mary Hunt on

A compact clothes steamer is handy for removing wrinkles and stale odors from fabric, but is that all? Just another single-purpose tool that sits on a shelf gathering dust? Don't be so sure! I've been amazed to discover all the ways to use an ordinary clothes steamer to clean, sanitize, renew and refresh all around the house.

BASICS

Before we get started, let's go over a few steam clean basics.

Always use distilled water in a steamer. Tap water can leave behind traces of minerals, which can cause the steamer to clog up.

Never use steam on silk or other delicate fabrics. Always test first in an inconspicuous place for color-bleeding or spotting.

Do not use steam on freshly painted surfaces, vintage surfaces, waxed or polished wood or musical instruments.

 

LOOSEN CARPET STAINS

A blast of steam can loosen a tough carpet stain that's been difficult to remove. Hold the steamer a few inches away from the spot for at least 30 seconds and then blot it with a clean, white cloth. Repeat until nothing more is transferred to the cloth. If you still see evidence of the spot, it should respond more effectively to a good stain remover like Spot Shot. Just make sure you follow the instructions on the label, which may require rinsing once the stain is gone.

REMOVE LABELS AND STICKERS

A blast or two from your trusty clothes steamer can soften and melt the adhesive on a stubborn label or sticker so you can easily remove it. Be cautious if you're dealing with an unpainted surface.

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Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

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