9 Surprising Things You Can Clean with a Clothes Steamer

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 steam clean, sanitize, renew, and refresh all around the house.



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

  • Always use distilled water in a steamer. The minerals in tap water can cause it to clog up and can also leave behind traces of minerals.
  • 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, 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 that keeps a stubborn label or sticker stuck so you can easily remove it. Be cautious if you’re dealing with an unpainted surface.

Defrost a freezer

If your freezer is not self-defrosting, you need to defrost it manually from time to time to keep it working well. And that can be challenging if you have frozen items you’d rather not thaw in the process. Use your clothes steamer to quickly melt the frost and ice.

Free icemaker

Now and then my ice maker gets jammed up with too much ice. A few blasts of steam gets things moving again.

Sanitize solid surfaces

As long as your steam reaches 212 F., you can use it to sanitize and sterilize surfaces like appliance handles, countertops, sinks, faucets and toilets. Steam can easily loosen the mineral build-up in cracks and crevices so it can be easily wiped away without any harsh chemicals.

Remove grease and baked-on gunk

While steam can make light work of removing grease and baked-on food from a stovetop, pan, or oven, it is especially effective on a glass cooktop that could be damaged by harsh scraping or abrasive cleansers. Work in small areas, blasting it first with the steam, then quickly wiping away the residue.

Clean grout

Steam blasts away mildew and dirt that can be stubbornly lodged in the grout lines between tile on floors, tub walls, and shower enclosures. Steam then wipe. Repeat as necessary, working in small areas.

Clean glass and mirrors

Hit that smudge or streak with steam, then wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth to avoid making a new streak or leaving behind lint. Steam is so effective on glass, you probably won’t need to use any other products at all. Moisture, heat, and microfiber is the perfect combination.

Detail a car

Steam is great for removing dirt and grime from wheels, trim, cracks, and crevices on the outside of a car. And it works wonders inside the car as well. Steam clean the seats and floor mats, too. Sticky handles, armrests and steering wheel? Hit them with steam! While you’re at it, clean the car windows and mirrors, too. Always test first in an inconspicuous place.

Best Inexpensive



Polardo Handheld Clothes Steamer

Unlike many small, portable clothes steamers, this Polardo can be used right side up or even upside down to steam clean! Tilt it 180 degrees and it won’t spill water, but continues to blast out steam. Holds enough water for up to 10 minutes of continuous steam, but is still small enough to tuck into a suitcase. Steam, remove wrinkles, sanitize, sterilize, soften, defrost and clean any type of fabric.

I love this little steamer because it heats up really fast, doesn’t leak, spit or sputter. It produces massive steam. It has an extra-long cord, which makes it so handy to use all around the house.

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2 replies
  1. Brenda says:

    You mentioned that this is the best inexpensive Steamer. Can you tell me what the best stand up steamer is? I am talking about the kind that you can take it off of the stand and steam stuff on the ground without the Steamer spilling water out. I have found that the smaller inexpensive ones work well but I need the big tall one that has a hose connected possibly like the stores use. It doesn’t need to be inexpensive; I was just wondering if you have done any research on this type of steamer?


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