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I Swapped My Iron For This Versatile Steamer And Never Looked Back

It’s portable, easy to use, and kind on even vintage clothing.

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Oh, hello, didn’t see you there! I’m Nora; you may remember me from that time I showed you my ridiculously full closet.

Between all the pushing and shoving that’s gone on in there lately — and my tendency to leave things in my laundry bag for as long as possible before folding them — my clothes aren’t always what you’d call freshly pressed. (Okay, fine. They’re what you’d call wrinkly as hell.)

Enter: the Shark Press and Refresh Portable Steamer — the only reason I ever look in any way presentable.

The space-gun-looking device comes with a small pitcher, and through its heated refill chamber it converts water into wrinkle-loosening vapor. You just plug it in, switch it on, wait for it to warm up, then pull the trigger to release the steam.
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The space-gun-looking device comes with a small pitcher, and through its heated refill chamber it converts water into wrinkle-loosening vapor. You just plug it in, switch it on, wait for it to warm up, then pull the trigger to release the steam.

I wear a lot of pieces from previous decades — which don’t always play well with irons — and this has been a fantastic alternative sent down from the dewrinkling gods above.

Also to be real, I don’t trust myself with an iron. How do I know if I turned it off before leaving the house? Can one ever be fully sure? Is there such a thing as objective reality? I don’t even know how you all deal with hair straighteners.
Robyn Jay / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: learnscope

Also to be real, I don’t trust myself with an iron. How do I know if I turned it off before leaving the house? Can one ever be fully sure? Is there such a thing as objective reality? I don’t even know how you all deal with hair straighteners.

Using the steamer requires a bit of a different technique than ironing, but it’s super easy.

Nora Whelan / BuzzFeed

I find it’s usually most effective to hang my wrinkled garment up, then place the steamer inside of it and pull downward. I really only press the garment like you would on an ironing board when I’m trying to nail down a collar or cuff.

Here's a before and after:

Nora Whelan / BuzzFeed

Some things worth noting: In addition to the aforementioned pitcher, the Press and Refresh comes with a variety of brush and bonnet head attachments for delicates and upholstery fabrics, as well as a hanging pad to protect garments and home surfaces. It has a 15-foot cord, which comes in handy for big-city renters or anyone else with too few functioning electrical sockets. And at 6.4 pounds, it’s not the absolute lightest, but it’s been completely manageable for me to carry to photo shoots.

Small warning: Like an iron, this little guy is hot. You’ll need to take some precautions.

NBC / Via media.giphy.com]

To avoid burns, always make sure you’re pulling the front of the garment away from the back (and vice versa); this will provide an opening through which the steam can escape upwards, instead of down towards you. In the same vein, keep your dominant hand moving briskly while holding the steamer (too slow and you could find yourself caught in a steam cloud), and your other hand out of the steamer’s direct path. Honestly, just read the manual.

You’ll get the hang of it quickly, I promise! And don’t worry about your iron; I’m sure you’ll find some use for it.

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Get the Shark Press and Refresh Portable Garment Steamer from Amazon for $78.97 or from Jet for $79.99.

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