How to Clean a Clothes Steamer?

How to Clean a Clothes Steamer?

Clothes steamers can be used to remove wrinkles from clothes, drapes and linens without using an iron or ironing board. You can also use a steamer to clean and disinfect surfaces such as upholstery, cooktops, and shower doors. It is versatile and simple to use. However, if your steamer starts to spit and spew, you need to clean it.

How Often Should You Clean Your Clothes Steamer?

There are many factors that influence the cleaning frequency of a clothes steamer. How often do clothes steamers get used? Is it tap water or distilled water that you use to fill your water tank? Which type of clothes steamer do you use? A small handheld model or a large free-standing floor model.

A steaming stream from the nozzle is the most obvious sign that your clothes steamer needs to get cleaned. Also, look for any white residue at the small openings of the nozzle. This is most likely due to limescale or mineral deposits, which can cause the appliance to perform less well than it should.

A monthly cleaning is recommended for clothes steamers that are regularly used. It is a good idea to clean steam cleaners that are rarely used before you store them away. This will ensure that the steamer is always ready for use when it is needed.

What you’ll need

Equipment / Tools

  • Sink or bucket
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Small bowl


  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • Toothpick


The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

For specific instructions on how to clean your steamer, make sure you read the manual. You can find the manual online at the manufacturer’s site.

  1. Unplug the Appliance

    Unplug your clothes steamer and let it cool off before you clean it. You can still unplug the steamer after it has cooled.

  2. Drain the water tank

    After the appliance has been cooled and unplugged from a power source, empty or remove the water reservoir into the sink or bucket. You can either dispose of the water or use it for watering your houseplants.

  3. Distilled white vinegar can be added

    The water reservoir should be filled with either cleaning Vinegar. Avoid using apple cider or any other flavored vinegars that could leave sediments in your tank.

  4. Get the steamer going

    Turn on the appliance and let it heat up.

  5. Get rid of the Vinegar

    The nozzle should be held over a bucket or sink. Burn the steam until you are almost out of water.


    To avoid direct contact with the vinegar’s aerosolized Acetic Acid, keep your face away from the steam. Pay attention to countertops and walls. Stop if they become condensed from vinegar steam. Wipe them with plain water immediately and dry with a cloth. This can be done over a bathtub, or any other hardy surface to avoid damaging surfaces.

    The sink drainage should be drained with the vinegar. This is a great cleaner that can be used to remove any sticky gunk from the drain pipes.

  6. Fill the water tank

    When the vinegar has almost gone, unplug it and allow it to cool down. Then, fill the water reservoir with distilled waters.

  7. Remove the heated water

    Turn on the steamer and drain all distilled water from the tank. You can then rinse out any vinegar. This will rinse out any vinegar.

  8. Cool and disassemble

    Allow the steamer to cool completely before unplugging it. As many components of the steamer as possible can be disassembled and dried with a cloth or microfibercloth.

  9. Inspect Components

    Inspect the components of the clothes steamer while it is being disassembled. Check for cracks in the hoses and gaskets.

    Check the nozzle carefully for any residue. Fill a small bowl with warm, distilled vinegar and heat in the microwave if you find any white or powdery residue. Allow the nozzle to soak in the bowl for at least 4 hours, or even overnight.

    Before reassembling your steamer, rinse it well with warm water.

  10. Reassemble steamer

    Once all components have been cleaned and dried, you can assemble the steamer again for storage. You can fill the steamer immediately with distilled water if you don’t plan to use it immediately.

How to keep your clothes steamer cleaner longer

  • Use only distilled water for the reservoir
  • Don’t overfill your water tank
  • Steaming sessions should not cause the water reservoir to dry out. This could cause mineral deposits to burn or scorch.
  • Between steaming sessions, empty the water reservoir.
  • The steamer should not be stored in a reservoir for extended periods of time with water.
  • After each use, wipe the reservoir dry so that it is completely dried before storage.
  • Before storing the steamer, disassemble all components.
  • Keep the steamer upright with the nozzle.

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