Normal Iron Vs. Steamer

Updated February 21, 2017

Normal irons, or dry irons use heat to press wrinkles from clothing, while a steam iron releases wrinkles by heating and dampening the fabric. Steam irons cannot be used on some fabrics.


Irons can be used dry or with steam. They feature a water reservoir and holes on the metal plate for the steam to escape. Heat levels can be set based on the type of fabric being pressed.


Clothing steamers with larger water reservoirs and a hose and wand easily remove wrinkles from larger fabrics with less work. They are typically used on curtains, bedding or clothes hung on hangers. Because the steam kills germs, clothing steamers can also be used for cleaning upholstery, carpets and other surfaces.


Check clothing labels for information on how to iron an item. Use a regular iron or a steam iron with the steam setting turned off for clothing that must be dry ironed or dry cleaned only. Use the steam setting for other items, stubborn wrinkles and to disinfect or clean fabrics.

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About the Author

Alec Preble began writing professionally in 2007. He began blogging in 2006, writing media reviews for the "Post-Standard" from 2007-2008. Preble received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Empire State College in 2005.