How to Use a Clothes Steamer Properly, According to the Pros

If you need to de-wrinkle a dress shirt but don’t feel like breaking out your ironing board, a garment steamer can get the job done just as well… if you know the right way to use it. Clothing steamers use hot steam—typically 200 degrees or more—to smoo…

If you need to de-wrinkle a dress shirt but don’t feel like breaking out your ironing board, a garment steamer can get the job done just as well… if you know the right way to use it. Clothing steamers use hot steam—typically 200 degrees or more—to smooth out fabric and release wrinkles, and many people find them easier to use than irons, as there’s less risk of scorching your favorite clothes.

However, the best clothes steamers are only effective if you use them properly. If you don’t, you may end up with water splatter everywhere and just as many wrinkles as you started with. To ensure you get professional-grade results with your new garment steamer, we asked laundry experts Jonathon Reckles of CD One Price Cleaners and Alicia Sokolowski, president and co-CEO of AspenClean, for their best clothes steaming tips—here’s what they had to say.

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5 Laundry Mistakes You Didn’t Realize You Were Making

I don’t claim to be a laundry expert, but I think at this point in my life I mostly have the chore figured out… right? Maybe not. The other day I was lamenting that one of my shirts came out of the washing machine with a snag in it, and my mom asked if…

I don’t claim to be a laundry expert, but I think at this point in my life I mostly have the chore figured out… right? Maybe not. The other day I was lamenting that one of my shirts came out of the washing machine with a snag in it, and my mom asked if I left any zippers undone. It turns out you’re supposed to close any zippers before putting clothing in the wash—otherwise, the metal teeth can grab onto other fabrics. Maybe it’s just a common sense thing, but I truly never thought of it.

The whole situation got me thinking: What other laundry mistakes am I making? I reached out to a few experts to ask what laundry mistakes they often see most often, and it turns out there are quite a few things that I didn’t know about.

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This Trick to Removing Grease Stains Is Also the Simplest

Sometimes I feel like I can’t have nice things. Because in a world of nice things, there is also burger grease.

Take, for example, the cautionary tale of my favorite jumpsuit. I loved it, but it was too big for me and had languished, unworn, in my clo…

Sometimes I feel like I can’t have nice things. Because in a world of nice things, there is also burger grease.

Take, for example, the cautionary tale of my favorite jumpsuit. I loved it, but it was too big for me and had languished, unworn, in my closet for more than a year. One day, inspired to invest in what I had rather than buying new things, I splurged: I took my jumpsuit to an old-school tailor in New York. I watched as he expertly pinned it to fit me just so, paid 50 percent upfront, and went home to await his call.

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Do You *Really* Need to Sort Your Laundry?

My mother taught me to do laundry when I was an early teenager, and a big part of her lesson was how to sort clothing. To this day, she has a thorough sorting routine—she separates her loads of laundry into whites, colors, underwear, jeans, even my dad…

My mother taught me to do laundry when I was an early teenager, and a big part of her lesson was how to sort clothing. To this day, she has a thorough sorting routine—she separates her loads of laundry into whites, colors, underwear, jeans, even my dad’s work clothing, which tends to get really dirty and merits its own cycle. Towels also get their own load, as do sheets and other bedding.

That was how I was taught to do laundry, and for the past 20 years, that was exactly how I did it every two weeks—or however long it took for me to run out of socks. However, this is the part where I tell you that I really don’t like doing laundry, in large part due to the aforementioned sorting. So when my partner and I moved into our house together and started sharing a laundry basket, he took over the chore, and I happily let him.

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The Best Grass Stain Remover Is Already In Your Pantry

A few years ago on a trip to Block Island, Rhode Island, I went for a walk along a hill in the early evening, looking out over the ocean. The sun was getting lower and the sky was still luminously blue. I bought lemonade and a slice of watermelon from …

A few years ago on a trip to Block Island, Rhode Island, I went for a walk along a hill in the early evening, looking out over the ocean. The sun was getting lower and the sky was still luminously blue. I bought lemonade and a slice of watermelon from a nearby food truck, ate it on the highest part of the hill, then sprawled out on the grass, flat on my back, and blissfully thought, “This is peak summer.” I also thought: “Did I just get a grass stain my white shirt?”

Unfortunately, many of our favorite carefree summer activities are likely to leave us with bright green grass stains on our clothes. In anticipation of many more picnics and lawn games to come before summer’s through, I tested out common DIY solutions to treat grass stains. I tried four pre-treatment methods and compared the results after laundering to a sample that was washed with detergent only.

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How to Wash a Down Comforter (Because It’s Probably Time)

My favorite room of my home is, by far, my bedroom. I spent weeks deliberating furnishings, wood tones, and a few pieces of lovely, affordable art. I also landed on a thick, cozy area rug, a big arm chair, and the most exquisite secondhand mirror to ac…

My favorite room of my home is, by far, my bedroom. I spent weeks deliberating furnishings, wood tones, and a few pieces of lovely, affordable art. I also landed on a thick, cozy area rug, a big arm chair, and the most exquisite secondhand mirror to accent it all. But what I really splurged on were my percale sheets, matching duvet cover, and the most cloud-like comforter imaginable to make the place where I lay my head at night the happiest place to be.

I was pretty diligent about keeping this oasis of calm and comfort neat and tidy, too: I dusted and vacuumed and stripped my bed each week. There was one item, however, that had escaped my cleaning routine completely. Many many months after I bought it, my comforter hadn't made it down to the laundry room. That is, until the day I found out that even with a cover on, a down (or alternate down) comforter is a magnet for allergens, dust, dander, even skin cells (oh, my).

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This Is the Secret to Removing Your Peskiest Stain

Treating stains is an art. Magazine and website articles offer recipes for exactly how to treat each type of stain (I’ve written some myself) and whole books have been written on the subject of laundry. Meanwhile, a photo of Martha Stewart’s laundry ro…

Treating stains is an art. Magazine and website articles offer recipes for exactly how to treat each type of stain (I’ve written some myself) and whole books have been written on the subject of laundry. Meanwhile, a photo of Martha Stewart’s laundry room reveals ten (!) supplementary stain-removing solutions—and that is not counting her main detergent. But all those careful instructions and specialty products are all for naught if you do not employ what I believe is the most important thing: patience.

Most people give up on stains too quickly! Patience and persistence are the true secrets to laundry success. In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to think that to treat a stain is you just spritz some stain treater on the spot and then toss the garment in the wash. But the enzymes and other active ingredients in stain treatments and detergents need time to do their work. In fact, if you read the labels, most will tell you they need at least 15 minutes to sit on the stain before laundering to be effective. However, that recommended time on the label is a fraction of the time it may actually take to properly tackle a tough stain.

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Why I Air-Dry My Clothes Even In a Tiny Apartment

One or two days a week, my entryway transforms into a makeshift laundry room. It’s a little inconvenient to maneuver around the drying clothes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, I love a romantic stock shot of sheets on a drying line as much …

One or two days a week, my entryway transforms into a makeshift laundry room. It’s a little inconvenient to maneuver around the drying clothes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, I love a romantic stock shot of sheets on a drying line as much as the next person, but living in a city apartment, I, like many people, have access to neither a yard nor an old-school, outdoor clothesline.

Ditching the dryer is a worthy goal: After your heating and cooling, your dryer is likely the biggest energy hog in your home. According to the non-profit Green America, air-drying your clothes can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds a year! I always thought the dryer was a necessary evil living in the city until I spotted a shot of an indoor clothesline on a blog, which made me realize I could air-dry just about any clothing indoors—not just my special hand-wash items. Nearly a decade into my air-drying routine, I can tell you the benefits go way beyond the impact on your utility bill.

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How to Remove Sticky, Clingy Tree Sap From Your Clothes

If you like to camp, hike, or bring home a Christmas tree during the December season, then you know the sinking, pit-in-your-stomach feeling of realizing you’ve sat in or leaned against sap. At first, it might not register. There are a lot of sticky el…

If you like to camp, hike, or bring home a Christmas tree during the December season, then you know the sinking, pit-in-your-stomach feeling of realizing you’ve sat in or leaned against sap. At first, it might not register. There are a lot of sticky elements in the great outdoors and not all of them are as lethal to your favorite quarter-zip fleece as sap often is. Though once you’ve become conscious of the fact that you’ve managed to get sugary tree excrement on your beloved leggings, the heart-wrenching sensation is unmatched.

But what if we told you that you’d never have to experience that pain again? That you’d never have to discard another contaminated puffer jacket? Well, that is, in fact, what we’re here to say. We’ve scoured the internet for every sap-eliminating tip and trick in the book, so you have multiple methods at your disposal the next time your garments come in contact with this dreaded natural adhesive. From expected remedies like stain remover to avant-garde options like peanut butter, here is how to get tree sap out of your clothes.

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Expert Tips for a Laundry Room That’s Efficient (& Beautiful!)

We’ve teamed up with LG STUDIO to share our top tips and tricks for laundry success, starting with the appliances. Our pick: The LG STUDIO WashTower, which has built-in technology that selects just the right cycle for your wash-and-rinse routine. And d…

We’ve teamed up with LG STUDIO to share our top tips and tricks for laundry success, starting with the appliances. Our pick: The LG STUDIO WashTower, which has built-in technology that selects just the right cycle for your wash-and-rinse routine. And don’t forget their Styler steam closet—it’s the perfect laundry room plus-one for refreshing your favorite garments, pillows, plush toys, and more.


Any home renovation can seem like a daunting task, and a laundry room reno is no exception. Even though it’s a small space, the design—plus all those extra touches, from the wall color to built-in hanging racks— can go a long way toward making laundry day less of a chore. To find out how to get it right, we talked to a few of our favorite design and DIY experts about how to create a hardworking laundry setup that's good-looking, too.

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