How Steam Iron Works: Step by Step Guide for Perfectly Pressed Clothes

Ironed shirts add up to the personality. Be it office meetings or formal gatherings, a delicate crisp would outshine. Ironing has become hectic, and the standard irons must do the job better. The old-fashioned irons are risky as they can burn the garment at high heat. Synthetic fabrics, like silk, etc., are melted and scorched the material after being exposed to high heat. We have tried a steam iron to get a wrinkle-free look to overcome this problem. Let’s learn more about How Steam Iron Works.

For this purpose, a steam iron suits the best. It uses water to create steam and removes wrinkles professionally. A properly de-wrinkled dress can also enhance your personality. Ruffles give a very messy look and ruin the whole outfit. And since laundry shops and ironing services have become so expensive, you must find a way to afford them daily. A steaming iron can help you a lot here. You can achieve just a perfect look with this one. This step-by-step guide will help you get your steam iron to function and will make you understand how to use a steam iron, even if you are a beginner. Some critical steps are to follow, and then you are good to go.

How Does a Steam Iron Work?

A steam iron uses water to create steam, which effectively removes wrinkles from your clothes. This guide will walk you through the steps to use a steam iron, even if you’re a beginner. You Can also check out How do steam generator irons work.

What are the components of a steam iron

Tools You Need:

  1. A steaming iron
  2. Distilled or tap water (depending on your iron type)
  3. A measuring cup
  4. An ironing board

How to use a steaming iron – 3 simple steps

Step 1: Add water to the water reservoir

A bare steam iron will have a water chamber with an opening on the top of the iron’s body. This chamber or reservoir is usually transparent to see the water level. The pool is detachable or non-detachable. If it can be removed, remove it from the iron and fill it to the maximum level marked. Most irons have fixed chambers on their body. Look for the opening from where you can add water. Fill out the water and plug the iron into the switch. A turn-on light indicator would switch on, and you will know the iron is ready for ironing. 

Distilled vs. tap water

Dome irons use distilled water, while the new and upgrade versions of irons can work best with tap water. If you need clarification on your tap water, you can add distilled water, as the tap water can cause the soleplate to clog. The calcium in the tap water can make steaming impossible. Irons that allow tap water mostly have a built-in calc collector, which collects the calcium particles and breaks them down. You can clean it after ironing.

How to fill the iron with water

Steam irons have an opening on the handle or near the water reservoir area that flips open. You can add water through a measuring cup. The measuring cup has a spout that makes it easy to pour water after every use. Fill the water to the level where it is marked maximum. Refrain from filling so it will start dripping.

Step 2: Look for the ready indicator

Usually, the irons have a ready indicator light that turns on once the iron is ready to use. Otherwise, when you turn on the iron and fill it with water, you will hear noises indicating the steaming process has begun.

Step 3: How to use steam iron like a pro

Glide the iron on your ironing board once or twice. When it steams perfectly, it’s time to use it. Spread your garment nicely over the surface where you are ironing, most probably an ironing board. If you use it on a table or a bed, make sure you put an underlay thick enough so that steam can not pass through it. Thin padding can make the table or bed wet. You can also check out some Iron Without an Ironing Board.

Steam iron vs. dry iron

A dry iron is usually heavy without any water tank or storage. It works on the mechanism of soleplate heat-up. The thermostat heats the soleplate, and the iron is ready to use. It has a temperature dial that can change temperature settings for different garments. Here you learn more about how to iron Polyester.

Steam iron vs dry iron

Steam iron, on the other hand, is iron with sprinkles of water. The coil inside the Iron gets the current and heats the soleplate. The water from the reservoir comes directly into the perforated soleplate and produces steam.

Frequently Asked questions

Yes, steam makes ironing easy and is effective in removing wrinkles. Dry iron does not do the job as well as steam iron.

It works on the conversion of heat energy into electrical energy. A unique coil inside the iron heats the soleplate when current passes through it. The soleplate has holes. Water slowly starts dripping into the soleplate and produces steam.

A significant disadvantage of a steam iron is that it does not work well in heavy fabric like polyester or velvet. A dry iron on very high heat would work.

Steam iron has many features, like auto shut-off, and the new models do not require any temperature setting. If you know how to steam with iron, your life will become easy. These features are very convenient for ironing lovers.

Yes, clear up the water tank. If your iron has a setting that says dry iron, turn the dial to that setting and heat the iron. Start using it as a standard iron without water. 


Steam iron is handled with care, as hot water can cause burning. Good quality Iron would last longer if the calc cleaning is done timely. You can always turn a steaming iron into a dry iron if it has the setting.

Carol Roemer

About Author

Carol Roemer is an ironing expert and with her amazing experiences, she has made it possible for her readers to make ironing an enjoyable task. She loves trying new tricks and keeps  her readers informed about every successful hack.

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