ESTEAM® Handheld Travel Steamer
Product Review (submitted on May 12, 2009):
Sooo I bought a bunch of curtains for my new apartment that was sorely lacking window treatments. Boy was that expensive - and I bought the $25 type panels at Target. But $25 x 20 for all the windows in the living room and dining room added up to a lot of $.
They looked great except they were horribly wrinkled from being wrapped up into cute little squares for shipment. And some of the curtains were so wrinkled that they weren't long enough to touch the floor.
I could have washed them, but washing curtains is the fastest way to damage them. So I figured it'd be worth it to buy a steamer.
This steamer heats up in about 2.5 - 3 minutes and it holds 8 oz of water. That might not sound like a lot but it was enough to steam 3 54" wide and 84" long panels at a time. Then I'd just refill and wait a few minutes and start up again. The wrinkles relaxed, and the curtains look like a million bucks and yeah, they touch the floor now.
What else came in the package besides the steamer? Well since it's a travel steamer it came with a converter and a ton of adapters for travel. I don't know all the adapters but from my travel experience you can take this baby to the UK, anywhere in Europe that has the 2 prong round adapter, Japan, and India. Of course this will work all over North America so feel free to go adapter-less in Canada and Mexico. I haven't been all over the world so I don't know where the other adapters would work. They all came neatly packed with the converter in a little zipper pouch.
As far as the ironing vs steaming debate, well they aren't the same thing. One does not replace the other. I see a steamer as being good for removing wrinkles from unstructured or softly structured items. The sleeves of a jacket, a skirt or a dress. This isn't what you'd use on knife pleats or a stiff collar. It's perfect for relaxing wrinkles if you are on say, a cruise or maybe you took some things out of storage and need them to look less crushed.
Overall I'm really happy with this. So why only 4 stars? Well the body of the steamer is a cylinder and the way they made it was via injection molding. So there is a seam that catches on loose knits and woven fabrics. On the satiny swags I bought? No catching. But on the nappy brocade curtains? They got snagged a few times. You can avoid snags by being sure to keep only the nozzle touching the fabric rather than the cylinder shaped body. But that's pretty hard to avoid.