Some people claim to enjoy ironing their clothes, finding the process soothing and relaxing. For those who would rather do literally anything else, a Conair steamer is a welcome solution. To remove wrinkles from your clothes easily, you simply fill the steamer with water. The steamer then heats the water to make steam, which easily pulls wrinkles and creases out of your clothes without the need to drag out the ironing board. Unfortunately, the water you use in your steam cleaner can leave behind mineral deposits, and you'll need to periodically clean them out to keep your steamer in good working order. How often you need to clean yours depends on how often you use it and just how hard your water is. A machine that produces less steam or emits it in uneven bursts is begging for a cleaning.
The Cleaning Process
Fortunately, cleaning your steamer is simple. To do so, fill the water tank 2/3 full with distilled water and then add white vinegar until it's full. Turn the steamer on and allow it to warm up. When it's ready, use the steamer until the water reservoir is only half full. You don't want to steam your clothes during the cleaning process. The vinegar could damage your clothes or leave them smelling like pickles. You don't have to waste the steam, however. Accomplish two jobs at once by using the steam to clean surfaces not damaged by vinegar, such as kitchen countertops, bathtub and sink edges and outdoor patios.
When the tank is at half capacity, turn off the steamer, unplug it and allow the remaining water and vinegar mixture to cool for at least 30 minutes. When it has, unscrew the drain plug on the bottom of the steamer and empty the unit. Replace the drain cap and begin the entire cleaning process anew. Put the unit through two or three cleaning cycles before rinsing it and calling it a day.
Rinsing the Steamer
To rinse the steamer after cleaning and remove any leftover scale or vinegar, fill the water tank completely with distilled water. Turn the steamer on, let it warm up and run the unit until the tank is almost empty. Unplug it, and then let it cool. Empty out any remaining water before putting the unit away and storing it until its next use.
Once your steamer is shiny, clean and functioning at its best, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to keep it that way. For best results, never add anything other than water to your steamer (other than vinegar during a cleaning cycle). Bleach and other laundry additives can damage the steamer, your clothing or both. Always store your steamer empty, as well. Steaming with old water causes unwanted foaming, so empty your steamer before putting it away and start with fresh, clean water during every steaming session.
Carlye Jones is a journalist, writer, photographer, novelist and artisan jeweler with more than 20 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, photography, crafting, business and travel. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites.