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What Is a Steam Dryer?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 13 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A steam dryer is a conventional dryer with a steam feature. The steam feature will create steam in the dryer independently of the traditional drying cycle. This feature is designed to refresh clothes that might not need to be washed, or to remove wrinkles from a load of laundry.

A steam dryer can work in a number of different ways. For example, if you have an article of clothing with a slight odor, or it has just been worn once and you want to wear it again, you can toss it into a steam dryer for what is usually a 20-minute or less cycle. The dryer will then produce warm steam to remove odors and wrinkles from the clothing.

The other way a steam dryer works is at the end of a drying cycle. Clothes dryers work by heating the air around the circulating clothes, which can easily cause wrinkles when the load stops moving. If your dryer has a steam feature, the steam might start at the end of the drying cycle to prevent wrinkles from setting in. Additionally, if you've accidentally left clothing in the dryer for a few hours, or overnight, and they have gotten very wrinkled, running the steam dryer feature for a few minutes is a quick and easy way to remove wrinkles.

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Dryers with a steam feature are usually considerably more expensive, sometimes by as much as twice that of standard dryers. Not all owners believe that the extra cost is worth it. The same steam effect can be achieved by placing a wet item in the dryer with a dry, wrinkled item. As the wet item dries, it will release steam, which will again refresh and de-wrinkle the dry item. Keep in mind that with some steam dryers, it is not possible to steam an entire load of clothes at once. This could potentially use more energy and raise your electric or gas bill if you need to divide up your loads of clothing to steam them.

Steam washers are often sold as a set with steam dryers. Steam washers work in a similar way, and are often more effective at removing dirt, allergens, and detergent from clothing. These extra features are not something that steam dryers are capable of doing, as dryers simply remove odors and wrinkles. Keep in mind, however, that though it may be tempting, there is no reason you need to buy a matching washer and dryer.

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Discuss this Article

anon86242
Post 3

nobreather, you are right. people do wash their clothes too frequently. perhaps it people could get a longer life span of their garments, if they just didn't wash their clothes at all. More people should do this so they don't have the expense of a washer and dryer.

anon34487
Post 2

I was excited about the use of a steam dryer, and maybe this is more of an issue with the steam washer I used before the steam dryer, but after taking out a freshly laundered shirt, i found it to have strange white lines. not very attractive.

nobreather
Post 1

I think many people wash their clothes too frequently, and this lowers the lifespan of their garments. if a garment gets dirty or smelly, then by all means, wash it. but many people go through the whole wash/dry cycle, just to refresh their clothes.

a steam dryer allows you to take a lightly worn shirt, for example, that was worn for a short time, and give it that right-out-of-the-dryer feel.

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