Last Updated on December 5, 2023 by Erik Sullivan
Clothes steamers are essential laundry tools that help you remove wrinkles, and refresh your garments in less effort and time. However, to maintain its peak performance, you should be careful especially, when using water.
Can I Use Tap Water in My Clothes Steamer?
Many people often asked this question: can I use tap water in my clothes steamer?
The answer is YES, you can. But, it’s not recommended.
Because, it can causes irreversible damage to your steamer. On top of that, using tap water can also create marks on your garment.
Table of Contents
What Happens If You Use Tap Water in a Steamer?
The tap water often contains minerals (calcium and magnesium). These minerals do not evaporate with the steam. Instead, they continue to build up inside the steamer over time and cause heavy damage to the boiler, or water tank. Consequently, your steamer could not last that longer.
Tap water also affects the performance of your steamer. The mineral buildups block the steam holes and reduce the steam output over time.
Additionally, if your tap water contains above average level of limescale, then it can increase the steamer heating time. That means, it will take more time and consume more energy to heat up and produce steam.
Another drawback of using tap water in your steamer is that, it can leave spots on your garments which is really unpleasant.
However, if you do use tap water, make sure to clean and descale your steamer once in a week. This will prevent mineral build-ups.
What’s The Recommended Water For Clothes Steamer?
Distilled water is the only recommended water for your clothes steamer.
What’s Distilled Water And Why It’s Best For Your Steamer?
Distilled water is a kind of processed water that is not same as like your tap water. According to, Elizabeth Barnes, a dietitian and lifestyle couch from North Carolina, distilled water is produced by steam distillation which a process that boils the normal water first to produce steam and then the steam return to his liquid state.
The process removes almost 99% of minerals and other impurities dissolved in tap water.
Since, distilled water is sterile and free of minerals and other contaminants, so you can safely use it in your clothes steamer.
Additionally, using distilled water help to reduce streaks and ensure that your clothes come out looking crisp and wrinkle-free.
Where To Buy Distilled Water?
Distilled water is available in different super markets and pharmacies. You can also buy them online. However, before ordering online make sure to check the brand. I personally use and recommend these two popular brands.
- Poland Spring Distilled Water
- Distilled Water By Snugell (Made in USA)
Can You Make Distilled Water Yourself?
Yes, you can make your own distilled water at home. It’s quiet simple. Here’s the step by step process:
Step 1: Take a large pot filled it up a quarter way with tap water.
Step 2: Place the pot on top of the stove.
Step 3: Tie a small baking dish to the pots lid. Make sure that, the dish will hang right side up when you close the lid.
Step 4: Now, turn on your stovetop and boil the water for at least 15 minutes.
Step 5: The heat will turn the water into steam which is then convert into liquid. This liquid is called distilled water that drops from the lid.
Is Boiled Water The Same as Distilled Water?
No, boiled water is not free of microbes and chemicals. But, distilled water is the purest water which is free of all types of sediments including- minerals and microorganisms. However, boiled water contains essential minerals which is drinkable. On the flip side, distilled water has no minerals in it, so it should not be consumed.
Can I Use Filtered Water Instead of Distilled Water?
Distilled water is the cleanest form of water which has no alternatives. If you need to use the purest water in any application (for ex. humidifiers, steam irons), then it’s suggested to use distilled water only.
Can I Use Filtered Water in My Steamer?
No, filtered water only remove various contaminants and particles. But, it cannot remove the minerals which is responsible for limescale buildup in the steamer.
Can I Use Bottled Water in My Clothes Steamer?
Again, NO. Bottled water is not free of minerals. You can see often they’re marketed as they contains helpful minerals for your body. You can fact check right now if you have any water bottle available in your home.
Can I Use Spring Water in My Steamer?
Spring water also contains minerals therefore, it’s not recommended for your steamer.
In conclusion, using tap water in a clothes steamer is feasible but may have consequences based on water quality and the steamer’s design. While tap water is convenient, it often contains minerals that can lead to mineral buildup or scaling within the steamer, affecting its performance over time. To mitigate this, employing distilled or demineralized water reduces mineral deposits, prolonging the steamer’s lifespan.
However, if tap water is the only option, periodically descaling the steamer using a vinegar solution helps remove mineral buildup and maintains its functionality. Prioritizing distilled water whenever possible ensures optimal steamer performance and prevents potential issues arising from mineral deposits.
What are the signs that my clothes steamer requires descaling due to tap water usage?
Signs include reduced steam output, uneven steam distribution, or a sputtering sound during steaming. These indicate potential scaling in the steamer that needs to be addressed.
Can tap water quality impact the performance of my clothes steamer?
Yes, the hardness of tap water varies by region. Hard water with a high mineral content may result in faster mineral buildup, affecting the steamer’s efficiency.
How often should I descale my clothes steamer if I use tap water?
If tap water is used, aim to descale the clothes steamer approximately every 1-3 months, depending on the frequency of use and the hardness of the water in your area.
Can I prevent mineral buildup while using tap water in my clothes steamer?
To reduce mineral buildup, consider using distilled water instead of tap water in your steamer. Alternatively, periodically descaling the steamer according to the manufacturer’s instructions can prevent scaling.