Steam Closets

steam closet

There’s a new breed of closet on the marketplace – one that stores and dry cleans clothes. Enter the steam closet. 

These compact wardrobes claim to refresh and rejuvenate your garments, successfully eliminating the need for washing or constant journeys to the dry cleaners.

Whirlpool were the first to release a steam cabinet for clothing, with their one garment ‘Swish’ released in 2014. LG were quick to respond with the Styler Steam Clothing Care System in 2015, followed by Samsung. LG and Samsung are the two that go head to head in 2021, however there are new brands emerging on the market.

What is a Steam Closet?

A steam closet, also known as a steamer cabinet, dry cleaner steamer or closet dry cleaner (just to name a few variations) is not a washer, nor is it a tumble dryer. It is an extra device that can freshen your clothes in between conventional cleans. It is designed to save you trips to the dry cleaners. 

You can also use steamer cabinets to sanitize pillows, kids’ toys, and your sneakers. They come out purified and smelling fresh, without the time and wear of an entire wash-and-dry cycle or using detergents and chemicals.

Steam closets have been popular and influential in Korea, where smells such as cigarette smoke are prevalent. In the US, steam cabinets are more often marketed in snowy and damp weather places. 

For example, you can hang a large or long coat in a steam closet and come back later to find it gently dried and smelling fresh. 

There are two major players on the market, they are Samsung and LG. Coway, a leading manufacturer of air purifiers in South have also released a home dry cleaning system comparable to LG and Samsung, called the Fresh Wear Styling System. This is available as a rental in South Korea at this stage.

LG Styler

LG was the first to bring a steam closet to the market, with the initial model introduced back in 2015. With the Mild Dry cycle, you can rapidly dry delicates, including silk and cashmere, without any fear of shrinking or damage, LG declares. You can even download tailor-made programs for unique garments.

The steam system loosens wrinkles while a moving hanger rack swings backward and forward to clean any persistent creases. The cycle completes with gentle heat to dry clothes at a temperature low enough for the most fragile fabrics.

The LG Styler offers optional fragrance sheets for an additional shot of fragrance if steam isn’t enough to refresh and crisp your clothes. It likewise features a bundled press on the inside of the door to smooth the crease in dress pants.

Samsung Airdresser

Samsung claims its device extends the period between washes and puts less stress on fabrics, ensuring that clothing lasts for longer.

Including a bespoke ‘Jet Air’ system and three ‘Air Hangers,’ it freshens clothing by using powerful blasts of air to eliminate and loosen up dust and odors embedded within the fabric, with the air hangers having holes in them to shoot steam inside your clothes as well as all around.

The airdresser also has the functionality of a dehumidifier, helping to remove excess moisture from your closet.

Steam Closet Benefits

A steam closet won’t replace your washing machine, but there are a few things a steam cabinet for clothes can do. They are:

  • Eliminate odor-producing bacteria and microbes;
  • Kill dust mites and other allergens;
  • Smooth wrinkles and crisp pant creases;
  • Freshen-up stored coats and sweatshirts;
  • Refresh fragile fabrics and knits without dry-cleaning chemicals;
  • Dry delicates such as lingerie and underwear safely through gentle heat and steam;
  • Extend the life of clothing, particularly those easily misshapen by the agitation and spinning of a regular washing machine. 
  • Cut the expense of dry cleaning costs.

Can a Steam Closet Replace Your Washing Machine?

A steam closet is not a washer and won’t replace your washing machine. It will, however, cut down on trips to the dry cleaners for items that cannot (or should not) be washed and refreshing clothes between wears. 

Thinks about jeans and jackets – you don’t really need to launder these every time you wear them. If you’re in the corporate world and wear a suit everyday, you’ll probably rejoice at one of these machines.

What automatic clothes steamers cannot do is remove stains, ground in dirt, or heavy body odor smells in clothing. 

Both LG and Samsung offer the function to add a dryer sheet to the steam closet to gently fragrance your clothing as it steams. 

Who Would Benefit from a Home Steam Closet?

Steamer cabinets were initially marketed to fashion-savvy consumers to protect their designer clothing by cutting down trips to the dry cleaner.

They could also be helpful for people with allergies due to their ability to effectively kill dust mites, bacteria, and other allergens. 

Steam closets are most beneficial for suits and denim, two things we are typically discouraged from over-laundering. A steam closet may be a good investment for you if you wear a suit daily.

Steam cleaning closets can freshen anything from a musty-smelling cashmere sweater to a crumpled work suit, your children’s toys, and your tennis shoes. 

Should You Buy a Steam Closet?

A steam closet is meant to enhance rather than replace your washing routine. It won’t eliminate dirt or stains, nor replace good old-fashioned washing with water and laundry detergent. 

Instead, a steam closet can offer your clothes that straight-from-the-cleaner finish in the comfort of your own home, whenever you need them.