We independently research,review,test and recommend the best products.If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

How To Clean A Steamer Without Vinegar?

Steamers are vital equipment in many households. They remove creases, wrinkles, and crisps from fabrics such as clothes, curtains, sheets, etc.   Besides, they make you look fashionable as your clothes never have wrinkles. You always look like the clothes come straight from the laundry. Many people find ironing difficult and prefer using a steamer to remove creases from their clothes.

Therefore, you need to keep your steamer in top shape to enjoy quality service. It requires doing maintenance and cleaning it regularly. 

For instance, frequently wipe it down to routinely flush out dirt using the acceptable cleaning solution. Vinegar has been a popular cleaning solution of choice for several years. However, many people and steamer manufacturing companies are advising against its use. What should I use?

Use baking soda and water to make a cleaning solution for your steamer. Also, you shouldn’t use tap water. 

If you use hard water, you will be surprised by the number of mineral deposits collected on the steamer. It’s the main reason for cleaning your steamer regularly. It helps keep your belongings safe and prevents unnecessary problems. 

Mineral deposits clog the steamer leaving white chalky stains which look ugly on your clothes. Therefore, it’s much better to clean your steamer regularly.

How do I know my steamer needs cleaning?

Over time garment steamers gather mineral deposits particularly if you use hard water to clean your clothes.  These deposits are clogs that affect the functioning of the garment steamer. 

There are common indicators that help you determine the right time to thoroughly clean your steamer to ensure performance efficiency. Check the following two things:

If you see chalky stains on your clothes after steaming, then you have more mineral deposits on the steamer that need removing.

If the steamer is producing less steam, spitting water, or the steam coming out has slowed down. It means your equipment needs cleaning and the clogs are affecting its performance.

If a few months have elapsed since the last cleaning. Manufacturers advise cleaning the steamer once or twice a month to boost its performance and enjoy the quality steaming of your clothes. 

How do I clean a steamer without vinegar

How do I clean a steamer without vinegar step by step

Vinegar is a common household agent used to clean surfaces. However, it’s not ideal for all surfaces. Steamer manufacturers are discouraging people from using vinegar to clean their steamers for various reasons.

You need supplies like distilled water and baking soda. We are going to discuss steps to clean the steamer and tricks to use to protect your steamer afterward. The cleaning process concentrates on descaling the mineral deposit buildup from the continuous use of tap water. 

Step 1

Unplug the steamer from the sockets to prevent electric shock when cleaning it.

Step 2

Mix a custom solution of baking soda and water. Mix 1.25 ounces of baking soda with 950ml water and stir until the baking soda is dissolved. Pour the solution in the steamer clean safely.  Fill the internal water cap with that solution before you start cleaning.

Step 3

Plugin your steamer into the socket and switch it on to start the cleaning process by heating the mixture. 

Let the steamer heat up that mixture until it releases as much steam or your liquid cleaner mix reaches the middle of your water tank. 

Step 4

Unplug the steamer and let the solution stay in the water cap for 3-4 hours to cool and make sure it doesn’t spill. Also, ensure the steamer is on a flat surface.  After the lapse of 3-4 hours, damp the cleaning solution and ensure there is none left inside. 

Step 5

Rinse the water cap until nothing is left. Now, the primary steamer cleaning process is over.  Flush the steamer with plain distilled water by pouring it into the water cap and using your machine.  

Expect your steamer to release dirty water at the beginning.

Use a soft rush or toothbrush to wash the inside to remove accumulated debris or mineral deposits. Rinse the water tank using clean water again. You can use filtered tap water or purified water.

Repeat this step until only clean water is coming out.  If not, it means there are still mineral deposits and dirt inside. Repeat the steps 1-4 process with a new batch of distilled water and baking soda mixture.

Completely drain the tank and allow it to dry before storage.

Step 6

Wipe down the outer part of the steamer like a nozzle and hose. In this part, you can use lemon water to descale your steamer.  A buildup of grime and dirt decreases the performance of your steamer.

Wash the hose and hang it to dry after every use. Wipe out the outer part including the hose regularly to keep it clean and protect your steamer in the long run by preventing rusting.  Do this after using the equipment. 

Reconnect the unit then start the steamer and run half of the water to get rid of baking soda leftovers.

Your steamer is now clean and ready for use. 

Tips on maintaining your steamer after cleaning or use

Tips on maintaining your steamer after cleaning or use

Steamers play a vital role in laundry and ensuring your garments are wearable.  However, enjoying these benefits requires maintaining the steamer well. Follow these tips to ensure you enjoy the optimal performance with no problems.

  • Rinse or flush plain water after every use. It ensures that dirt, grime, and other deposits are removed leaving your steamer clean.
  • Store your steamer and other accessories in a dry and cool place to ensure there is no mold growth. It keeps the steamer safe and makes it last longer.
  • Cover your steamer with a clean plastic bag to prevent dirt, dust, and other debris from getting inside and forming clogs that affect its functioning.
  • Always discard leftover water after using the steamer. 
  • Always ensure the water tank has sufficient water before you steam your clothes. 
  • Remember to turn off your steamer before refilling it to ensure it does not release steam when the water level is insufficient.
  • Use only clean water in the steamer to avoid putting contaminants and other mineral deposits which can compromise the appliance.


Never use perfumes, salts, dyes in the water tank or reservoir of your steamer.  These things cause corrosion and clogging of the system.

Also, never let the steamer run without water as it damages the internal heating system resulting in a serious malfunction.

Never allow stale or standing water as it thickens and forms a sludge over time. Forgetting to empty the machine can clog the system and damage it or kill the machine.

Can I add fabric conditioner to my steamer?

No. As much as a fabric conditioner leaves a pleasant smell on your clothes, it’s unwise to use it on your steamer. Why? Fabric conditioners have ingredients that can easily damage your steamer. These ingredients clog the hose and nozzle of the garment steamer. Therefore, avoid using dyes and essential oils in your steamer.

Why is my garment steamer spitting water?

When the steamer is spitting water without steam it means that your steamer is clogged with mineral deposits.  The only solution is to thoroughly clean the appliance to descale it. 

Most people use tap water in laundry, cooking, and even in their garment steamers without thinking of the possible consequences it may have on the steamer.  However,  not all tap water contains minerals and chemicals that build up over time causing functioning problems.

Descaling is the only way to remove the minerals and chemicals. Only abrasive agents like baking soda or vinegar can do that effectively. Thoroughly clean the steamed with baking soda or vinegar to remove all the don’t, dust, deposits, etc from the steamer.

Is it better to steam garments or iron them?

Most people prefer using garment steamers to iron boxes because of the minimal risks posed to the clothes. 

Besides, steaming is fast and quickly removes unwanted creases from fabrics. It doesn’t require skills and it’s both practical and affordable. Therefore, people are more comfortable using it than an iron box. 

Ironing requires effort and takes time. It requires specific skills to iron clothes properly. 

Can I use a steamer on all my clothes?

No. a Garment steamer works well on most clothes except those made from latex or plastic. However, most clothes we wear are safe for streaming. It makes garment steamers the best and safest way to remove crisps, wrinkles, or creases from clothes and fabrics.

Most garments are made of polyester, cotton, wool, and silk.  However, don’t steam fabrics made of leather, or things like suede, like pants and jackets because the heat can melt them and destroy your clothes. 


Carefully follow the steps above to properly clean your steamer and increase its service life.  A clean steamer leaves your garments looking great or in better shape. Besides, it prevents unnecessary maintenance problems which interfere with your routine. 

Regular cleaning of the garment steamer ensures your fabrics smell fresh and have a polished look.  The process is easy and you can do it regularly. Let us know if you have questions and feel free to leave a comment. 

Leave a Comment