Karla News

Review of Conair Deluxe Handheld Fabric Steamer


If you do a lot of knitting, you know how important it is to block certain projects after you are done knitting them. I make a lot of scarves and dishclothes, and blocking them makes them look 100% better. In order to block a project, I need straight pins and a steamer or bottle of hot water. I’ve found that the steam feature on my iron doesn’t work well, and sometimes spits water out, discoloring my project.

After doing some online research about the best way to block, I was convinced I needed to buy a steaming machine. Off to WalMart I went, fully intending to come home with a steamer that would make my works of art look even more beautiful. The store had three models, all made by Conair, and I chose the hand held model because it takes up less storage space.

Product Description

This steamer resembles an iron with a long handle. It measures approximately 14″ in length, and the widest part of the soleplate is 3″ across. It has a generous 10 foot cord, and a hook at the end of the handle for easy hanging.

The soleplate is polished with a nonstick surface, and is used for flat ironing. Also included is a lint brush that once attached will help remove stray hairs from your garments. The dual voltage makes this acceptable for travelling. Although it’s a bit large for packing in a suitcase, in my opinion.

A kickstand elevates to keep the hot soleplate from damaging any surface that you rest it on. And it does get hot, this has a 1000 watt heater. There is an adjustable temperature control on the top of the steamer, allowing you to choose from: off, low, medium or high heat levels. This basically works like the controls on a normal iron, you need different temperatures for different types of fabric.

See also  You Style Infiniti by Conair Review

The steamer has a push button feature that is supposed to allow continuous steaming. A temperature indicator light lets you know when the steamer is ready to use.

My Experience

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in the performance of this hand held Conair steamer. There is no manual per se, just a tiny leaflet that isn’t well written, and it’s only written in English (that may be a concern for the Hispanic population). To give you an example of how poorly it’s written, it says “Initial use may need 2~5 seconds to wait steam come out.” Okay.

The top slides off revealing a small rubber plug that comes out in order to fill it with water. I was shocked at how little water this holds, because I wasn’t able to get more than 1/2 cup of water in this reservoir! After filling it with water, you plug it in and it’s ready to use in just a couple of minutes. The indicator light will go off when the unit is sufficiently warmed up.

I pressed the trigger and nothing happened. I waited a bit longer, and finally some steam started coming out of the five vent holes in the soleplate. Very little steam, and it wasn’t powerful enough to do anything. My scarves were not even getting damp! Every once in a while the steamer would let out a surge of steam, but it was very irratic and could not be controlled.

On the box it states that the unit has a continuous steam trigger, and that was appealing to me. However, the leaflet directions say “do not press the trigger for longer than 10 seconds. Otherwise hot water may leak from the soleplate.” So much for that continuous stream of steam!!

See also  Tips on Choosing a Fireplace Mantel for Your Home

If you have any kind of arthritis or joint condition, this may be difficult to use, as it is quite heavy. I stuck it on my bathroom scales and it rang in at four pounds. Other models have a canister that holds the water with a hose running to the steamer head. This would be a little more cumbersome, but much lighter.

I worked on my scarf for 15 minutes, and it never did get damp, and the steam wasn’t powerful enough to relax the stitching as I had hoped. The Conair Deluxe Handheld Fabric Steamer Model GS16R did not work for me.

The retail price at my WalMart store was $33.88. I am taking this back to the store and plan on paying a little more to get a model that works the way I need it to. Not recommended.