CULT BUY: “The $35 Kmart clothes steamer that made me throw out my iron. Yes, really.”

Video by MWN

Like every millennial, I hate anything that doesn’t work immediately and is larger than my MacBook Air.

Hauling a clunky ironing board out of a cupboard, plugging in an iron and then waiting several minutes for it to heat up before I even get started? No thanks.

But my hatred of ironing was sadly incompatible with my love for cotton, a notoriously wrinkly fabric. And my favourite floaty chiffon dresses would get crumpled after one wash, and then sometimes made even wrinklier by a traditional iron, despite my best efforts. Rude!

That’s why I went on the hunt for a clothes steamer. I’d seen them used on professional photoshoots and it made me wonder why more people don’t use them at home.

Enter the Kmart Hand Held Garment Steamer. Sure, that’s not the sexiest product name, but at $35, who’s complaining?

kmart hand held garment steamer
BEHOLD: The Kmart Hand Held Garment Steamer. Image: Kmart.

It’s smaller than my 13-inch MacBook Air, and I would say it is as useful and powerful.

Okay, it’s not going to write my novel for me, but still, I’m obsessed. The steamer may be small and light, but it’s also robust and tough, making it perfect for chucking into your suitcase for a fancy weekend away.

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And bonus, no ironing board necessary.

All you need to do is fill up the steamer’s little water tank – it’s like giving a cute robot a drink – plug it in and wait 30 seconds, until it puffs out jets of steam.

Pop your favourite cotton top onto a coat hanger, and hang it anywhere you like – say, a doorknob, hook or towel rail. Then, aim the steamer towards the fabric and blast it with steam.

The hot steam relaxes the fabric, making the creases melt away. It's actually very soothing to watch.

And, surprisingly, it's also kinda fun. I feel like Khaleesi when she rides dragons and aims their fire and smoke at all the baddies on Game of Thrones. I feel powerful and goddess-like. Just from using a steamer!

kmart hand held garment steamer
See, exactly like Khaleesi. Image: Supplied.

Now my cotton peasant top is straightened out and I happily look like a Goop reader instead of an actual hippie. Win.

Next I wanted to see if it could handle one of my flowy dresses which are notoriously hard to iron because of the delicate fabric. Because there is no pressing involved with the Hand Held Garment Steamer, my chiffon dresses are now back to looking floaty, not folded, and I wasn't frightened about burning the fabric.

My wardrobe and appearance are transformed. My clothes are so freshly pressed and put-together that I could actually pass for an adult, you guys.

Carla Gee is a writer and illustrator based in the Australian Capital Territory. 

Have you tried a garment steamer? Do you prefer it over ironing?

P.S. We asked stylist Sarah Elizabeth Turner about how to turn a dull wardrobe around. Get it in your ears below.

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