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What Is a Steam Washing Machine?

Christina Edwards
Christina Edwards

A steam washing machine is a type of washing machine that uses steam as well as regular water to help clean the items inside of it. Like regular washing machines, steam washing machines have a few settings, including a setting that uses just steam to wash certain types of clothing and material. Although there are several advantages to these types of washing machines, there are also disadvantages.

A steam washing machine is very similar to a traditional washing machine, aside from the fact that it can use steam to help wash a load of laundry. Also, many steam washers are loaded from the front, instead of from the top. With this design, the wash drum will rotate, instead of vigorously agitating, to get the load of laundry clean.

A steam washing machine may be used to wash pillows.
A steam washing machine may be used to wash pillows.

In some models, the steam is created by a heating coil under the washing machine drum. Other models may have something called a steam generator. This device heats the water to very high temperatures to produce steam. The steam is then sprayed into the washing machine drum.

Users can set a steam washer to what is known as a steam-only setting. This setting allows the user to clean certain delicate or difficult-to-wash items, like comforters, pillows, and stuffed toys. Also, some manufacturers claim that some items labeled for dry cleaning only can also be cleaned using this setting.

Along with the steam-only setting, a steam washing machine will typically have a water-and-steam setting. As its name suggests, this setting uses both water and steam to clean a load of laundry. This setting is considered to be very helpful in removing stains and dirt from heavily soiled laundry. Individuals who would rather not use the steam at all have the option of using the water-only setting. When using this setting, a steam washing machine washes the clothes with just water, like a traditional washing machine.

A steam washing machine has a number of advantages over a traditional washing machine. For instance, it will typically clean dirty laundry a little better. This is because the steam is able to deeply penetrated the fibers. The high temperature of the steam will also help sanitize, or sterilize, the load. This can be beneficial for every household, but especially those with small children.

On of the biggest drawbacks of buying a steam washing machine is the initial expense. Although a household may use less water with this type of machine, a steam washer is typically more expensive than a traditional washer. Also, because these machines need to use extra energy to create the steam, they may also result in slightly higher electric bills.

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Discussion Comments


If you have a steam washing machine, you can save money on your energy bill by using warm water instead of hot water.

If you are looking for one to buy at an affordable price, shopping for a used model will help you save money on your purchase.


A steam washing machine is great for busy people who have children's clothing to keep clean and work clothes to keep wrinkle-free. If you use this type of washing machine as the instructions suggest, you shouldn't have any problems.

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    • A steam washing machine may be used to wash pillows.
      By: Offscreen
      A steam washing machine may be used to wash pillows.