Why steamers need distilled water: Tip of the Day 9-22-22
Updated: Sep 23, 2022
When using a facial steamer or a steamer for your clothes, just any ol' water won't do. Technically, you can put whatever water you want in your steamer, but if you want the longest life out of your steam machine, experts recommend always choosing distilled water. (This also applies to humidifiers).
Let's be clear, using tap water to steam your clothes won't cause a major issue initially. You'll need to clean the steamer more often, and still might shorten the life of your steamer in the long run. When steaming your face, distilled water is recommended because tap water can potentially contain contaminates including metal.
Distilled water is free of all minerals, salts, and impurities. It's the purest of water (not necessarily the healthiest to drink because the body needs minerals). Distilled water won't cause your steamer to corrode internally.
Tap water left in a steamer thickens due to calcium carbonate, resulting in a mineral buildup inside the steamer. That buildup eventually causes steamers to foam, which can potentially stain clothes and clog/break the steamer.
Bonus tip: If you need to clean your steamer, fill the steamer 1/3 of the way with white vinegar and 2/3 distilled water. Turn the steamer on and steam half the mixture. Turn the unit back off and let it set for 30 minutes to dissolve any remaining buildup and then empty the steamer.
Distilled water eliminates the need to perform this cleaning because it doesn't leave any residue behind.