June 26, 2011

Fabric Steamer product review

I bought this fabric steamer  online in April for the hat project knowing it might be good for kimono too. It is!
I looked around for an inexpensive steamer that fit my budget and the Conair had great reviews. I tried to buy it at my local store but no one was carrying it, so I recommend buying it online. The store I bought it from (Linked above) has free shipping!
I like this little steamer and I have gotten my money's worth out of it despite some issues. Having a garment steamer is great.....trying to iron kimono on a regular ironing board is just a hassle once you have tried the steamer!

Here are the pros and cons of this Conair Compact Steamer GS33W.
  • Heats up fast
  • Works for about 30 minutes- enough time to steam for 1 kimono, a juban, obi age, and an obi
  •  About $30 with tax and shipping- one of the least expensive ones on the market
  • No wrestling with kimono on the ironing board, just leave it hanging
  • Conair has excellent customer service if you have issues (See below) 
  • Kills dust mites, moth eggs (They will eat holes in your kimono!), and freshens the fabric
  • Hook for hanging up the nozzle is badly designed, but it must be hung up while heating and between steaming items
  • No wheels on the tank ( I didn't have a huge problem with this but it would be nice to have them)
  • Only steams for about 30 minutes before you have to let it cool, refill, and heat up again
  • Nozzle on the end of the hose can break off if you are not careful
The hook that comes with it is shaped incorrectly to hold the nozzle. I ended up using both a double coat hook and a floor lamp to hang up the nozzle-hose, both worked fine. I would probably modify the over-door hook with pliers or something or use an existing hook.
I also did something really dumb after using it for a few weeks without a problem: I dropped the hose onto a hard surface and the nozzle broke off. I don't know if this is one was defective or if it happens all the time, but I didn't see any similar issues when I read the reviews, so I assume it had a defect.
The nozzle really ought to be a separate piece that you can take on and off, but it's not. That's where Conair comes in. When it broke, I called them. (I had registered the product by the way.) When I called their toll-free number, a real person answered right away and they were friendly. And the man I spoke to (Fabian!) gave me his extension in case I had questions later. They sent a whole brand-new steamer at no charge & free shipping to my house because they didn't have a replacement nozzle-hose unit.

So, what do I really think of this steamer? If you have only a few kimono in your collection and/or do not wear them that often and are on a budget, it's a great little steamer. If this one dies, I will probably upgrade to Conair's Deluxe model, the GS60. It has a few more features like wheels and it's 1500 watts. Plus it's only $40, so not that much more.
I'll let you know if I have any problems with the new one!


  1. I probably should buy one of these....I always have wrinkles in my kimono, but am too afraid to iron! O.o

  2. I found that it's so much easier to steam than iron...ironing is scary anyway on some types of silk plus it takes forever! If you do get some type of steamer, test it on the older kimono (Like Meisen) and follow the directions to the letter. I haven't had any issues, but I was very careful with the vintage pieces.
    Happy 4th of July!

  3. UPDATE: 11-15-13. This steamer STILL WORKS- over 2 years later! I used it a couple of weeks ago on new curtains for my office and then the next day on a kimono. Very awesome product.

  4. My steamer is O.K after 1 year. I love to use it. It's easy to use, I can take it when I travel.

  5. How many hours of steam per filling does it deliver?