Does steam cleaning clothes remove odors

Nobody likes the smell of sweat on their clothes. Whether the sweat is from the aftermath of a long walking session, workout, or riding a bike. Worse still, removing sweat smells can be challenging.

But sweat is not the only substance that makes your clothes smell. Your clothes can smell when you come into contact with smoke from cigarettes, the kitchen, or even fires.

If you apply perfume, the fragrance will also leave a smell. While you have many options for eliminating the odor from your clothes, you should consider steam cleaning.

Steam cleaning is the best way to eliminate odors from your clothes. The method is more effective than using detergents or dry cleaning to remove smells.

Although dry cleaning can also eliminate odors, delicate fabrics washed in a dryer tend to tear, fade, or fry.

Steam cleaning, on the other hand, maintains the clothes and even helps get rid of hard-to-remove stains like greases and oils.

How steam cleaning eliminates odors from clothes

steam cleaner

A steam cleaner heats water to about 90 degrees Celsius to create steam. The temperature is strong enough to kill all bacteria that create odor on clothes.

The pressure the steam generates also breaks down dust and dirt particles and causes them to detach from the fabric.

Since bacteria growth is the reason your clothes smell, washing clothes at a higher temperature (steam cleaning) becomes very effective at eliminating odors. In some cases, it is much better than using a washer and dryer.

Does steam remove smoke smells?

Steam cleaning is very effective in removing smoke smells from surfaces, including floors, walls, ceilings, upholstery, and even clothes.

Smoke contains hardened tar and oils that enclose into tiny molecules which drop on surfaces. Ideally, you can easily wipe away the tar and oils using a sponge or spray some air freshener.

However, the smell does not go away 100% of the time. The problem becomes even more challenging when dealing with cigarette smoke and cooking smells.

You can get rid of the smells by misting the surfaces with heated vapor. The head of the steam cleaner should move throughout the process to prevent saturating an area.

Also, be careful because excess saturation can damage delicate fabrics like silk or melt drywall.

Does steam cleaning remove pet odors?


Steam cleaning may not be an effective option for removing pet odors, primarily if caused by urine.

The high heat produced by the steam cleaner will set the stain and the odor permanently by bonding the protein into the fibers in your carpet or upholstery.

A better solution is to use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer. Steam cleaning only becomes a viable option if the urine has left a stain and you have already pre-treated the stain.

You can start by using natural enzymes or enzyme cleaners to break up the proteins causing the odors, vacuum the affected surface, and then steam clean the area using a steam mop.

How to steam clothes

Here is how to steam clean clothes at home. Note that you will need a steam cleaner for this to work.

  • Add some water to the steam cleaner.
  • Turn it on to heat the water and produce steam.
  • Hang the smelly clothes on clean hangers. For pants, hang them by their cuffs using pegs.
  • While holding the steamer head, press the power button on the steamer to start steaming.
  • Pass the steamer head onto your clothes using upright and vertical motions to apply the steam.
  • Once done, allow your clothes to dry.

You can use the above steps to steam-clean curtains, tablecloths, and linens.

Should you steam-clean your laundry?

Steaming clothes to get rid of smells is more effective than dry cleaning or machine washing.

The high temperatures caused by the steam cleaner will kill the bacteria that cause odors on clothes.

Apart from eliminating odors, steam cleaning can also get rid of stubborn stains, preserve clothes for longer, remove wrinkles, and save you from buying detergents.