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What is a Laundry Press?

By B. Turner
Updated May 16, 2024
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A laundry press is an appliance used to remove wrinkles from fabric and give clothes a clean, pressed appearance. These devices serve as an alternative to traditional hand-held irons, and may allow consumers to dry clean clothes at home. The steam press comes in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of different applications, from small home models to large industrial presses.

Homeowners can choose from tabletop or stand-alone laundry press units. The tabletop unit is self-contained, and does not require a separate ironing board like those used for ironing. It features two metal plates that open up like a book and close around the garment. This design ensures that the hot metal press won't come into contact with the table or furniture below. Stand-alone units feature a built-in stand or legs, and can be used anywhere without taking up space on tables or countertops.

To operate the steam press, users must first fill the machine with water. The machine can then be plugged in or turned on, which causes the water to heat up. Once the unit has heated up, it's ready to produce steam. Users open the press, place the fabric or clothing between the two plates, and shut the plates together to steam the fabric. Once the wrinkles have been removed, the plates are opened and the fabric can be removed.

Both standard and digital presses are available to meet the needs of different users. Standard laundry presses offer very few controls and settings, and users must learn how long to leave fabrics in the machine to achieve the desired effects. Digital presses feature a control panel that allows the user to change heat and steam settings, or to adjust the machine for different types of fabrics.

Depending on the application, a laundry press may save consumers money on dry cleaning costs and allow for at home pressing or cleaning. These devices also allow for on-the-spot wrinkle removal without the use of an iron. Rather than moving an iron back and forth, users simply place the fabric between the plates and close them to remove wrinkles from clothing.

These machines may not be the best option for all households, and most users will still need a separate iron for certain types of fabrics. One drawback to the laundry press is that it takes up space, and tabletop units require storage when not in use. The water tanks on a laundry press must be cleaned daily to prevent bacteria growth, and users may leave themselves vulnerable to burns or scalding if the machine is not used with caution.

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