The key to the ability of a household steam iron
to effectively iron clothes lies in the characteristics of steam.
Heat transfer and fiber relaxation:
One of the functions of steam is to relax the fibers through heat transfer. When hot steam comes into contact with clothing, the heat energy in it is transferred to the fibers of the clothing. This heat transfer makes the fiber molecules more active, and the hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces in the fiber structure will dissociate for a short period of time, making the fiber softer and easier to deform under heating.
Penetration and wetting properties:
Steam has good permeability and can penetrate the fabric structure of fibers. Compared with dry heat, moist steam penetrates the fibers in the fabric more effectively, making it easier for the fibers to lay flat. A moist environment can break the electrostatic force between fibers and help eliminate wrinkles in clothing.
Improvement of ironing effect:
The use of steam significantly improves the ironing effect. Steam transfers heat more evenly than traditional heat ironing, allowing the garment to receive the same level of heat treatment across its entire surface. This helps avoid leaving visible marks on the garment and improves the overall ironing quality.
Advantages for special fabrics:
The role of steam is particularly important for some special fabrics. For example, a steam iron is a gentler ironing option for fabrics that are easily damaged by heat, such as wool and silk. The moistening nature of steam helps prevent these fabrics from over-dehydrating, reducing the risk of fabric deformation and loss of luster caused by high temperatures.
Quick ironing and time saving:
Compared to traditional hot ironing methods, a steam iron can reach the desired ironing temperature more quickly. This allows users to be more efficient during the ironing process, saving time and effort. At the same time, steam irons also avoid the possibility of over-exposure of clothes to high temperatures to a certain extent.
Eliminate odor and sterilize:
Steam also has certain odor elimination and sterilization effects. High-temperature steam can help kill some bacteria, and the humid environment can also reduce or remove some odors on clothes and improve the overall cleanliness of clothes.