A Guide to Use Steam Iron as Dry Iron

There’s no denying that delicate fabrics are more prone to getting burned and damaged when exposed to the direct heat of steam iron.

Any fabric with hard-texture and thick fibers is suitable for steam ironing, such as cotton, cotton with canvas, and linen.

The fabric is more likely to withstand the steam of the iron when it’s made with thick fiber. To smooth out the wrinkles, you can spray a few shots of steam to straighten the threads over the fabric.

However, some delicate fabrics can’t withstand the hot steam, such as polyester, silk, satin, and organza are a few of many to speak of.

Reasons to Use a Steam iron as a Dry iron

Delicate fabrics:

You should never expose delicate fabrics to the steam or heat of iron. Excessive heat may damage their fiber by breaking the bond, and it often results in a scorched patch that will be difficult to fix later on.

Faded Colors:

Too much steam and heat also damage the natural colors of the fabrics. You don’t want your expensive silk gown to have an unpleasant sheen after ironing. These sheen patches are visible when the fabric also has natural glee and shine on the surface.

It is recommended that you use steam iron as dry iron on the satin, silk, and sheer fabric to keep the color in its original form. Or else the heat may cause it to fade, and this is what you don’t want to see happen with your expensive clothes certainly.

No Water splash:

Since you are going to drain all the water from the tank to use the iron for dry ironing, there would not be a chance of watermarks on the fabric.

The shape of Fabric:

The dry heat setting works best for almost all fabrics except for hard-wearing texture and fibers. The idea of dry ironing works the best for the fabrics that otherwise change their shapes when exposed to the steam iron.

ALSO READ: Dry Iron VS Steam Iron-Which is best?

Multifunctional Steam iron

Regular steam iron is usually very multifunctional because you can use it for horizontal and vertical ironing in addition to dry ironing. If you have been using a regular one for years on cotton and canvas, you can shoot a few shots of steam over the stray wrinkles to give your clothes a more exquisite makeover quickly.

Having a best steam iron or steam generator iron is a staple for dealing with the massive pile of laundry every week; you may have to give a refreshing boost to your office dress shirt made with cotton just at the last moment.

Here is how to use your regular steam iron to generate dry heat for the clothes that are too delicate to be ironed or steamed otherwise:

Dry heat generation:

Attach the tank back with the iron and turn it on. However, you need to heat the iron at the lowest temperature level. You just need some dry heat to remove the creases and wrinkles from the fabrics. The lower temperature would be the safer option for you to go.

Empty tank:

Once the iron is thoroughly heated, the second step would be to remove the water tank and drain it from every drop of water. If you are going to steam a silk or satin gown, you don’t want to end up with water splashes or marks over the fabric. Therefore, you need to keep the water tank empty before exposing the fabric to the iron.


Once you empty the water tank, clean the soleplate of iron with a lint-free cloth and use it as a dry iron over the clothes.

Follow these simple steps to use your steam iron as a dry one:

Wash clothes:

Before ironing your clothes, regardless of whatever the fabric is, you need to wash them using the right detergent. Even if you are going to follow the dry ironing method for crease removal, the fabric has to be cleaned and neat. Oil particles, dirt and smudge may change color during the ironing and stick to the clothes for good. It may also cause damage to the soleplate itself. The grease particles get sticky under heat, they may stick to the soleplate, causing a big damage to the surface.

Steam off:

Turn off the steam feature when you are to use the iron for dry ironing. Many latest models allow you to use the feature with a click of a button. However, if there’s no button on the iron, you may have to do it manually by setting the temperature to a certain level.

No overheating:

Refrain from overheating the iron by choosing the highest steam temperate or level. The iron has a scale that displays the minimum level, it’s better to be safe than sorry later, set the steam level to the lowest when you heat it up.

Water reservoir removal:

You must remove the water tank first to remove the water from it. If the tank is not detachable, empty the water just the way you usually do. After doing so, clean the soleplate with a microfiber to remove any residual water, grease or substance. Since you are going to use it for dry ironing, it should be wiped clean first.

Temperature for fabric:

These days, almost all the irons come with different temperature variants, allowing the users to adjust the temperature according to the fabric. The manual helps you find out about the appropriate temperature.

When you go for a dry ironing endeavor, pick the right temperature for the fabric needed to be ironed to protect its shape, color, texture, and bond of fibers.

Drape clothes:

Drape your clothes over the ironing board or the countertop you use for ironing. Use an ironing board cover over the board, if not use some thick and hard-wearing cloth instead.

Iron-on patches:

The iron-on patches can be done by the dry heat your steam iron is producing. Place the motif onto the cloth as the desired place and press it with an iron.

Light indicator:

If you are not sure as to when to turn your iron off-take help from the light indicator. There may be different colors on the indicator, with the red meaning too high and green means too low; keep an eye on the color to measure the iron’s heat level. Sometimes, you just have to set a temperature for iron to heat up; once it reaches that level, it turns off automatically.

Turning off:

Make sure to turn the iron off once it reaches the desired temperature level. You must cool it down a bit before dry ironing the clothes.


If you are satisfied with your dry iron and a water spray, why bother buying an expensive steam iron?

Yes, it’s up to you. If you don’t have projects that require steam iron, then you need not buy one. For the daily casual ironing, a dry iron pairs well with a water spray!

When a steam iron can do what a dry iron does, why bother buying a dry iron?

Of course! If you own a steam iron, then you don’t have to pay for a dry iron. It can serve both purposes.