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  • 1.  Textile/Garment Steaming: De-Ionized Water?

    Posted 05-12-2015 01:12 PM

    I'm curious to know where you get your de-ionized water, if you use it for steam prepping certain garments that are going into an exhibition. We don't have a special tap for it in our facility, and once we had to snag some from the science department (a perk of being part of a university). We are currently preparing for a major exhibition this fall and will need to do a decent amount of steaming, so looking for a good source.


    Monica Stevens Smyth
    Collections Manager
    The Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection
    Drexel University
    Philadelphia PA


  • 2.  RE: Textile/Garment Steaming: De-Ionized Water?

    Posted 05-13-2015 10:20 AM

    Hi Monica, 

    You might be able to buy DI water at your local grocery story. I'm not sure how much you need, but if your stores are anything like our local Publix grocery in Florida it's located in the bottled water section under a generic label for "purified water," and it's about 88 cents a gallon. You should read the fine print on the label carefully, and it should say ozonated (sp) and purified by reverse osmosis. Please know, I don't know anything about garment preservation, but I use DI water at home to clean with. 

    Hope this helps, 


    Amanda Wilson
    Senior Associate of Communications
    The Society of the Four Arts
    Palm Beach FL

  • 3.  RE: Textile/Garment Steaming: De-Ionized Water?

    Posted 05-13-2015 02:53 PM

    Hi Monica,

    I used to work as an earth science teacher, and we had a deionizer in the lab, that way we could have as much DI water as we wanted. This website sells cheaper deionizers that might work for you. The lab grade ones are way more expensive! Of course having your own source for DI water is has some upfront cost, but if it is something that you use regularly it could end up paying for itself.

    Hope this helps!


    Steven Prokopchak
    Associate Producer
    Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
    Williamsburg VA

  • 4.  RE: Textile/Garment Steaming: De-Ionized Water?

    Posted 05-14-2015 11:26 AM

    Hi Monica,

    Regarding your question about whether deionized water is usually what is used for steaming, I think your best bet is to ask a textile conservator directly.  I'm sure Sara Reiter, the head of textile conservation at Philadelphia Art Museum, or her staff would be willing to talk to you.

    Melissa Leventon
    San Francisco CA