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Steam Pressure Washer

The pressure washer is a well known weapon used in the war against dirt and grime. It has been used domestically and commercially for many years in various forms. The basic pressure washer uses cold water which is adequate for many applications and if additional cleaning power is required then a hot water version can be used. What do you do if even a hot water pressure washer is not enough? Then a steam pressure washer could be employed to provide the option of adding the cleaning power of steam to the process, for really deep cleaning.

How a steam pressure washer works

The basic principle of a pressure washer is that water enters the machine and is put under pressure by an integral pump within. The pressurised water then passes through a cleaning lance and is expelled at force through a nozzle at the end. The force of the water is determined by the pressure exerted and the size of the outlet. In a hot water pressure washer there is the addition of a heat exchanger to raise the temperature of the water to the required temperature to aid the cleaning process.

The steam pressure washer adds the cleaning power of steam to the cleaning regime. By reducing the water flow rate through the pressure washer but keeping the heat exchanger operating as normal, the water temperature is lifted beyond 100°C to create steam. The temperature of this steam would be around 140°C and is considered to be what is known as “wet steam” because of its high water content. A purpose built steam cleaner heats water to a higher temperature, up to 170°C, and is known as “dry steam”. Using a steam pressure washer gives a deep clean, usually without the need for chemicals.

Reasons to use a steam pressure washer

There are a variety of reasons to choose a steam “power washer” washer to handle tough jobs in commercial or industrial environments, for example:

  • tackling hard to remove dirt, grime and deposits
  • faster cleaning by using pressure and steam together
  • portable or mobile machines easily tackle outside jobs

We recommend steam pressure cleaners are ideal for a variety of purposes, including:

  • cleaning concrete
  • graffiti removal
  • removing grease or oil
  • removing gum
  • remove paper and posters
  • vehicle cleaning
  • sanitizing

and they are particularly useful in pharmaceutical, engineering, food industries and agricultural environments

Types of steam pressure washer

There are a number of commercial pressure washers with steam facility available on the market. Steam pressure washers can be portable or static and electric or independently powered. For instance the Edge Grimebuster is completely independent in that it has its own engine and water storage, and as it is mounted on a trailer, can be moved to the area to be cleaned. As it can be used for cold water or hot water pressure washing as well as steam, it covers all bases.

Smaller portable steam cleaners like the Edge Steam Tec Graffiti are powered by diesel or petrol and have integrated water tanks, producing steam under pressure within minutes.

In contrast, the Ehrle Cabinet Steam cleaner is a static industrial steam cleaner which can be fixed in place inside or out, to provide cost effective steam pressure cleaning.

The number of options and variations available are a bit daunting, so why not talk to the experts at B&G Cleaning for the best advice before making your purchase – we’re happy to help.

Article updated by Steve Owen 21st September 2020

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