773726

STEAM CLEANING: WET AND DRY

Presco Environmental technician, Te Kepa, steam cleaning cowl
Presco Environmental technician, Te Kepa, using wet steam to clean grease off a cowl

 

There are two types of steam cleaning:
  1. Wet steam cleaning
  2. Dry steam cleaning

This page will take you through both, and explain:

  • what problems each method solves
  • what each method is
  • what are your alternatives to each
  • how much does each method cost
  • frequently asked questions, and
  • the limitations of each method.

 


Wet steam cleaning

Would you like …

  • to dissolve oily, fatty or sticky residue
  • to use less chemicals or high pressure in cleaning, or
  • faster drying time after cleaning?
 

Your solution: wet steam cleaning

 

What is wet steam?

As water flows through a coil, it is heated over 100° C. This creates wet steam. Wet steam produces more volume at the outlet to clean debris. Steam cleaners are the most common use of wet steam, which quickly condenses back to water.1
 

Cleaning with wet steam

Cleaning with wet steam is also known as hot water pressure washing.  It is a chemical-free, low-pressure cleaning method.  Wet steam can dissolve oily or sticky residue, turning it back into a liquid so it becomes easier to remove.  The hot water heats up the surface, therefore it decreases drying time after cleaning. 
 
Our trained and competent technicians have over 145 years of combined experience in the food industry.  They use portable electric or motorised pressure washers with diesel fired boilers.
 

What are your alternatives?

 

How much does hot water pressure washing cost?

The cost usually includes:
  • 1 industrial cleaning supervisor: $692.46/day + GST
  • Industrial cleaning machine
  • Fuel
 

Frequently asked questions

 
Does hot water pressure washing kill bugs/pathogens?
Wet steam is not usually hot enough, or in contact with the surface for long enough, to be an effective disinfectant.  You could use a disinfectant or dry ice blasting – a non-toxic disinfecting method. 
 
What temperature is wet steam? 

The steam leaves the boiler at 100°C.  Because it has to travel down the hoses, allow a 15-20% drop in temperature by the time the steam leaves the nozzle. 

 

Are there any problems with this service?

 
Boilers emit a small amount of diesel fumes when they fire up.  This could be an issue in some critical hygiene situations.
 

Dry steam cleaning

Would you like to …

  • kill bugs while you are cleaning?
  • clean an oil or waxy film without using water, such as off electrical components?
 

Your solution: dry steam cleaning

 

What is dry steam?

Heating water in a closed chamber creates dry steam, also known as saturated steam. Dry steam is the gaseous form of water. It carries heat and and can reach areas that wet steam cannot.”1
 

Cleaning with dry steam

Dry steam is close to waterless and can kill pathogens.  It has a very quick drying time, as it heats up the surface and only relays minimal moisture.
Our technicians will use a single-phase electric steamer, like a pressure washer.  The steam comes out through a mop attachment. 
 

What are your alternatives?

  • Dry ice blasting also kills pathogens as it cleans. If you are in a situation where you cannot use any water, dry ice blasting may be your better option. 
  • Use wet steam/hot water pressure washing if water is not an issue in your situation.
 

How much does it cost?

The price for this service is the same as wet steam cleaning, minus the fuel cost.
 

Frequently asked questions

 

How hot can dry steam get?
It can get up to 150°C. 
 
What does your machine run on?
Our machine is single-phase electric.  It needs water to create steam. 
 
Does it create any fumes?
No.
 
Can the steam vapour burn my skin?
Yes, it will burn bare skin.
 
Does it damage the surface it is cleaning?

It depends on the surface. Most surfaces can be safely cleaned with steam and a competent operator. 

 

What are the limitations of cleaning with dry steam?

  • Dry steam has a slower cleaning coverage per hour than wet steam/hot water pressure washing
  • There is a risk of burns when dealing with this equipment, as it has components that get hotter than 100°C.
 

1 Wet vs Dry Steam – Which one is best? – Hotsy Pacific

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