|Which Is Best . . .
a Hot Water Washer OR a Steam Cleaner?
Myth: Steam cleaners are outdated.
Reality: There are many applications
where a steam cleaner may be better than a hot water washer.
At Sioux, we have been building both types of machines for many years. There are some
advantages to using hot water washers and some advantages to using steam cleaners. Each
cleans in a different way. Determining which machine is best depends on the application.
- With pressure washers, dirt and grime is blasted away, under
pressure. Heat will improve the result if melting is required, and use of the proper
detergent will enhance cleaning.
- Steam cleaners are best when the substance to be removed turns
from a solid to a liquid, or dissolves, with the application of heat. This is the case
with grease, oil, tar, many petrochemicals, ice, wax, food products and similar materials.
The substance is melted or dissolved, rather than pushed off of the surface. Use of proper
detergent will enhance steam cleaning.
With a Dakota Series steam cleaner, when heated, water
at a temperature of 320°F and a pressure of 250 PSI flashes into vapor as it passes
through the steam nozzle. There is tremendous expansion producing about the same
impact as a 1,000 PSI pressure washer, with 86% more heat transferred for cleaning.
If heat is what is really needed for cleaning, a steam cleaner is the better choice. In
addition, a steam cleaner (versus a hot water washer) offers the following benefits:
- Operates with less power consumption, reducing your
- Requires a smaller electric circuit for installation, and
therefore may be used in more locations in your facility.
- Uses less water during operation, reducing your water
and sewer bills, and reducing the volume of wastewater to be processed.
- Produces less splattering and splash-back onto the
operator and in your facility.
All steam cleaners are not the same. At comparable flow rates, a 320°F steam cleaner
produces approximately 40% more steam and will transfer approximately 13%
more heat to the surface than the 290°F steam cleaner. The increased heat and
steam also significantly increase the cleaning impact, as illustrated in
the chart below.
|Pressurized Water Temperature Before Exiting Nozzle as Steam
Increase in Cleaning Impact of 320° F vs. Lower Temperatures
|320° F vs. 300° F
|320° F vs.
|320° F vs. 280° F
|320° F vs.
|320° F vs. 250° F
What is more
important, pressure or flow?
For a given cleaning application there are many flow/pressure combinations from which to
choose. Here are some criteria you can use to select the best flow and pressure
combination for your application.
1. Consider the capacity of your water source. If you have a limited water supply then you
should probably choose more pressure than flow.
2. Consider how important heat is in your cleaning application. If heat is critical to
your cleaning application, then higher flow is better. The more hot water you can move
across the surface, the faster you can heat it and clean it. If additional heat would
help, a steam cleaner should be considered.
3. For a given horsepower there may be several flow and pressure combinations available.
Higher flow and lower pressure for a given horsepower will result in more impact and more
work. The example below compares two different 7.5 hp machines. You can see that the
higher flow rate option results in 29% more work and 40% more cleaning force.
||% Additional Work
||% Additional Force
||3.5 GPM @ 3000 PSI
||5.3 GPM @ 2000
4. It is commonly believed that lower flow and
higher pressure will produce less runoff, and less wastewater to process. This may be true
in some applications. But if a higher flow machine can perform the same job faster, then
the total amount of water used may be less. Temperature should also be considered to
reduce water consumption. It may be better to use a higher temperature rather than
increase flow or pressure in order to minimize your wastewater.
Dakota | Dakota Specifications | Dakota
electric | cold water | hot