The pressure washer is a must-have tool to clean and wash rooms and surfaces in a professional manner. On the contrary, for hygiene and sanitizing, especially indoors, the best device is undoubtedly the steam generator
A steam generator is a device capable of switching water from liquid to gaseous state through the generation of steam at a constant pressure.
Thanks to steam it is possible to thoroughly clean, degrease and sanitize all water and temperature resistant surfaces, in a short time, with little effort and without the intensive use of polluting chemicals.
WHAT A PROFESSIONAL STEAM GENERATOR LOOKS LIKE
Most professional steam generators consist of:
- a boiler, of various sizes, necessary to heat the water to be transformed into steam;
- a hose connected to the boiler itself, made of flexible material and equipped with lances and nozzles of different type and range, to effectively clean from the smallest gap to the largest surface;
- a water tank;
- a tank for detergent, if any, to be used in combination with water;
- a pressure pump for the emission of the cleaning jet;
- a system for the suction of residual liquids (on models equipped with suction motor)
- various accessories, such as brushes, spatulas and squeegee wipers to facilitate cleaning operations;
- electric motor or diesel engine to supply the steam generator;
- a load-bearing structure equipped with web wheels, swiveling or fixed, for transporting and moving the steam generator.
TYPES OF STEAM GENERATORS
In addition to the size of the boiler, professional generators are mainly distinguished by the type of steam they produce and emit: in fact, we are talking about saturated steam, dry saturated steam and wet saturated steam generators.
All depends on the percentages of water and steam that coexist in the composition of the steam jet used for cleaning:
- saturated steam includes a good percentage of water;
- dry saturated steam, on the other hand, is devoid of the water component, which is completely evaporated before the jet is released;
- wet saturated steam, finally, includes particles of liquid in suspension inside the jet and it is the type of steam most used in the professional field.
HOW A PROFESSIONAL STEAM GENERATOR WORKS
The boiler draws water from the tank and heats it up to 180°, turning it into steam. The pump then releases the cleaning jet with a pressure of up to 10 bars - in any case proportional to the temperature - through pipes and nozzles.
When it comes out of the nozzle, the steam attacks the dirt particles and causes them to precipitate and dissolve, thus facilitating their removal. As soon as it comes into contact with the surface to be cleaned, then, the steam then loses heat and turns back into liquid: the water-dirt mixture is then manually cleaned - or removed by means of brushes and squeegee - or sucked up by the special liquid suction systems that some models are equipped with. In the case of particularly stubborn dirt, models that use detergents in combination with water can be used.
SANITIZING WITH THE STEAM GENERATOR
The high temperature is the indispensable characteristic that gives the professional steam generator the power to sanitize: below 140° centigrade, in fact, we cannot speak of sanitization. This is the primary reason why you purchase and use a professional steam generator.
Among the sectors in which sanitization is essential, catering stands out first and foremost, where specific and restrictive legal regulations impose very high standards of hygiene in order to avoid contamination between prepared food and pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. A steam generator, in this case, makes it possible to clean floors, tools and worktops thoroughly, economically and without the use of aggressive chemical agents which, if not rinsed, can contaminate food. In addition, the steam attacks pathogens without corroding or damaging the materials that make up the work surfaces.
When we talk about sanitizing with a steam generator, we mean different actions. Each of these can be referred to special areas of use. See them in the list below:
- sanitizing action: steam guarantees and maintains hygiene, an essential element in the kitchens of restaurants, school, company and community canteens, in large-scale retail trade, sports facilities, public toilets, hospitals and the pharmaceutical and food industries;
- degreasing action: steam has strong penetration power and allows dissolving dirt in areas difficult to access and affected by grease, soil and dust, such as machinery and spaces in the mechanical or construction industry;
- decontaminating action: the high temperature of steam fights against and eliminates the contaminating effects of biological and chemical substances from any type of environment, equipment and machinery;
degasifying action: steam is able to eliminate hydrocarbon gas residues, typically present in refineries, fueling stations and inside fuel tanks.
The biggest advantage of a steam generator compared to a professional pressure washer is that it can operate without any problem even indoors. The water produced by the pressure washer, in fact, would flood any environment without drainage and collection channels.
The professional steam generator, on the other hand, can work indoors without any problem, both because it produces very little water residue - offering a water saving of 90% - and because many models are equipped with systems and tank to suck up the liquids that directly remove any remaining liquid residue at the end of the cleaning phase.
Ultimately, there are many pluses that can be obtained from cleaning with a steam generator: effort and time-saving, reduced consumption of water and detergents, as well as an unparalleled level of cleaning and sanitization. What could be better?