Using Cleaning Chemicals with Steam

An important factor with a steam vapor cleaning system is that no chemicals are added to the water. If something extra, such as detergent, degreaser or rust remover, is needed, pre-spray directly on the stain before cleaning it with steam. Or if equipped, as on the Athena model, use the chemical injection facility. In those cases where there is danger of causing a stain to ‘run’ if the surface is sprayed directly, you can spray a light mist onto the surface of a towel and pass vapor through the towel to clean the stain.

NOTE: Because heat makes chemicals work faster, the rule of thumb is to use so little that you do not get the stained surface wet. An easy way to do this is to use a spray bottle that you can adjust to a fine mist.  A two second press of the chemical injection switch will deliver approx. one teaspoon of chemical to the steam.

Avoid exotic chemicals and use “natural” chemicals where possible.

  • Lemon juice will soften hard water deposits in bathroom areas, and is a natural bleach. A paste of lemon juice mixed with salt is a good rust remover.
  • Vinegar is also a natural acid for removing hard water deposits but has no bleaching action like lemon juice.
  • Either baking soda or plain carbonated water will polish stainless steel if you need to leave it looking extra bright after you clean it.

A steam vapor cleaning system eliminates the need for cleaning chemicals in most ordinary jobs, which involve water-soluble dirt or substances. However, some stains are not water-soluble, such as grease. If a degreaser or solvent has to be applied, keep in mind that heat makes any chemical work better. Use only about 1/10th as much of the cleaning agent as you would without the STEAM.

Adding Chemicals to the Tank

If you have a detergent injection model (e.g. Athena) put a LOW SUDS detergent in the detergent tank (call Steamworks NZ Ltd to order an excellent low suds degreaser and gum remover formulated specifically for use with steam).  If you put high suds detergent into the tank, bubbles will form in your waste bucket and will cause the machine to stop.  Should this happen, empty the waste bucket and resume use.

Important: Never put anything in the water tank or boiler but water.

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