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How green is your clean?

Supplier: Bio Steam By: Neil Hodkinson, Managing Director, Bio Steam
15 July, 2013

Going green yet? I'm sure you've looked at microfibres, environmentally friendly chemicals, urinal blocks, scrubbers and polishers.

They all have their place and some more are more important than others but there's a new kid on the block who can make a major impact on all facets of your cleaning regime: vapour steam.

Proven technology that is used in every industry in some form, steam is the most energy efficient water efficient and versatile water in the world.

Vapour steam is actually superheated water and in commercial mobile equipment generally 150-180°C.

Weird as it sounds, the higher you raise the temperature of water, the dryer and safer the steam becomes. With only 4 per cent moisture it is dry and cool to the touch within centimetres of leaving the tool.  Since it is so dry, the equipment typically uses only 2-3 litres of water per hour.

The steam units also generally incorporate a detergent injection system that means detergent can be added as needed. The other very useful feature is the wet dry vac that lifts all the moisture and detergent away from the surface.

The equipment offers:

  • Massive water savings; Commerce Qld estimate over 95 per cent water efficient in commercial kitchens. Water and wastewater is an often overlooked expense but is becoming more expensive every year.
  • Huge chemical reductions, steam dissolves things that chemicals can't. Chemicals leave residues on surfaces and with chemicals we use more tomorrow to try and clean of what we used today. Doesn't quite make sense does it?
  • Improved hygiene, steam kills and sanitises surfaces killing and deactivating mould, mildew as well as virus and bacteria. The NHS in the UK has implemented vapour steam cleaning to protect patients.
  • Rejuvenates surfaces; can clean surfaces so well that planned refurbishments can be delayed and sometimes cancelled.
  • Improved health and safety, reduce slip and trip injuries due to detergent build up and reduced non-slip floor performance. Once steam has cleaned the floor the full non slip quality is restored.
  • Improved indoor air quality, and with no chemicals being left around on surfaces or in the air everyone benefits, both staff and quests.
  • Versatility, as no other piece of equipment can offer so many uses and benefits. From bedbug duty to chocolates off the carpet the uses are endless, literally.
  • Improved HACCP, exceed what is just necessary and improve kitchen hygiene, health inspectors love to see steam being used to sanitise. They know it works.
  • Improved staff satisfaction, everyone likes to see that they are making a difference and their work is having an impact, professional cleaners want professional results and with steam they do.
  • A reduced carbon footprint, with chemical reductions, less water being heated for cleaning tasks, less water being pumped to your premises, less wastewater being discharged, less electricity being used to heat water. You do the calculations and let me know how you go. Bottle of champagne to the most comprehensive  calculation.

So how much does this technology cost?

Costs are always at the front in everyone's minds right now and business cases are becoming more important to all businesses.

Commercial steam units range in price from $2500 to $10k depending on the uses and life expectancy of the equipment. There are units that will last a few years there are units that will last decades. As always you get what you pay for. One word of caution, make sure that any equipment you are considering is Australian power compliant. There are unfortunately units that are designed for UK and Europe 15 amp power rather than our 10 amp that appear on the Australian market.

So in summary, steam offers numerous benefits and versatility that is second to none.

One properly selected unit can cover a whole businesses needs from front of house to back and everywhere in between.

If you are looking for truly green credentials or just want to lift the overall cleanliness of your business I suggest you contact your local vapour steam supplier and organise a demonstration. Seeing the units work in your own environment can answer a hundred questions.