Having decided on the task it is important to be aware that it will involve lots of elbow grease (depending on the state of the engine) and a few essentials that will ease up the forty-five to sixty minute task.
What you need for engine steam cleaning
- Protective clothing – First of all, ensure you have protective clothing, gloves and eyewear to shield your body, hands and eyes from the grease and other bits that may accidentally fly out in the process. Next, you need to have a rag and a solution of water and baking soda for cleaning out any encrustation in the battery terminals.
- A brush and optional high-pressure blower to blow out any loose dirt.
- Greaser – Although the conventional way is to use a petroleum-based degreasing product to cut through the build-up of grease and grime, they tend to be harsh on your engine compartment’s rubber and vinyl parts. It will also take out the wax if accidentally spilled on the painted car parts. So, opt for water – or citrus – based degreaser instead.
- Equipment and machinery– Then, we suggest the use of engine steam cleaning equipment to remove the dislodged grease and other bits. When used correctly, the vapor form that is emitted tends to be safer on the delicate engine components and will prevent bits from flying off in all directions as this tends to be the case with a high pressure hose.
- Place to dispose your waters – It is illegal to dump untreated waste water into sewer gutters. Be sure to clean your engine somewhere you can collect the waste water and dispose it properly. And then – pick a location where you can collect any waste water which may be dispensed during the engine steam cleaning process.
How to prepare the engine for steam cleaning
- Let the engine cool off – Just as you would not instantly wash a pot that is sizzling hot off the stove, you should apply the same principle with preparing the engine for cleaning by first letting the engine cool down for at least two hours.
- Cover the electrical connections – such as fuse box, cable junctions and other delicate sensors or circuits to prevent them from getting wet. Aluminum foil is ideal as it can be molded to fit snugly over the parts without obstructing your view of the rest of the engine parts. If necessary, consult with your vehicle maintenance manual to ensure that all such delicate components are covered.
Performing Engine Steam Cleaning
- Start by using a brush to remove any loose debris e.g. dried leaves, lose dirt and grime.
- The next step should be to steam clean the under-hood insulation and hood to remove any dirt, grease and oil.
- While the engine is warm, apply the non-petroleum engine degreaser to melt the grease off of the engine. Where the engine is extremely dirty, a second or perhaps third coat may be necessary. This process may take up to half an hour or more depending on the state of the engine.
- Finish off by using the engine steam cleaning equipment to “rinse and wipe off” the degreased gunk.
After you complete the process, you will be satisfied that your car looks amazing. All in all, the process is long, exhausting and tedious, however, the plus side is that you will have a well-maintained engine that is guaranteed to outperform and outlast its peers. If you don’t have the time, you can always call in the experts. And be sure that you do call professional detailers from time to time to get the quality work done at your doorstep while you enjoy your free time 😉