How to Perform Engine Steam Cleaning?
December 19, 2011
Having decided on the task, it is important to be aware that engine steam cleaning involves lots of elbow grease (depending on the state of the engine) and a few essentials that will ease up the forty-five to a 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.
- Organic Degreaser – 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 contaminants. When used correctly, steam can be safer on delicate engine components and will prevent bits from flying off in all directions which typically happens when using a high-pressure hose.
- Place to dispose of your waters – It is illegal to dump untreated wastewater into sewer gutters. Be sure to clean your engine somewhere you can collect the wastewater and dispose of it properly.
How to prepare the engine for steam cleaning
- Let the engine cool off – Just as you would not instantly wash a sizzling pot hot off the stove, you should apply the same principle when preparing the engine for cleaning. Let it cool down for at least two hours before performing engine steam cleaning.
- Cover the electrical connections – such as the 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.
- Then 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, step back and be amazed at the results of your labor. All in all, the process is long, exhausting and tedious, but you will have a well-maintained engine that is guaranteed to outperform and outlast others.
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 😉