Car Pressure Washing vs. Car Steam Cleaning
December 19, 2013
If you have already experienced driving your car through muck, mud or dirty snow, you know that your car will be virtually unrecognizable after the ride. Most of the undercarriage will be coated in heavy, thick goo, while the car’s body will be streaked with sticky, brackish slush. In this particular state, your car will need something more than a bucket of soapy water to get clean. For these instances, it is best for you to turn to the newer and more effective automotive care technologies like car steam cleaning. In the olden days of the automated coin-operated car wash, huge pressure washers were used to blast away the dirt and dust from every inch of your vehicle, before it is soaped, wiped down, and waxed to a fine finish.
But environmentalists and professional car care experts alike have long since realized that this cleaning method is about as effective as it is resource-intensive. For, too much water and cleaning products are wasted for every wash cycle, and the number of vehicles that are cleaned does not compensate for the cost. So, they developed the “clean” wash technologies like car steam cleaning. The technology is still picking up, but every day more and more car owners are wising up to the negative environmental impact of sticking to the old-fashioned car cleaning methods.
A Short History of Car Washing
It was only in the 1970s that car owners started turning to professional detailers for their car care needs. Prior to that, every car owner bathed, soaped, and polished his vehicle all by himself, setting aside a weekend morning or afternoon to do the job right.
These days, however, people are just far too busy to perform do-it-yourself car cleaning chores. The complexity of modern vehicles also mean that there are any number of factors that have to be considered before one can assemble the proper car cleaning kit for his vehicle.
Understanding The Pressure Washer
As mentioned earlier, the conveyor car wash system featured powerful hoses that shoot out high-pressure water to clean a vehicle. Your car is taken up on a conveyor belt, where it is securely fastened to prevent it from being jolted off the track by the high-pressure water.
As your vehicle goes through the system, pressurized water is aimed at it from specific angles to removes dirt, dust, peeling paint, grease, pollution, and any other unsightly materials stuck all around your car. The machines could either be run by electricity or gas. Some high pressure washers use an alternate combination of hot and cold water to dislodge accumulated dirt from vehicle surfaces.
The good thing about the pressure washer was that it did the job very quickly. But this advantage is outweighed by the fact that it uses up so much resources—a pressure washer easily consumes hundreds of gallons of water a day, excluding the car soap, car shampoo, and car conditioner that are used alongside the water. Moreover, blasting away at your vehicle from the wrong angle can easily damage the paint job, shatter the windshield, or break your side mirrors.
Car Steam Cleaning: Your New Best Option
Fortunately, car detailers today are avidly adapting the steam technology to car care. Steam cleaning relies on the same basic technology as the pressure washer, in that it also uses heat and pressure to generate a powerful cleaning mechanism.
But instead of using water in its liquid form, the water is heated until it becomes high pressure steam, which works even better on your car’s metal surfaces. And because steam is delivered at high heat, dirt and dust from your vehicle are melted off instead of being blasted away. Areas that water can’t reach can now be cleaned thoroughly without fear of damage.
The upside is that you don’t need too much water to do the job, plus the water is almost always recycled back into the system to power the next wash. A liter of water can go a long way with a high-pressure steam cleaner. With lower water consumption comes less strain on the world’s rapidly-depleting water supply.
Whether you prefer a pressure washer or a steam machine for your vehicle, is an entirely personal choice. However, in terms of cleaning results and environmental benefits, steam cleaning technology is still the better option. Call up your detailer today to ask about car steam cleaning and schedule an appointment with him.