Lets talk steam

Robert86

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I'm looking at bidding for a facility that works with kids ages 2 - 12 who have a variety of disabilities. Sensitivity to chemicals is a big concern so I'm looking at steam cleaning to disinfect restrooms and other areas. I have no experience in this so I'm turning to you folks who have experience with this cleaning method.

What should I look for in a good machine

How effective is it really for cleaning restrooms?

What are the drawbacks?

What effect would this have on the cost to the customer vs. more traditional methods of cleaning?

Any general advice?

Also would appreciate advice on chemicals. Must be environmentally friendly with low to no odor (no fruity perfume filled cleaners).
 

Sanipro

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So there are two machines that we carry. The great thing about steam kills bacteria is around 240 degrees. And you can prove it with an atp meter. I don't have one bc they are expensive and can't justify spending 1500 on a bacteria meter.

A good starter steamer machine would be vapor rhino. It does have its drawbacks that the boiler tank will have to reheat every 20 minutes of straight use and will take around 5 minutes to reheat which is downtime on your end . To start it , you will need to wait 20 minutes for it to reach peak boiler temp to convert the water to steam. This machine runs around 1500 with all accessories . Now the optima steamer is made by steam americas. It's a badass machine and it runs on diesel . It takes maybe 3 minutes to heat up and your good . It always gives up constant steam . I love it. You can use a galllon of water for the entire day of use.

Now I do use the steam machine as final step to disinfect restrooms . The kaivac cleaning machine will be my initial cleaning process including using the square scrub. I always show the customer when I'm steaming when it's a new customer bc they will be amazed of the results.

Drawbacks - vapor rhino is good for small jobs bc of the downtime of every 20 minutes of use and 5 minutes to reheat the boiler . The optima steamer is the price. Around 6500

The affect is you have to charge them extra for the service bc it is specialized and the equipment is expensive .

Go to steamamericas website and find the closest dealer. You can test it out before purchasing . Vapor rhino company is in New York area and you can only purchase online.

I would recommend the biorenewables line of Spartan. Specially made for these types of situations .
 

Luky

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I'm looking at bidding for a facility that works with kids ages 2 - 12 who have a variety of disabilities. Sensitivity to chemicals is a big concern so I'm looking at steam cleaning to disinfect restrooms and other areas. I have no experience in this so I'm turning to you folks who have experience with this cleaning method.

What should I look for in a good machine

How effective is it really for cleaning restrooms?

What are the drawbacks?

What effect would this have on the cost to the customer vs. more traditional methods of cleaning?

Any general advice?

Also would appreciate advice on chemicals. Must be environmentally friendly with low to no odor (no fruity perfume filled cleaners).
One guy has offered to sell his vapro cleaner euro steam es 2100. He was asking over 1k with a cart. It's pretty neat toy, all stainless steel producing hot continuous adjustable vapor of 210- 245 °F. Do some research, I have seen plenty if those online under $500. ✔ it out
 
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Mike Krall

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YAHOO = You Always Have Other Options......Take a look.....

https://www.daimer.com/vapor-steam-cleaners/

Pretty happy with mine. Haven't used it in bathrooms but it keeps up well with having the trigger pulled all the time. Holds a decent amount of water and if you want to you can inject chemicals.

Cord is too short :D

I think the biggest draw backs unless you spend a lot is most machines can't keep up with the trigger pull, don't hold enough water, take forever to heat up and you'll have to constantly plug/unplug the machine to move it from room to room.

There are some disinfectants that are pretty low on the hazard scale.

Hydrogen peroxide for instance kills a lot of germs and bacteria and breaks down into water. Diversey makes some based on that chemical.
 
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OldCarpetVet

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Pretty happy with mine. Haven't used it in bathrooms but it keeps up well with having the trigger pulled all the time. Holds a decent amount of water and if you want to you can inject chemicals.

Cord is too short :D

I think the biggest draw backs unless you spend a lot is most machines can't keep up with the trigger pull, don't hold enough water, take forever to heat up and you'll have to constantly plug/unplug the machine to move it from room to room.

There are some disinfectants that are pretty low on the hazard scale.

Hydrogen peroxide for instance kills a lot of germs and bacteria and breaks down into water. Diversey makes some based on that chemical.


Yeah, Mike....You pretty much hit the nail on the head. (y)
I just think of them as another unique Tool in the Toolbox. GREAT when you need them, but you don't need them often.
 

CleanFreak210

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How effective is it really for cleaning restrooms?

What are the drawbacks?

What effect would this have on the cost to the customer vs. more traditional methods of cleaning?

Any general advice?

Also would appreciate advice on chemicals. Must be environmentally friendly with low to no odor (no fruity perfume filled cleaners).

A steam cleaner has tremendous benefits to cleaning restrooms and other commercial spaces, and is highly effective. The hot pressurized steam kills bacteria and removes soils from surfaces and floors easily. It takes a lot of the elbow grease out of the job, and yields outstanding results. Of course it's also environmentally friendly which appeals to many customers. Our steam cleaner has a regular jet nozzle and also a scrubbing brush at the end of the stick so you can add in scrubbing agitation.

Drawbacks are the cost of the machine. If the daycare you are quoting wants you to clean their space regularly, at least 5 times per week, then this may end up being a great investment and the competitive advantage you need to win the bid.

You can provide 2 quotes to the customer. One quote will be cheaper and for traditional cleaning of restrooms - with towels and sprays. The other quote will be more expensive and the "green" option which involves using the steam cleaner for the restrooms. Even if they go with traditional cleaning, your company will stand out as being more knowledgeable and experienced in cleaning methods.
 

Smtwn janitorial

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Not much help here... But several years ago we switched to disposable medical grade disinfecting wipes to clean all our restroom surfaces. All the restrooms I clean have sheetrock walls, not tile, so kiavac or steam won't work. Most customers feel good about the disposable wipes because they know they don't have a janitor wiping toilet germs around the whole restroom with a cloth. I don't know how those style wipes would be for sensitive people.
 
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Robert86

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Not much help here... But several years ago we switched to disposable medical grade disinfecting wipes to clean all our restroom surfaces. All the restrooms I clean have sheetrock walls, not tile, so kiavac or steam won't work. Most customers feel good about the disposable wipes because they know they don't have a janitor wiping toilet germs around the whole restroom with a cloth. I don't know how those style wipes would be for sensitive people.

I love the disposable wipes over a spray bottle. Less cross contamination and safer to use than spraying onto a surface and causing chemical to become airborne. These might actually be ok to use. Especially if I can find some "green" ones.

@CleanFreak210 I like the idea of 2 quotes, a traditional and a steam method. I'm starting to wish I had a steam cleaner already to go demonstrate how it works. I looked at some of the smaller ones on the $300 range just for use at the house that might work to get the idea across and then I can invest big bucks into a machine if/when I get a contract.
 
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SafeChoiceCleaning

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I'm looking at bidding for a facility that works with kids ages 2 - 12 who have a variety of disabilities. Sensitivity to chemicals is a big concern so I'm looking at steam cleaning to disinfect restrooms and other areas. I have no experience in this so I'm turning to you folks who have experience with this cleaning method.

What should I look for in a good machine

How effective is it really for cleaning restrooms?

What are the drawbacks?

What effect would this have on the cost to the customer vs. more traditional methods of cleaning?

Any general advice?

Also would appreciate advice on chemicals. Must be environmentally friendly with low to no odor (no fruity perfume filled cleaners).
---------------------------------------------------
I've seen some of your posts about marketing steam and this one makes the most sense from my experience.
I have a couple of steamers and have used them on many different types of jobs accumulating hundreds of hours of on the job learning.
I have monthly contracts (in the $thousands$) with Boys and Girls Clubs and Children's counseling centers, and all because I offer Steam.
Restrooms, drinking fountains, door handles, handrails, etc... these are the big sellers for me.

In fact, when they have a Flu breakout, they pay me to come in and just go room to room steaming all the touch points to kill the virus.

We use a two person team when steaming. Example of a restroom clean...
I go into the restroom with steamer using just a steam lance. Everything I steam is done SLOW and with the tip of the lance nearly touching the item being cleaned to maximize the temperature on surface. I steam the toilets, sinks, handles, handrails, soap dispensers, towel dispensers and any other "touch points" I see.
The 105psi steam cleans out the cracks and crevices that can't be reached with other cleaning methods leaving dirty crud exposed and ready to be wiped off with microfiber. The extreme heat used slowly kills the bacteria, viruses, germs, bugs, etc...
As I am working my way through the restroom, my helper is following with a bucket of microfibers in a vinegar/water solution. She wipes down everything as normal. We use a lot of microfibers because we never wring them out in our cleaning solution. Short use and into the laundry bag they go. This keeps our vinegar solution from being contaminated and we can use the same solution all night without ever dumping to refresh. We use one microfiber per toilet on average.
After everything is steamed and wiped, we spray a vinegar/water solution on the floor and agitate with a hand brush. Then I put the squeegee floor head with extension tubes on my steamer hose. I turn on the extraction and heat and suck up everything while steaming the floor. The extraction is very strong. We never need to pre-sweep before doing floors.
My other big customers are residential tile and grout cleaning. Combined with an Oreck Orbitor, I can be very competitive for smaller tile/grout jobs. On half of these jobs I sell them a grout color seal, doubling my money.

What to look for in a good machine?
A machine that holds its pressure and heat is the huge money maker!
Up front, this is a big expense. $3,500 and up, but the less expensive machines lose their pressure and heat so fast, you will spend almost as much time waiting for it to regain its power as you do actually cleaning.
I have an account with 14 good sized restrooms. With my smaller steamer ($2,300.00) it will take us 4 hours to complete because of all the down time waiting on steamer to rebuild heat and pressure. With my larger steamer ($4,200.00) we can complete the same job in 2 1/2 hours.
Note: the larger steamer is a 220v. I use a converter box that costs $250.00 for this. From the box you need to plug 2 plugs into 2 different circuits that will combine the two 110v into the 220v needed.
I'm not aware of any 110v steamers that will hold the heat and pressure continuously? Without non-stop heat and pressure, I would never market steam cleaning. Continuous fill and extraction are the other 2 important options.

How effective is it really for cleaning restrooms?
Very effective! However, time consuming.
Most of my cleaning contracts are looking at price first. This eliminates steamer use to be competitive. The customers that place cleanliness and health above price are going to be your steam customers.
Steam customers: places where children or elderly frequent, GROUT LINES, restaurants, bakeries and of course health or clean freaks!
(I can Dry Vapor Steam clean an electric wheelchair to like new condition in less than 30 minutes with my larger steamer.) Visit a local Nursing home offering a free demo and see what happens :)

What are the drawbacks?

Time consuming, but you charge for that.
My biggest complaint is unplugging, plugging and moving around those power cords.


What effect would this have on the cost to the customer vs. more traditional methods of cleaning?
On average, I probably price the steaming part of my jobs 20% to 30% higher.

Any general advice?
Call me.
Google Safe Choice Cleaning, llc for my number.

Also would appreciate advice on chemicals. Must be environmentally friendly with low to no odor (no fruity perfume filled cleaners)
Most customers hiring me for Steam are health conscious and are satisfied with just a vinegar/water solution.

One other thing I thought of. When I sell a contract cleaning job for weekly cleaning without the use of the steamer, On our first day cleaning, we will use the steamer for a super deep clean. This has 2 benefits for us. First off, the future cleanings are easier to maintain and 2nd off... 90% of the time the customer lets me know at how much cleaner things are compared to their previous cleaning company!

I hope my take on steamers is helpful. Good luck!
Scott
 

Robert86

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Sep 28, 2016
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Robert Phillips
---------------------------------------------------
I've seen some of your posts about marketing steam and this one makes the most sense from my experience.
I have a couple of steamers and have used them on many different types of jobs accumulating hundreds of hours of on the job learning.
I have monthly contracts (in the $thousands$) with Boys and Girls Clubs and Children's counseling centers, and all because I offer Steam.
Restrooms, drinking fountains, door handles, handrails, etc... these are the big sellers for me.

In fact, when they have a Flu breakout, they pay me to come in and just go room to room steaming all the touch points to kill the virus.

We use a two person team when steaming. Example of a restroom clean...
I go into the restroom with steamer using just a steam lance. Everything I steam is done SLOW and with the tip of the lance nearly touching the item being cleaned to maximize the temperature on surface. I steam the toilets, sinks, handles, handrails, soap dispensers, towel dispensers and any other "touch points" I see.
The 105psi steam cleans out the cracks and crevices that can't be reached with other cleaning methods leaving dirty crud exposed and ready to be wiped off with microfiber. The extreme heat used slowly kills the bacteria, viruses, germs, bugs, etc...
As I am working my way through the restroom, my helper is following with a bucket of microfibers in a vinegar/water solution. She wipes down everything as normal. We use a lot of microfibers because we never wring them out in our cleaning solution. Short use and into the laundry bag they go. This keeps our vinegar solution from being contaminated and we can use the same solution all night without ever dumping to refresh. We use one microfiber per toilet on average.
After everything is steamed and wiped, we spray a vinegar/water solution on the floor and agitate with a hand brush. Then I put the squeegee floor head with extension tubes on my steamer hose. I turn on the extraction and heat and suck up everything while steaming the floor. The extraction is very strong. We never need to pre-sweep before doing floors.
My other big customers are residential tile and grout cleaning. Combined with an Oreck Orbitor, I can be very competitive for smaller tile/grout jobs. On half of these jobs I sell them a grout color seal, doubling my money.

What to look for in a good machine?
A machine that holds its pressure and heat is the huge money maker!
Up front, this is a big expense. $3,500 and up, but the less expensive machines lose their pressure and heat so fast, you will spend almost as much time waiting for it to regain its power as you do actually cleaning.
I have an account with 14 good sized restrooms. With my smaller steamer ($2,300.00) it will take us 4 hours to complete because of all the down time waiting on steamer to rebuild heat and pressure. With my larger steamer ($4,200.00) we can complete the same job in 2 1/2 hours.
Note: the larger steamer is a 220v. I use a converter box that costs $250.00 for this. From the box you need to plug 2 plugs into 2 different circuits that will combine the two 110v into the 220v needed.
I'm not aware of any 110v steamers that will hold the heat and pressure continuously? Without non-stop heat and pressure, I would never market steam cleaning. Continuous fill and extraction are the other 2 important options.

How effective is it really for cleaning restrooms?
Very effective! However, time consuming.
Most of my cleaning contracts are looking at price first. This eliminates steamer use to be competitive. The customers that place cleanliness and health above price are going to be your steam customers.
Steam customers: places where children or elderly frequent, GROUT LINES, restaurants, bakeries and of course health or clean freaks!
(I can Dry Vapor Steam clean an electric wheelchair to like new condition in less than 30 minutes with my larger steamer.) Visit a local Nursing home offering a free demo and see what happens :)

What are the drawbacks?

Time consuming, but you charge for that.
My biggest complaint is unplugging, plugging and moving around those power cords.


What effect would this have on the cost to the customer vs. more traditional methods of cleaning?
On average, I probably price the steaming part of my jobs 20% to 30% higher.

Any general advice?
Call me.
Google Safe Choice Cleaning, llc for my number.

Also would appreciate advice on chemicals. Must be environmentally friendly with low to no odor (no fruity perfume filled cleaners)
Most customers hiring me for Steam are health conscious and are satisfied with just a vinegar/water solution.

One other thing I thought of. When I sell a contract cleaning job for weekly cleaning without the use of the steamer, On our first day cleaning, we will use the steamer for a super deep clean. This has 2 benefits for us. First off, the future cleanings are easier to maintain and 2nd off... 90% of the time the customer lets me know at how much cleaner things are compared to their previous cleaning company!

I hope my take on steamers is helpful. Good luck!
Scott

Hey, wow! That is some awesome advice and filled in some gaps on steam cleaning for me. I've done a couple super market restrooms, deep cleaned with my little vapamore steamer. They hadn't had a proper deep cleaning in over 2 years, it took 4 hours to do both the upstairs bathrooms with just the steam, one refill in between which was about 40 minutes of down time. I sort of anticipated that though and while I was waiting for the boiler to cool and then heat I prepped the next restroom (dusted high points and vents, removed light cover and cleaned out, ect). The results were fantastic but it stressed the need for an upgrade. I'm trying to make a little more regular money on steam cleaning before I spend the several thousand on a better unit though.

I've been looking at a vapor rhino steamer. Continuous fill, 140psi, and a much higher temp than what I have now. I've been leaning towards the 110v system just because I think it would be easier than the 220v, but the 220v would give me much longer run time before the temp and pressure has to build back up, also it would rebuild faster. I'm just not sure about having to find multiple circuits.

I like the vinegar water mix. I'm assuming that's just to add a little cleaning strength to the water. I might have to try that. I go through a ton of microfibers too, rather have a large load of laundry than spread dirt and germs.

I'll have to give you a call at some point. I always have questions as I'm trying to expand on my steam cleaning.
 

SafeChoiceCleaning

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Hey, wow! That is some awesome advice and filled in some gaps on steam cleaning for me. I've done a couple super market restrooms, deep cleaned with my little vapamore steamer. They hadn't had a proper deep cleaning in over 2 years, it took 4 hours to do both the upstairs bathrooms with just the steam, one refill in between which was about 40 minutes of down time. I sort of anticipated that though and while I was waiting for the boiler to cool and then heat I prepped the next restroom (dusted high points and vents, removed light cover and cleaned out, ect). The results were fantastic but it stressed the need for an upgrade. I'm trying to make a little more regular money on steam cleaning before I spend the several thousand on a better unit though.

I've been looking at a vapor rhino steamer. Continuous fill, 140psi, and a much higher temp than what I have now. I've been leaning towards the 110v system just because I think it would be easier than the 220v, but the 220v would give me much longer run time before the temp and pressure has to build back up, also it would rebuild faster. I'm just not sure about having to find multiple circuits.

I like the vinegar water mix. I'm assuming that's just to add a little cleaning strength to the water. I might have to try that. I go through a ton of microfibers too, rather have a large load of laundry than spread dirt and germs.

I'll have to give you a call at some point. I always have questions as I'm trying to expand on my steam cleaning.
------------------------------
Finding multiple circuits can be a pain, especially in homes, but I can push my steam button on the 220v for as long as I need and maybe lose 10% heat and pressure and it only takes a minute to regain that!
 
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SafeChoiceCleaning

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Hey, wow! That is some awesome advice and filled in some gaps on steam cleaning for me. I've done a couple super market restrooms, deep cleaned with my little vapamore steamer. They hadn't had a proper deep cleaning in over 2 years, it took 4 hours to do both the upstairs bathrooms with just the steam, one refill in between which was about 40 minutes of down time. I sort of anticipated that though and while I was waiting for the boiler to cool and then heat I prepped the next restroom (dusted high points and vents, removed light cover and cleaned out, ect). The results were fantastic but it stressed the need for an upgrade. I'm trying to make a little more regular money on steam cleaning before I spend the several thousand on a better unit though.

I've been looking at a vapor rhino steamer. Continuous fill, 140psi, and a much higher temp than what I have now. I've been leaning towards the 110v system just because I think it would be easier than the 220v, but the 220v would give me much longer run time before the temp and pressure has to build back up, also it would rebuild faster. I'm just not sure about having to find multiple circuits.

I like the vinegar water mix. I'm assuming that's just to add a little cleaning strength to the water. I might have to try that. I go through a ton of microfibers too, rather have a large load of laundry than spread dirt and germs.

I'll have to give you a call at some point. I always have questions as I'm trying to expand on my steam cleaning.

 
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SafeChoiceCleaning

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Thats a huge difference between the two. On average how much cord do you have to run to reach 2 separate circuits?
----------------------------------------
The converter box comes with long cords. 80% of the time that is all I need. I bought an extra 25 footer that takes care of the other 20%
 

Robert86

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Sep 28, 2016
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Robert Phillips
----------------------------------------
The converter box comes with long cords. 80% of the time that is all I need. I bought an extra 25 footer that takes care of the other 20%
I think I'm sold on the 220v. With the vapor rhino I was looking at I attach a wet vac to the machine so with a 220 that means 3 cords to plug in. So I guess I'll start looking at steamer again.
 

SafeChoiceCleaning

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I think I'm sold on the 220v. With the vapor rhino I was looking at I attach a wet vac to the machine so with a 220 that means 3 cords to plug in. So I guess I'll start looking at steamer again.
----------------------------
Good Luck!