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Are you looking for a way to clean that involves less elbow grease? Are you looking for a healthier way to clean? Have you considered switching to vapor steam cleaning? Vapor steam cleaning is a unique cleaning method that uses high temperature (240 to 280 degrees), water vapor, and pressure to clean, sanitize and deodorize in one easy operation. Although these systems have been around since the 1970s, the early models were expensive and cumbersome. Models of steam vapor machines on the market today are lighter, easier to use, and affordable.

How does the cleaning process work? Steam vapor machines heat tap water to an extremely high temperature so the water forms a fine, dry mist. There is no need to use chemicals in the cleaning process – the heat actually does the cleaning for you. The water is placed in a sealed boiler and heated until it gets to the right temperature. This usually takes about 25 minutes until the system is ready to use.

It is the dry steam that dislodges soil and stains. The high temperature softens grease and oils that make soil stick to surfaces. The steam also gets into those hard to clean areas – sliding door tracks, window sills, and the nooks and crannies that can be difficult to clean. Once the pressure of the steam dislodges soil, grease and debris, it is wiped or vacuumed away. The surface is left not only clean, but sanitized. The high temperatures used in the cleaning process not only cleans, but also kill germs and bacteria.

Vapor steam systems use as little as 1 – 1 ½ quarts of water per hour. This is because the vapor is created at a high temperature with very low moisture content. The vapor contains only 5 or 6% water, so there is less mess and surfaces dry quickly, usually in 15 minutes. Safety concerns of using steam are slight, as the temperature of the steam drops dramatically as it leaves the machine and merges with the surrounding air.

The overall benefits of using a vapor cleaning system include:

* Equipment is easy to use and has great accessibility. Steam vapor units can reach into those small spaces and corners that traditional cleaning methods have a hard time reaching.

*As no chemicals are used, there is a benefit to indoor air quality. In addition, it reduces the risks and hazards that come with chemical use, and there is no chemical residue left after the cleaning process.

* Vapor systems are great for carpet spot removal.

* Vapor cleaning kills mold spores in bathrooms and kitchens.

* Because vapor cleaning uses only water, there is no chemical residue left behind after cleaning.

* Less physical effort is needed, meaning less burnout by your employees.

Advanced Vapor Technologies, which makes several models of steam vapor cleaning systems, recently worked with the cleaning staff at the University of Washington. One of the daunting tasks that staff has is to clean a 123,312 square foot library, which is open 24 hours a day. Technical specialists from Advanced Vapor Technologies trained custodial workers on the use of their Mondo Vap 2400 steam vapor cleaning system. They conducted a six-week test to determine the effectiveness of the equipment.

The equipment was well received by the staff who noted that the extension handle made cleaning hard-to-reach areas – such as behind toilets and urinals – much easier. Using the equipment took no more time than the traditional methods of cleaning and there was a higher degree of cleanliness and reduced drying time. The risk of cross contamination was also minimized since no dirty mop water or mops were used throughout the restrooms. If cleaning staff faced tough soils, they pretreated with a non-VOC solution before using the steam vapor system. This process proved to be more efficient than either steam or chemicals used alone.

You can use the machines to clean floors, walls, ceilings, windows, carpet, kitchens, bathrooms, blinds, glass, and upholstery. Because of the heat of the steam, the systems are not practical for surfaces that are heat sensitive – such as silks, some thin plastics, and some types of velour upholstery.

Steam vapor systems are available for both residential and commercial use. Residential systems start out with a price tag of around $400. Commercial systems run from $1600 to $3200.

Although steam vapor systems have been around for many years, the first models were cumbersome, expensive and ineffective. Models that have been introduced in the last couple of years are efficient, compact, easy to use, and affordable. With the continued interest in green cleaning, the investment in a steam vapor system is one way to decrease the use of chemicals while still ensuring that you have a high degree of cleanliness. New technologies can be tough to incorporate into your existing cleaning protocol, but a steam vapor cleaning system can be an easy and profitable adjustment for your cleaning company.

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