Steam-powered kitchen cleaning
24 October 2017
The latest ‘dry’ steam machines from Matrix can offer chefs and restaurant managers the versatility they need, explains Mike Osiadacz, sales director for Matrix Cleaning Systems.
Recent years have seen major advances across an expanding range of steam cleaning equipment, now offering many model variations to suit all food establishments.
The fact is that modern steam cleaners have also benefitted from technical advances. These have the effect of conserving water and energy, and are listed with DEFRA, while also enhancing reliability and efficiency. Combined with the long-proven, deep cleaning power of steam, it means modern ‘dry’ steam cleaning machines offer a highly cost-effective and versatile option for the catering industry – and one that is also user-friendly and kinder to the environment. As a result, steam cleaning is undergoing a resurgence as an ecological cleaning method.
What’s ‘dry’ steam?
Using relatively small amounts of cold, clean tap water, the modern steam cleaner creates a low-moisture vapour in its internal boiler. The vapour particles of this fine mist are smaller, and therefore dryer, than those of steam. This vapour, as low as 5 per cent water, carries heat to the surface to be treated. Combined with light agitation, steam cleaning can thus produce high standards of cleanliness without the need for chemicals. Superheated (at temperatures up to 180°C) dry steam not only dissolves grease and grime, it sanitises surfaces – in contrast with mopping, which tends to spread bacteria and leave the floor wet, with the risk of slips and falls. At these temperatures, the residual moisture left after steam cleaning rapidly evaporates. Steam cleaners can tackle the toughest of grease problems found in kitchens, cleaning small cracks and driving dirt from crevices that other machines cannot reach. Regular steam cleaning helps maintain their ‘as new’ appearance, as well as removing smells by killing odour-causing bacteria in an instant.
This sanitising capability opens up other tricky tasks that are critical to the smooth and safe running of kitchens. Food preparation areas, including stainless steel worktops, grills, ovens and even fridges and freezers can be cleaned and sanitised in one step. This can save significant amounts of staff time. Again, with attachments such as a steam hand-mop kit, the same machine can be used to steam clean walls and ceilings as well as floors and work surfaces.
Most traditional cleaning methods are based on the use of water and detergents, which ensure the surface smells fresh and clean. However, bacteria left behind may accumulate rapidly under the still slightly moist surface. The deep cleaning effect of steam ensures that bacteria and other micro-organisms are destroyed, even in the pores of the contaminated surface. Any minimal residue left behind can be removed by the simultaneous use of microfibre or vacuuming.
So ‘dry’ steam cleaning leaves materials and surfaces clean and odour-free with minimal water residue.