F.A.Q.s

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.

Grout is one of the toughest cleaning challenges we are asked about. Dirty, dingy, gray grout lines are unpleasant to look at and difficult to clean in an efficient way. Are you excited by the thought of using a toothbrush for grout cleaning? Probably not. There are certain grout specific cleaning problems because of the nature of grout itself. It is a porous mixture of water, cement and sand.

Traditional cleaning methods often encourage applying a solution to the grout to restore its original colour. This is not always going to work because of the chemical composition of cleaning solutions. They are often tinted, which can promote further discolouration. Or, we tend to apply such strong chemicals out of frustration, that we erode some of the grout away with the application of chemicals, which degrades the tile and can lead to bigger problems.

The other problem is that vertical surfaces pose a challenge. In order to apply enough chemical to treat the grout, you will create pools on the floor which make it difficult to reach the area to be cleaned, or you end up with chemicals running down your arms from contact with the wall.

The floor is really no better – if you need to apply agitation to the grout to clean it, chances are you will be bent over in an uncomfortable position for what seems like miles of grout lines.

So what should you do? Regular mopping might help, right? Wrong. The low level of the grout (below the tile surface) makes it a perfect place for the dirty water brushed off of the tile surface to collect, and the porous grout just sucks that dirt right up.

What about sealing the grout? If you haven’t already, it won’t work – it needs to be clean and look good before you spend all that money sealing it.

The best way we have found for grout cleaning is steam. The high heat, low moisture and gentle pressure from the steam actually force the dirt out of the grout and bring it to the surface where it is easily wiped away. Quality steam systems (like your SteamKing 1500) come with extension tubes, which allow you to scrub floor grout from a standing position and clean wall – and even ceiling – grout easily. And since the steam is a great way to clean floors and tile surfaces, you can clean your floors and walls at the same time. This eliminates the problems mentioned earlier: chemical discolouration, erosion, low level grout dirt collection, uncomfortable reaching and bending and of course the harmful contents of most cleaning products.

There is some grout that steam can’t clean. If you have tried multiple chemical applications in the past you may have ‘set’ the dirt, making it impossible to remove. If dirty grout has been sealed, steam will not go beneath the seal to clean. If the grout seems to be unstable – a result of either age or intense chemical erosion – it is not advisable to apply steam.

There are lots of grout cleaning applications that steam can do deeper, faster, easier and better. An example is grout around the base of the toilet and in showers, where moisture can cause stains. Another is grout around pet beds or litter boxes. Entrance ways and side doors also tend to need extra grout cleaning. The grout around kitchen equipment, where the mop has pushed a collection of dirty, greasy water over the years is another awesome spot to clean with your SteamKing 1500. If this is your biggest challenge, then versatile steam may be the answer.

Because once you’re done with the grout you can move on to the tiles, windows, mirrors, sinks, toilets, fridge seals, oven… you get the idea!

Accessories:

  • Extension
  • Triangle Brush

Steam Setting: Medium

  • Start at the top of the wall moving downwards
  • Move in a circular motion along the wall applying light pressure to allow bristles into grout lines
  • After wall has been cleaned, wipe with a cotton cloth
  • Mop up any moisture on the floor

Cleaning frequency: weekly

Approximate cleaning time: 20 minutes (depending on area size)

Last month we talked about grout. That is a detailed, special project that you will need to do every now and again.

But what about cleaning that you do EVERY DAY? Most tile, vinyl and laminate flooring in public areas are mopped daily. Did you know that this is a job that is easier, less unpleasant and better accomplished using your SteamKing 1500?

The extension tubes that come with your system make the job ergonomic. The towel clips on the Large Rectangle Brush allow you to remove loosened dirt as you clean. All you have to do is add tap water to your system and plug it in.

This is much easier and pleasant than filling a mop bucket, adding the right amount of chemicals, lifting the heavy, water logged mop and wringing it out. Not to mention that ‘mop’ smell. And emptying the mop bucket after the fact, lifting it over the sink – I’m sure you’re all seeing it in your mind right now. I always considered it a good day when I didn’t spill mop water on my shoes!

Cleaning your floors with the SteamKing 1500 eliminates all of that – and leaves your floors cleaner. Because there is no soap used you also don’t need to rinse with a wet mop. Also – because the steam dries so quickly you don’t need to go over it with a dry mop. And since there is no chemical residue left on the floor you will never have that sticky noise when you walk across the ‘clean’ floor. Please note however that there have been loads of cases where the floors have been left ‘squeaky clean’ when cleaned with steam!!

And you can use your SteamKing 1500 on all floors – washroom, kitchen, entrance ways – all just using tap water! Greasy kitchen floors near ovens and fryers will be safer than ever – steam will melt the grease. No more sliding around the kitchen without lifting your feet!

The other benefit to using your SteamKing 1500 to clean your floors is that with the Triangle Brush with Towel Clips you can clean your baseboards too. Have you ever noticed that when you use a mop it brushes the baseboard as you’re cleaning the floor? Now look closer – what you’re really doing is pushing the loosened dirt/dirty water into the area where the floor and baseboard meet. That won’t happen when you clean your floors and baseboards with your SteamKing 1500.

Please keep reading to see excerpts from our Cleaning Guide about floors and baseboards. I added walls and partitions as well – just in case once you start you can’t stop!!

CARPET REFRESHING

Accessories:

  • Triangle Brush
  • Rectangle Brush
  • Extension Tubes
  • Cotton Cloth

Steam Setting: Medium

  • Attach Triangle or Rectangle Brush to the Extension Tubes.
  • Affix Cotton Cloth too Brush with clips.
  • Apply Steam to area to be refreshed.
  • Reaffix Cotton Cloth as it becomes soiled.

Carpet Stains:

  • Attach Nozzle to Extension Tubes.
  • Hold cloth about 5-6 inches from the tip of the Nozzle.
  • Steam the area by holding Nozzle parallel to the carpet.
  • Apply steam across the carpet fibers, forcing dirt/stain into cloth.

BASEBOARDS – TILED

Accessories:

  • Nylon Nozzle Brush (Small, Medium or Large)
  • Nozzle
  • 2 Extension Tubes
  • Steam Setting: Medium
  • Attach small, medium or large Nylon Nozzle Brush to the Nozzle on the Extension Tubes.
  • Apply steam to the grout lines moving nozzle in an up and down motion.
  • Proceed to Floor procedure.

BASEBOARDS – VINYL

Accessories:

  • Triangle Brush
  • Extension Tubes
  • Cotton Cloth

Steam Setting: Medium

  • Attach Triangle Brush to Extension Tubes.
  • Affix Cotton Cloth to Triangle Brush using clips.
  • Allow Brush to rotate by adjusting the Red Locking Clip.
  • Apply steam to baseboard. Do not allow Triangle Brush to remain stationary to avoid overheating of vinyl.
  • Proceed to Floor procedure.

WAX BUILD UP

NOTE: For thick wax build-up, pre-apply a wax stripper to enhance the performance of the steam. The will also help multi-layers of wax from hardening.

Accessories:

  • Nylon Nozzle Brush (Small, Medium or Large)
  • Nozzle
  • 2 Extension Tubes
  • Triangle Brush
  • Steam Setting: Medium

FOLLOW PROCEDURE FOR TILED OR VINYL BASEBOARDS.

FLOORS

Accessories:

  • Rectangle Brush
  • 2 Extension Tubes
  • Cotton Cloths

Steam Setting: Medium

  • Sweep area to be cleaned.
  • Attach Rectangle Brush to Extension Tubes. For tough dirt, use the bristles on the Rectangle Brush to lightly scrub the floor.
  • Once all dirt is loosened, or for maintenance cleaning, attach a cotton cloth to the Rectangle Brush with the clips.
  • Proceed to clean the floors, allowing the cloth to collect the dirt and moisture.

WASHROOM WALL AND HAND DRYER

Accessories:

  • Triangle Brush
  • Extension Tubes (as needed)

Accessories:

  • Nozzle
  • Brass Brush
  • Stainless Steel Scourer

Steam Setting: Medium

  • Remove over racks ans side rails
  • Apply scouring pad to brass brush on nozzle
  • Clean all large areas inside and outside (including glass) with scouring pad and wipe dry
  • Remove scouring pas and use brass brush on the nozzle for finer detail areas and wipe dry
  • Remove the brass brush and use just the nozzle to clean around glass edges, seals, hinges and clasps, then wipe dry
  • Clean racks in sink area with scouring pad and replace

Cleaning frequency: weekly

Approximate cleaning time: 15 minutes

In the kitchen, our vapor cleaning system can address hard to clean or reach areas like toasters, fryers, grills, hoods, stacks, seals on coolers and legs/castors. Cleaning these items can be easier and faster than traditional means and can be done without chemicals. The vapour cleaning system can be used on a daily basis in this area.

Most restaurants face the same issues in the washrooms. Around the sink area, hand dryer, toilet hinges, urinals and baby change solutions are difficult areas to clean. During this procedure, the walls, sink, and soap dispenser, protective corner guards, partitions, baby change stations, hand dryers, toilet, urinal, baseboards, and doors were cleaned.

The first application took two hours and ten minutes. The area was monitored and a second application was required in one week, which took about thirty minutes.

Accessories:

  • Extension
  • Triangle Brush
  • Rectangle Brush

Steam Setting: Medium

  • Attach triangle or rectangle brush on extension(s)
  • Start at the top of the wall and move downwards. Move the brush in a circular motion across the wall allowing the steam and bristles to penetrate ridges and/or grout lines
  • Wipe with a dry cloth when finished steam application

Cleaning frequency: weekly

Approximate cleaning time: 6 minutes / 52 sq feet

We chose a high traffic adjacent to the playland. We then cleaned the chairs, benches and piping, wood paneling, wall paper, tables and framing.

The first application took one hour and forty-five minutes. The area was monitored and a second application was required in two weeks, which took about forty minutes. Chairs and benches could be done in a sectional program.[/vc_column_text]

How do I remove oil, grease and gum?

Equipment/solutions:

  •  Signum 1500 or Signum 3000 Vapour Cleaning System
  • Water
  • InterSteam VapourMax

Heavily oil soaked area:

  •  Spray water over area to be cleaned
  • Over heavily soiled area, apply InterSteam VapourMax, 250 ml to 10 sq ft
  • With the large brush accessory of the Signum 1500 or Signum 3000, scrub solutions into soiled area and let sit for 10 minutes
  • Heat the treated area with the Signum 1500 or Signum 3000 at its highest setting, working slowly in small areas to lift the heavy soil out of the cement
  • Wash away the oil and dirt using a hose and water
  • Repeat if necessary

Gum:

  • With small metal brush accessory, apply heat to gum and brush the gum for 5 seconds
  • Spray on Interstearm VapourMax and brush into gum (proceed with other gum while giving solution time to work)
  • Use the small metal brush and high steam setting to remove the gum

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”How do I clean calcium and lime?” tab_id=”1462992131597-c040278b-4c86″][vc_column_text]Tools/Solutions:

  • Signum 1500
  • Water
  • InterSteam VapourMate

Heavy build up:

  • Spray concentrated solution of VapourMate over soiled area
  • Agitate with a soft bristled brush
  • Allow solution to sit and work for a period of five minutes
  • Wash away the residue with water
  • Repeat if necessary

Maintenance and lightly soiled areas:

  • Apply lnterstearn VapourMate at a ratio of 1 part to 5 parts water
  • Wash residue away with water

Porous surfaces:

  • Apply Intersteam VapourMate at a ratio of 1 part to 2 parts water
  • With the Vapour machine, and the triangle brush, apply high steam to the affected area
  • Wash with water
  • Repeat if necessary

Note: If applying on metals, ensure solution is fully wash off surface. Should the product be left on for more than 5 minutes, graying may occur. If so, simply use a mild abrasive cloth with water to remove.

It may be defined as: Cleaning an article of some or all of the pathogenic organisms which may cause infection. So the next question is how to get rid of infection causing pathogens. There are lots of methods – but when it comes to eliminating the causes of infections, and reducing infection risks, wouldn’t you want to do the best, most thorough job possible? Of course you would. Let’s review some methods available and decide which one to use.

Chemical disinfection involves the application of a solution to the surface to be disinfected. Alcohol based, oxides, phenolics, quaternary compounds and bleach are the usual suspects. In all of these cases, the disinfectant can only be applied to a clean surface, and should be rinsed afterwards with water. Did you know that disinfecting with chemicals is a three step process?

What you need to remember is that you must diligently read labels to ensure that you are using the right product for the task at hand. You also want to read the precautions – are they non-allergen or sensitive chemicals, are they non-hormone disrupting, have they been linked to any mutations in wildlife as a result of production or run off?? This sounds serious – not to mention the first reason you would have read the label – to ensure that you would use the product before it expires and make sure you are storing it correctly and that you have the current MSDS on hand… wow, this is turning into a bit of a headache.

So now we’re matching our product with our protocol. We have identified the task at hand, read labels, geared up appropriately (masks, gowns, gloves, goggles) and are ready to go. Should be a simple spray and wipe now, right? Sorry. In most cases there is a prescribed dwell time, during which the surface may need to remain wet. These dwell times usually range between five and ten minutes. They usually form the basis of the effectiveness of the chemical as a disinfectant. There is also some concern about the harm done to the surface. Leaving a chemical on some surfaces for that length of time, can cause material to weaken or break down to the point of destruction.

The other important thing to consider with chemical applications on surfaces is that should the bacteria survive the chemical attack, they give rise to the next generation. Because bacteria have a rapid multiplication rate they are able to quickly develop a resistance to chemicals. And in many cases, the chemicals are often simply unable to successfully kill their target. Hard spore walls and biofilms are designed to protect microorganisms – and they work! So what are the other choices.

Heat is proven as an effective way to destroy – well everything. That doesn’t sound good either, does it? Let’s explain. There is no living, organic subject that isn’t sensitive to heat at some point. We kill bacteria in the food we eat by cooking it. We use autoclaves in hospitals to sterilize surgical instruments. Even in the good old days we would boil medical utensils and other things that we wanted to be sure were clean. We advise people to boil their water in certain areas to be sure it is safe to drink. Dishwasher run on hot water – it seems like a great way to clean and disinfect. So what do I need – to heat my chemicals before I apply them?

  1. Chemicals are not formulated to be boiled. The results include creating toxic fumes, sticky sludges or ineffective chemicals in altered states. Let’s be clear – what you are about to read will raise questions with the little voice of disbelief in your head. But I am about to share with you scientific, lab proven information about a technique that is being used by thousands of people in North America and countless others in Europe.

You can kill with a log 7 reduction (thousands of times better than any chemical):

  • C.difficile SPORES
  • MRSA
  • VRE
  • E. coli
  • Listeria
  • Salmonella
  • Norwalk Virus
  • Bird Flu, and more –

USING TAP WATER and turning it into STEAM.

Using a steam vapour cleaning system equipped with Thermal Accelerated Nano Crystal Sanitation Technology, you can turn the naturally occurring particles in everyday tap water into razor sharp nano crystals that destroy cell walls, biofilms and membranes that protect viruses. This then allows the high heat of the steam into the microorganism and kills it. All you need is five second contact (to allow heat transfer) with the surface you need to disinfect and you have eliminated all organic matter on the surface – EVEN the germs you didn’t know were there.

So, using tap water and a steam vapour system instead of chemicals you can:

  • kill more microorganisms
  • forget about reading labels
  • avoid exposing yourself to harmful chemicals
  • reduce your need for personal protective equipment
  • save TONS of money on buying a different chemical for every new bug that comes along
  • AND start enjoying reduced efforts and improved results.

Now you might be wondering – if this technology can really do all of this why aren’t more people using it? And, why haven’t I heard of it before? Steam Cleaning Equipment has been popular in Europe for a long time – that’s where we found it in 1997. We brought the SteamKing 1500 to Canada and have been supplying equipment to Hospitality, Long Term Care and other industries since that time. You might be surprised to know that over 700 Tim Hortons locations in Canada and the US use this equipment to clean their ovens and other equipment on a daily basis. The TANCS (Thermal Accelerated Nano Crystal Sanitation) Technology was introduced only a few years ago, and since then has gained wide acceptance in the US for use in hospitals and schools for disinfection. Intersteam Technologies is now working to bring this amazing new and breakthrough technology to all Canadians, to improve healthcare and the environment.

For more information on our laboratory test results, please email elle@intersteam.com

You can also view information on the TANCS Technology by Clicking Here.

And for information on the SteamKing 1500 you can Click Here.

We are also pleased to answer any other questions you might have at 1-800-281-4413.

We are a Canadian Company – based in Hamilton, Ontario. Wherever possible we are also pleased to provide on site demonstrations of our equipment. Just Ask!

There is no better time to make the change to Steam Vapour Cleaning than now. Save Money, Save the Environment and Save Lives – Using Tap Water.

Please act now – contact us today!!

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