The Steam Cleaner: 5 Tips for Making the Most of This Tool During Your Auto Detailing Career

Every good auto detailer knows that when you learn how to take advantage of a steam cleaner’s many uses, you’ll be prepared for a successful career. If you’re considering entering the auto detailing field, you might be surprised to know that steam cleaners are not only useful for targeting a vehicle’s interior upholstery, but also the exterior, ventilation system, windows, and more! Steam cleaners operate by producing a hot steam which loosens up dirt and debris, allowing a surface to be wiped clean. Given that steam is safe for use on almost any surface, it’s a great tool for a variety of auto detailing projects. Below, discover a few tips for making good use of your steam cleaner throughout your career as an automotive detailing professional. 

1. During Your Auto Detailing Career, Use the Steam Cleaner to Clean a Vehicle’s Ventilation System

While steam cleaners are typically associated with their usefulness for cleaning upholstery, carpets and other interior surfaces, these tools can also be used for more technical jobs, such as cleaning the ventilation system. If you’re entering a career in auto detailing, you can use a steam cleaner to dislodge dust, dirt, and other contaminants from the ventilation system, simply by steaming each vent. Ventilation systems tend to trap dust mites and allergens, and steam cleaners are one of the most effective ways to remove them, due to the high heat and pressure of the steam.

Professionals with auto detailing training can use steam cleaners to remove contaminants from the ventilation system

2. Steam Clean Door Panels, Dashboards and Trim

Over time, dirt and grime can accumulate on the interior paneling of a vehicle. Components such as the door panels, dashboards, cup holders, steering wheels, consoles, and door trims can all benefit from a visit from the steam cleaner. On these surfaces, high pressure steam will remove any grease or dirt, while the temperature of the steam helps to melt any sticky residue or grime. As these components can get especially dirty over time, a steam cleaner is a great tool to use for removing a buildup of contaminants.

3. Steam Clean Under the Hood

This one might be surprising, but if you’re enrolled in auto detailing training, you’ll soon find that steam cleaners can be used on a vehicle’s exterior as well as its interior. Over time, vehicle engines become covered with grease, oil and dust, and just like any other component of a car, they benefit from a good cleaning. One trick when steam cleaning under a vehicle’s hood is to add detergent to the steam, as this will remove any stubborn grease. 

A steam cleaner can be used to clean dust and grime from under a vehicle’s hood

4. Clean the Wheels and Rims

Additional exterior components which can benefit from a steam cleaning are the wheels and rims of a vehicle. The wheels and rims tend to trap plenty of dirt, salt, and other particles picked up from the road, and cleaning them is important in order to prevent corrosion or early wear and tear. During your career as an auto detailer, steam clean these components when completing any detailing job to ensure a healthy shine on every surface of a vehicle. 

5. Use the Steam Cleaner to Remove Contaminants from the Exterior Paint

If washing a vehicle’s exterior paint by hand seems like too much of a chore, you’re right. A steam cleaner can be used to remove debris such as bird droppings, tree sap, and other stains from the surface, leaving behind a glossy coat of paint. Simply follow your steam cleaning by drying the surface with a microfibre cloth, and you’ll be good to go!

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