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  • Writer's pictureChris Martin

Hot Water Vs Cold Water High Pressure Cleaning – What's Best For You

When it comes to high pressure cleaning, also known as pressure washing, there are many different options you can choose from with the two main ones being cold water and hot water. Apart from the temperature, not many people really know which one is better for their needs. Here, we outline the benefits of each, as well as when you should use these.

Cold Water Pressure Cleaning

Cold water pressure cleaners are quite popular among home owners who like to do their own cleaning. As the name suggests, these machines use a mixture of cold water, high pressure and detergents to remove dirt and build-up from surfaces around the house. Typically cheaper to purchase than hot water pressure cleaners, these machines are ideal for removing moss build-up, loose paint, dirt and some other minor surface stains.

Due to the cool temperature, these pressure cleaners are much safer to operate than hot water cleaners, however safety precautions should still be taken as the high pressure alone can cause injuries as mentioned in this article – “The Dangers of DIY High Pressure Cleaning”. Cold water pressure cleaners require less maintenance and care than their hot water counterparts, and are usually easier to manoeuvre due to their smaller size.

The main disadvantage of cold water pressure cleaners is that they aren’t as effective at cleaning all stains, particularly oil, grease and set-in stains that depend on heat to break down their molecules and fully clean the surface. More patience is also required as it generally takes longer for cold water pressure cleaners to do their job compared to hot water alternatives, and they depend more on high quality detergents to help lift and remove dirt.

Hot Water Pressure Cleaning

The use of hot water pressure cleaners is generally the more popular approach to pressure cleaning, especially for industrial and commercial cleaning requirements. There are several reasons why it’s recommended that hot water pressure washers are used only by experienced individuals. The primary concern is the higher risk of injury or death due to the combination of extreme pressure and water reaching up to 155° Celsius in temperature. Due to the increased complexity of the machine compared to a simpler cold water pressure cleaner, they are also more expensive and require a higher level of maintenance to ensure continual effectiveness for many years to come.

Despite the above, hot water pressure cleaners are considered the most efficient cleaners, with the ability to effectively clean even the most stubborn and set-in stains. The hot water combined with detergent works to cut through grease and oil, unlike cold water cleaners. A popular analogy in the pressure cleaning world is likening the pressure cleaner type to washing dishes. Some dishes are easily able to be cleaned with just cold water and a soapy sponge, but if you try cleaning greasy pots and pans with this method it ends up just smearing the grease and creating a larger mess. Increase the temperature and in just a short amount of time, that grease is gone and the pans are looking good as new. With pressure cleaners, only hot water ones can lift and remove oil and grease stains. This makes them the number one choice for industrial areas, garages, factories and commercial kitchens where these stronger stains can be regular occurrences.

Paver high pressure cleaning
The power of high pressure cleaners - this driveway is transformed without harsh chemicals needed.

An important note to make is that hot water pressure cleaners aren’t the same as steam cleaners. While steam cleaners can be a great option for individuals to clean their house floors and furniture without the use of chemicals, they can’t effectively remove stains like a hot water pressure cleaner. While there are some pressure cleaners that can produce steam to assist in their cleaning efforts, it’s again recommended that these are operated by experienced professionals to avoid injury.

Another benefit of hot water pressure cleaners is that the heat also kills germs and bacteria along with thoroughly cleaning the surfaces, again making this the ideal choice for commercial kitchens or locations where hygiene is high priority. The last pro of using a hot water pressure cleaner is the environmental benefits it provides. Cold water cleaners rely heavily on the combination of pressure and chemicals/detergents to deliver their results, whereas the high temperatures of hot water pressure cleaners reduce the need for chemical use, sometimes eliminating this requirement altogether. This makes it a great choice for areas and locations which may be used by children and pets shortly after the cleaning has taken place. It also means that there is limited, if any, chemicals entering drains and our oceans. Being an environmentally friendly cleaning option makes this a clear winner for many people.

What is the right pressure cleaner for me?

It really comes down to the surfaces you are wanting to clean, and how often you will be doing this. If you are just wanting to remove a small amount of moss and dirt from pavers and house sidings twice a year, a cold water pressure cleaner is a great, affordable choice. If you have a commercial property, larger set-in stains, a lot of dirt build-up or entire areas to be cleaned, then hiring a professional cleaner with a hot water pressure washer is the better option to get amazing results within a short amount of time. If the environment or the safety of your children and pets are a large concern, then hot water pressure cleaners are also the best solution for you.

Most professional high pressure cleaning companies like Perth’s DJL Services own a variety of machines and will know the right one to use to get the best result for you, at the best price. Below are some examples of the transformations that can be achieved by a pressure cleaning professional. If you’d like your own transformation or have more questions about pressure cleaners, please contact DJL Services today – they can provide free quotes for any cleaning job around the Perth, Western Australia area.

Oil stain removed from driveway
A hot water high pressure cleaner effectively removed the oil stain from these pavers.

Limestone pool pavers high pressure cleaned
Limestone pool pavers look good as new thanks to professional high pressure cleaning by DJL Services.

Click HERE to get your free high pressure cleaning quote from DJL Services.


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