Power Washer or Steam Cleaner

I own several pizza restaurants with tile floors throughout the entire building. Each restaurant is roughly 1,500 SF. As you can imagine, the tile and grout become nasty over time as grease and other grime are introduced.

I’m ready to purchase either a power washer or a steam cleaner to help ease the cleaning process, and I have no idea where to begin. I know I need hot water, whether via a power washer or steam cleaner and that I don’t need much PSI. Each of my stores runs on a natural gas hot water heater (typically Rinnai) that can easily heat water to 145 - 160 degrees.

I estimate that I’ll deep clean the floors maybe 3 times a year (w/ 5 stores, around 15 uses a year). I’ve researched hot water power washers, but most of them come with a boiler, weigh a ton, and cost a ton. While I’m NOT taking the cheap route, I don’t know that I need a pressure washer with a boiler. My thought was that I would direct connect either a pressure washer or steamer to my store’s hot water supply. Finally, I need something that’s somewhat portable. I don’t have a trailer or truck where the machine can be mounted.

Although the tile needs cleaning, the grout is the worst. Can anyone suggest a steam cleaner or power washer (that can accept hot water) that could help me? Thanks for your help

cant you just clean often using premium chems? or hire someone with the equiptment. Isnt maintenance tax deductible?

Hire a professional.

  1. Most pressure washer pumps are not capable of running hot water through the pump so if you wanted to use your existing hot water for the supply you would ruin the pump internals in literally no time at all.

  2. Professional floor cleaning companies typically use recovery systems to vacuum up the dirty water to keep from flooding the area. You can do a lot with a couple of guys with floor squeegees but then you’re taking your employees away from what makes you money.

  3. If you don’t dry the area completely you run the risk of mold growing in your restaurants. No bueno. Professional companies use large floor fans to dry the areas extremely quickly. They are not cheap and you will likely need a half dozen of them at least.

  4. This is more of a business ideology but it rings true–stick to what you know. You know pizza. We know pressure washing. Some other forum is full of guys that know plumbing. And another one that know the ins-and-outs of fluid dynamics and so on and so forth.

  5. As mentioned above, you can write off just about everything in business in some form or fashion. Get with your CPA and he’ll be able to let you know what route is best for your business. Besides, every business needs write-offs unless they just enjoy Uncle Sam taking everything he can get his hands on.


I have a local chain if restaurants I clean for. He asked me to do the floor of a large dining area. If it has more floor drains I would’ve done it. I ended up getting him some good degreaser and his employees brush and mop it every 2 weeks or whenever it needs done. I told him I’d clean it if the degreaser didn’t work. He’s happy with the results and hasn’t asked for me to clean the inside. Maybe look into a good degreaser for the floors.

I used to clean tile in restaurants and I can tell you right now that attempting this yourself with a portable machine is guaranteed to piss you off and return poor results. I’m not saying it’s impossible but trust me when I say that tile cleaning is annoying enough with proper equipment. Do yourself a favor and hire a pro.

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