The Truth About Hot Water Pressure Washing

The Truth About Hot Water Pressure Washing

If you have done your research on pressure washing in Nashville, you have probably noticed that a few of the pressure washing companies offer hot water concrete cleaning. This requires a machine that heats ambient water to ultra-high temperatures.

Man Washing Industrial FloorWhat is the difference in cleaning with hot and cold water? We are frequently asked this question and hopefully, after reading this article, you will know the advantages of using hot water to clean hard surfaces.
Hot water pressure washing will help remove automotive fluids, cooking oil, grease, and general grime from hard surfaces. Using heated water will emulsify or breakdown contaminants much more than cold water. Due to the superior results, many corporate chain stores and restaurants require the use of hot water for their exterior cleaning.

Is hot water ALWAYS better?

Not necessarily, have you ever tried washing dishes with cold water? What about running your washing machine on the “cold” cycle? Sure, the dishes or clothes will look cleaner than they were, but most likely they would be even cleaner if hot water were used in the cleaning process. Hot water is not always needed to clean concrete. In some cases, it may not make much of a difference at all. But there are times when the difference is night and day. Shop floors, parking garages, fuel filling stations and drive thru’s will almost always be cleaner when power washed with high temperature water.


Pressure washing motorHot water disinfects!

There is a reason, and a good one, that commercial kitchens have extremely hot water at the faucets. High temperature water kills bacteria, and allows the surfaces to be sterilized. Now your driveway or sidewalks probably won’t benefit from sterilization, but they will benefit from the emulsification properties of heated water. Petroleum, cooking oils, grease, and other stubborn stains could be erased with ease when power washed with super heated water, whereas cold water may not even budge the stain.


Chewing gum removal

The most effective and efficient way to remove chewing gum from concrete surfaces is with hot water/steam. The combination of high pressure and high temperature basically melt the gum away, without damaging the concrete. It is very easy to “etch” concrete with a pressure washer, causing permanent damage. An experienced technician will use the proper nozzle that allows enough pressure to remove the gum without damaging the surface beneath it. All concrete is different, some can withstand ultra-high pressure while some can be damaged with very low pressures. The factors that determine the way concrete is cleaned are; age, density, finish, quality, temperature, and many more. Chewing gum removal should never be attempted using cold water, or by inexperienced operators.


How it works.

Heated water will break down contaminants at the molecular level, allowing more of the stain to be pulled from the porous surface. Hot water also breaks the bond between the debris and the surface allowing for faster removal and more thorough penetration into the surface.


Dirty floor clean floorOther uses for hot water pressure washers

Hot water will outperform cold water in many applications.

  • Heavy equipment cleaning
  • Concrete cleaning
  • Brick/paver cleaning
  • Paint/coating removal
  • Ice dam removal
  • Automotive parts washing


These machines are even used for thawing frozen water lines and to heat SCUBA divers suits while diving in frigid waters.

If you are planning on having a Nashville based pressure washing company perform cleaning tasks at your property, PRO WASH recommends hiring a cleaning contractor with hot water capabilities. A pressure washing company that has purchased hot water equipment is typically vested in their business and not a “here today gone tomorrow” company. A pressure washing machine that produces heated water is a very expensive investment; companies with these machines are usually trained and knowledgeable about all aspects of exterior cleaning. As pressure washing professionals ourselves, we have seen many properties damaged by untrained “handymen” who purchased a homeowner grade cold water machine from a box store. It is wise to trust your property to a reputable company that specializes in exterior cleaning only.