Optima vs. Fortador

 

Optima XD

Fortador’s various websites reference outdated specs of an older model of Optima Steamer for comparison. The XD has been our flagship steamer since 2018.

Fortador*

*According to the specifications listed on Polish manufacturer’s website for the Fortador Pro Plus. Some specifications and distributor info was obtained from the Fortador-USA page.

“Max. Pressure” is a Misleading Spec.

Looking at the “Max. Pressure” alone doesn’t tell you whether the steamer can keep up with continued use. When you use steam, you’re releasing pressure. Whether a steamer can keep up steam production when used continuously depends on how much heat is put out by the burner. This will also determine how quickly the pressure drops and how low it will drop before needing to stop usage and wait for the pressure to rebuild.

While we do not dispute that the Fortador may reach a maximum pressure of 16 bar, we encourage you to review the entire list of specifications and to see both steamers operated in person to understand the true power of their steamer. If you continue reading, we can help show you that the Optima Steamer is clearly the more powerful of the 2 steamers, and seeing both in person will only confirm that fact.

Regardless, pressure is just part of the “power” observed from a steamer. It is the volume of steam that matters most when cleaning the exterior of a car. For example, a typical spray can of air used for dusting has 145 psi / 10 bar¹ pressure, but the volume of its output is actually quite low. Try cleaning a car with a can of dust spray and see if it’s the pressure that matters.

The Optima stops heating at 8.5 bar because that’s all you need for car wash and detailing when you have a higher volume of steam. And it takes the Optima under 4 minutes to reach full pressure when first started up. Furthermore, the Optima’s pressure will not drop below 7 bar, despite being used continuously by 2 operators. You will not have to wait for it to recharge as its powerful burner rebuilds the pressure to 8.5 bar in a matter of seconds.

¹https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_duster.

Working Pressure+
max. pressure: 9.5 bar (138 psi)
continuous working pressure: 8.5-7 bar (123/102 psi)
“16 kgf/cm2” bar, max. pressure
continuous working pressure: -not documented-

Steam Production Rate = How Much Steam It Can Make

This is by far the single most important specification about how powerful a steamer is—or isn’t—telling you how much water the steamer can turn into vapor steam in a period of time. And it’s obvious that to make more steam, you need more heat, or BTUs (but more on that later). A stronger burner will produce more heat and therefore be able heat up faster and keep up steam production during usage. Using less fuel means producing less BTUs or power (kcal/hr or kilowatts) and therefore it will take longer to reach full pressure/temperature and it will be harder to keep up with continuous output. We point this out because Fortador makes it a point to claim you will use less fuel with the Fortador yet somehow have a more powerful steamer. Also, the burner that the Fortador is powered by is documented to be less powerful (see the “Burner Power” section for more info).

Commercial steamers use the weight of the water that is converted to steam to measure Steam Production, so you’ll see this commonly measured in pounds/hr or kilograms/hr. This is related to BTUs since a BTU is the amount of heat required to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit, again pointing out that the power of a steamer’s burner is directly responsible for the power of the steam.

One simple way to measure Steam Production is to measure the amount of water that is refilled into a boiler over a period of time while being used at maximum output. To estimate this, you can take the fill rate of the boiler Water Fill Pump (usually measure in cc/min) and measure how often the water pump is filling in an hour under the steamer’s maximum output. The pump’s fill rate, or flow rate, can also be seen as a limit to how much water can be made into steam. For example, if a steamer’s water pump flow rate is 1,050cc/min (or 1.05 kg/min, which equals 63 kg/hr), it’s safe to say the steamer could not produce more than 63kg/hr of steam because the pump can’t pump any faster than that.

FYI, the max flow rate of the Optima’s Water Pump is 4,500 cc/min, which is could supply up to 270 kg/hr of water, but that would take 167,858 BTUs and assume that the boiler absorbs 100% of the energy and has no heat loss, which is impossible. Even with our patented boiler and burner system and a burner that produces 161,672 BTUs/hr, the Optima can generate 89.5kg/hr of steam. We point this out because the math can’t be faked even if the specification could be.

Steam Production Rate,
a.k.a. Steam Capacity
+
196.32 lb/hr (89.05 kg/hr)-unknown-

Max. Flow Rate = How Much Wet Steam It Can Put Out

This spec tells you how much wet steam a steamer can make and matters when considering applications like engine degreasing and washing the exteriors of extremely dirty vehicles. To produce this spec, the steamer is ran at its maximum steam output while set to the highest sustainable moisture output and the amount of water consumed is measured over a period of time. In contrast to the Steam Production Rate, most commercial equipment measures this in volume—usually liters or gallons per hour—as much more water is consumed.

We provide this spec to compare the Optima to “wet steam” machines and hot water pressure washers (usually made with a “coil” rather than a boiler) that are sometimes used by conventional car wash solutions. What sets the Optima apart is that while it is a powerful dry steam generator, it is also a powerful wet steam generator and will replace the need for a pressure washer. And because the Optima uses a stainless steel boiler, the moisture added to the steam output comes from the boiler and therefore maintains a the highest possible output temperature, which a steamer with a carbon steel boiler cannot do because water in the boiler is polluted with rust and instead is pumped from the water tank reservoir, cooling down the output and making it less useful for degreasing.

The Max. Flow Rate is greatly dependent on a steamer’s Steam Production Rate as well as the Water Pump Flow Rate. A less powerful burner would not be able to heat up cold water fast enough to maintain a useful pressure and a weaker water pump would not be able to supply water fast enough to maintain “wet steam.”

Max. Flow Rate+
108.87 L/hr (0.48 gal/min)-unknown-

Boiler Capacity

The amount of water a steamer’s boiler holds directly correlates to the amount of steam that can be generated. Though the amount of heat the steamer’s burner produces is more of a factor, the amount of water the boiler can hold dictates how much steam can be produced. To put it another way, a smaller boiler holding less water will produce less steam.

Simply put, the Optima’s patented boiler holds more water and the burner produces more energy.

Boiler Capacity+
14.62 liters (3.86 gallons)“11.5 L (3 gallons)”, mentions 2 boilers, but it’s unclear why

Water Pump Fill Rate

We provide this as a few things can be determined based on the flow rate of the Water Pump:

    1. the maximum possible Steam Production Rate
    2. the amount of time it will take to fill the boiler

Example 1: If a steamer’s Water Pump is rated with a flow rate of 1,050 cc/min (or 63,000 cc/hr, which equals 63 liters/hr, which 1 liter of water weighs 1 kg), it’s Steam Production Rate could not possibly be more than 63 kg/hr (and that’s without even factoring the burner’s power and the heat efficiency).

Example 2: Using the same flow rate, it would take a 1+ minutes for every liter of water the boiler holds.

The Optima Steamer boasts a quality carbon vane (Viton) water pump made by Fluid-O-Tech that can fill at a rate of 4,500 cc/min. This means that the Optima is theoretically capable of producing 270 kg/hr of Steam Production (though it’s actual rate is 89.5 kg/hr) and due to the Optima’s patented boiler design, the initial fill of the boiler will less than 2 minutes before the burner begins heating.

Water Pump Flow Rate+
4500 cc/min or 270 L/hr (Fluid-O-Tech)-not documented-

Boiler Fill Time is Down Time

Time spent waiting for your steamer’s boiler to fill is time wasted.

With the Optima’s Water Pump having a flow rate of 4,500 cc/min (or 4.5 L/min) and a patented boiler system that enables the burner to start preheating when it is filled to 7.95 liters, heating will began after less than 2 minutes.

When you factor in that the Optima’s preheating time is roughly 4 minutes, you will be up to pressure and ready to steam in less than 6 minutes from the time you turn on your Optima.

Boiler Fill Times+
<2 minutes for initial fill, seconds to refill-not documented-

Preheating Time Says a Lot

If you were to compare 2 steamers with similar boiler capacities, yet one steamer was able to heat the boiler up in 1/7th the time as the other, which would you say is the more powerful steamer? Time spent waiting for your steamer to fill and heat up is lost money.

And while we can claim the Optima can heat up in about 3 minutes, we can back it by numbers:

Optima’s Boiler Fill Level: 9.5 liters (2.51 gallons)
9.5 liters of water weighs 9.5 kg.
9.5 kg = 20.1 pounds.
Room Temperature is roughly 70 deg Fahrenheit.
Optima’s Steam Temperature = 352°F
352-70 = 282 degrees that the water needs to be heated.
1 BTU = energy needed to raise 1 pound of water 1°F
To raise 20.1 lbs of water 282°F (20.1 X 282) requires 5668 BTUs.
The Optima’s burner produces 161,672 BTUs/hr or 2694.5 BTUs/min.
Without factoring in heat transference or loss, 5668 BTUs / 2694.5 BTUs/min. comes to 2.1 minutes.
Accounting for atmospherics, let’s just say only 2100 BTUs reach the water per minute.
5668 BTUs / 2100 BTUs/min = 2.7 minutes

The point we’d like to make is that if you have an “eco-friendly” burner (a.k.a. a weaker one) and if you aimed to heat up the boiler to a higher pressure (higher temperature), then the preheating time will increase. Add to that the time you’re waiting for your water pump to fill the boiler and the wasted time starts to pile up.

Initial Preheating Time+
3.5 minutes (depending on ambient temperatures)“2-7 minutes”

How Much Heat the Burner Can Produce

Our competitor relies heavily on the brand of its burner (despite it not being related to the auto manufacturer of the same name) to suggest it has a more powerful burner. But looking more closely at the specifications of the burner will tell you its true power.

So why are we pointing out that the Optima has a more powerful burner? Because more heat means:

  1. shorter heating times
  2. higher steam production, a.k.a. more steam
  3. quicker recovery from continuous usage

And if you take a moment to look at the math behind making steam, you’ll understand that you can’t use less fuel and somehow be more powerful. To make steam requires a finite amount of energy. Therefore, producing less heat doesn’t save you fuel, it costs you time. And time is money. In fact, if it takes longer to reach full temperature (and you try to go to higher temperatures to produce higher pressure), you’ll be using more fuel, not less.

What will save you fuel? Having a steamer

  • with a patented boiler design that more efficiently transfers heat to the water
  • with a powerful burner that can more quickly reach operating pressure
  • that delivers enough steam to more effectively clean the exterior of a car in a shorter amount of time
  • that delivers enough steam to more quickly clean interiors and upholstery without needing chemicals

Some facts to help you along the journey of seeing which steamer is more powerful.

  • BTU, British Thermal Unit: the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit
  • Watt: is a unit of power used to quantify the rate of energy transfer (usually associated with electricity)
  • Calorie: unit of energy defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a quantity of water by one degree
  • 1 US gallon of diesel = 139000 BTUs¹
  • 1 liter of diesel = 36720 BTUs
  • 1 Watt = 860 calories/hour²
  • 1 BTU = 252 calories³

¹https://www.convertunits.com/from/gallon+%5bU.S.%5d+of+diesel+oil/to/Btu
²https://www.convertunits.com/from/watt/to/calories+per+hour
³https://www.convertunits.com/from/Btu/to/calories

Burner Power+
161,672 BTU/hr or 40.8 kcal/hr (~47kW equivalent)

-not documented, but we can determine it is weaker-

Fortador’s marketing focus is on the use of a Lamborghini burner, made by Lamborghini Caloreclima (oddly misspelled on Fortador’s site), not to be confused with Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., the company owned by the Audi Group.

Based on the manual for the Eco 3R oil burner that is used with the Fortador Pro Plus, the output power fluctuates between 14.2-35.6kW, which is the equivalent of 121,472 BTU/hr or 30.6 kcal/hr max., which is approximately 25% weaker than the Optima, despite making claims that their steamer is “more powerful”. The math doesn’t add up.

The TRUTH About Fuel Consumption

Our competitor wants you to believe that their steamer somehow uses less fuel but can be more powerful. On top of that, they took the Max Power of the Optima’s burner and came up with misleading predictions for annual fuel costs, not to mention that they made some math errors. But as we’re pointing out, the math is behind the Optima.

Here’s the truth.

Do you think having a more powerful burner that can heat a boiler faster and maintain a higher volume of steam output continuously will help you complete a job faster, saving you time and money? Of course it will. Having a steamer that heats up quicker means not having to wait on your equipment. Having a more powerful steam means getting jobs done faster and doing more in the same amount of time. Having a more powerful steamer means being able to offer more and to do it right the first time, in less time. And since creating steam is a numbers game and a specific amount of heat (in other words, fuel) is required to turn water into steam, it should be obvious that it requires more fuel if you do it slower and to a higher temperature (pressure). And what will lower your fuel costs is the efficiency of the boiler design, which the patented boiler of the Optima Steamer does more efficiently than all of its competitors.

Bottom line: A weaker burner won’t save you fuel. It will certainly cost you more time (money) and it may, in fact, cost you more fuel.

Additionally, when talking about average fuel consumption, they’ve seriously over-simplified the equation to predict how much you’ll spend in fuel by guessing at hourly costs. But again, the truth is that this is not that easy as every car will require different cleaning and every job will vary in what services get done. That said, we’ve put together a much useful number to help you with predicting costs: fuel consumption per vehicle. And this matters because the amount of cars/jobs you can clean in a day will determine your revenue—not guessing at your hourly fuel consumption. However, we suppose that if your steamer is turned off because you can’t use it or it isn’t effective for doing the job, then sure, you’ll be saving money on fuel.

The real questions you want to ask yourself in order to start predicting operating cost versus revenue are:

  • Will it be part of your business model wash exteriors exclusively with steam? If your steamer can’t do exteriors effectively, you’ll still be needing soaps/foams/detergents, more water, and, in many areas, reclamation mats… time lost and overhead spent. The Optima Steamer produces enough steam to truly wash the exterior of dirty vehicles with steam alone, eliminating the need for more water, cleaning detergents and water reclamation mats and not leaving your customers’ location covered in pollution.
  • How long will it take you to clean the exterior of an average vehicle? Veteran operators of the Optima Steamer report that due to the volume of steam the Optima can deliver, they can clean cars faster—in many case in less than 15 minutes. Why is Fortador telling you the hourly rate of its fuel consumption?
  • What basic services will you be able to use steam for and will it reduce your work time? Optima owners love how its powerful, dry steam replaces the need for shampooing and extracting with floor mats—just blast them with steam and they’re clean and dry in minutes. Same with the seats and floor. And the Optima’s volume of steam makes door jambs a snap. With the Optima Steamer, steam is a cost savings tool, not a gimmick.
  • What additional services will you offer and what is the R.O.I. of offering them? With the Optima’s unique, hot wet steam, engine degreasing can be done in less time with less chemicals. If you offer deodorization, do you still need ozone and fragrances? The Optima Steamer will be more than a logo on your van, it’ll be power behind your business.
  • Is your steamer truly capable of working on the exterior and interior simultaneously? With the Optima Steamer, one operator can use dry steam to detail the interior while another operator can use wet steam to wash the exterior—simultaneously, without losing pressure. With the Optima Steamer, you will turn around jobs faster and to do more in the same amount of time.
  • Can your steamer wash 2 car exteriors simultaneously, without losing pressure or steam production? With the Optima Steamer’s high Steam Production Rate, you can wash 2 vehicles at the same time and not lose pressure or volume of steam. The Optima Steamer’s power what will save you time and money.
Average Fuel Consumption+

Typical usage¹
exterior wash + interior detailing: 0.4~0.6 liters per vehicle (0.11~0.16 gallons)²

Single/Dual operator
exterior wash: 0.2~0.4 liters/vehicle (0.05~0.11 gal)²
interior detailing: 0.05~0.15 liters/vehicle (0.01~0.4 gal)

Max. Power Continuous Output³
1 gun, continuous steam: 0.025~0.035 liter/min. (0.066~0.009 gal/hr)
2 gun, continuous steam: ~0.07 liter/min. (0.0185 gal/hr)

¹Fuel consumption rates are estimates and can vary based on vehicle size/condition, skill of operator(s)/adherence to best practices, the level of services completed and whether proper maintenance is adhered to for the machine. The Optima’s patented burner system quickly achieves maximum pressure, efficiently running on-demand to maintain output. Usage may vary depending on vehicle size/condition, experience of operator and services rendered. ²Using the Optima for exterior car wash will greatly reduce the average time spent per vehicle compared to similar steamers due to the volume of steam generated. ³Maximum Power/Continuous Output is calculated with the steam gun trigger(s) held down continuously while maintaining a maximum dry steam production rate of up to 1,400 cc/min. This rate does not reflect typical usage in any way and should not be used to calculate hourly or daily fuel consumption unless the steam gun will be held down continuously.

“0.6 litres or 0.63 quarts of diesel in combined mode” (0.13 gal/hr)

Beware of Fortador’s claim about annual cost savings as this is false.
Fortador’s websites attempt to make claims that fuel costs will be lower with the Fortador over the Optima Steamer but this is provably false. For starters, they make misleading claims by calculating daily fuel costs by multiplying the Optima’s Max Continuous Output rate. This estimation is not only deceitful in its assumptions, it also doesn’t reflect real world usage as no mobile steam operator is holding down the steam gun continuously for an hour, nor are they doing the same level of work per vehicle throughout and “8-hour shift” work day. They also use some bad math and calculate a month’s fuel costs for the Optima using more working days.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a weaker burner can save you money (and somehow generate “more power”) as a more powerful burner results in more steam, saving you time which will help you generate real cost savings.

The Boiler is the Heart of the Steamer

The boiler is where the steam is made. What it’s made of and how it’s designed will determine its performance, lifespan, and maintenance needs.

Boilers are commonly made of carbon steel as it is considered durable while cost effective. The downside of using it with boilers is that carbon steel is susceptible to rusting when exposed to moisture. And since the water from inside a carbon steel boiler will possess rust, moisture cannot be pulled directly from the boiler to create “wet steam”. Instead, it must come from the water tank, which is not heated. This means that wet steam from steamers using carbon steel boilers will be greatly cooled down due to using ambient temperature water.

The Optima Steamer, in contrast, uses a Stainless Steel boiler, which is highly resistant to corrosion and rust. This ensures a longer lifespan and that there is virtually zero rust accumulating in the boiler and slipping out into the steam. This allows the Optima to use water in the boiler to make wet steam that maintains a much higher temperature than the Fortador and which is more effective at heavy degreasing (for example, with engine cleaning).

And when a boiler has a longer lifespan, the steamer has a longer lifespan. We have Optima owners still operating the steamers they purchased over 10 years ago because of its quality materials and design. Our steamer comes with a 2-year Warranty on our boilers.

Fortador states its boiler is made of “Boiler Steel.” If you do a quick search, you will see that the term is generic but almost always refers to carbon steel. You can tell whether a steamer has a carbon steel boiler by looking at the water drained from it after a few days use—it will be a cloudy, yellowish-brown color. Now ask yourself, do you think it’s a good or a bad idea to clean a car with rusty water?

Boiler Material+
304 Stainless Steel“Boiler Steel” a.k.a. Carbon Steel

Boiler Temperature: Does it Matter?

To generate a higher pressure, the boiler must be raised to a higher temperature, that’s pretty much a givenSo, does the temperature inside the boiler matter? Here are a few thoughts to consider:

  1. The temperature inside the boiler doesn’t necessarily reflect the temperature of the steam spray. When pressurized steam hits unpressurized, cool air, the temperature rapidly drops. What will ensure that the high temperatures achieved by the steamer make it to the cleaning surface is the volume of the steam, not the pressure. More steam means more heat transferenceMore steam means better sanitation.
  2. Spraying steam releases pressure. When the pressure drops inside the boiler, so does the temperature. This is why it’s important to know how rapidly a steamer’s pressure drops with continued use and to how low. Talk all you want about “max pressure” or “boiler temperature”, even with continued use with dual operators, the Optima Steamer’s pressure doesn’t drop below 7 bar (101 psi) or 170°C (338°F) inside the boiler.
Boiler Temperature+
170-178°C (338-352°F)“260 °C or 506 °F regulated thermostat / auto stop” – assumed max temp.
minimum temperature (correlates with minimum pressure): -not documented-

We Make Steam and We Do It Better.

THE PROS USE QUALITY EXTRACTORS.

Newcomers to mobile car wash and detailing are often attracted to our competitor because it includes an on-board vacuum and a detergent delivery system. However, veteran detailers and mobile wash professionals will already have a high-performance extractor, for example Mytee. We’re confident you can find a higher quality extractor for a reasonable price rather than to settle for a cheap add-on.

THE PROS BUY STEAMERS FOR THE STEAM.

Established detailing professionals who eventually buy a professional steamer like the Optima tell us they are looking to stop using soaps, foams, detergents or chemicals and they want to be able to clean a car—inside and out—with water, yet produce little-to-no waste water. So why would a steamer manufacturer think it necessary to slap on a run-of-the-mill vacuum and complicate their system with multiple detergent tanks and the components they need to operate?

Look into a professional extractor that offers more standalone features, better quality, and its own warranty. But before you do that, invest in a steamer that produces enough steam to eliminate the need for chemicals and detergents. The Optima Steamer is fine-tuned for making steam, and we don’t compromise that just to sell you on chemicals nor do we think you’ll be wowed by a vacuum.

On-Board Vacuum and Solution Features+
None—the Optima Steamer focuses on making the most powerful steam possible. Most of our customers already own extractors–which the Optima will work with beautifully. Most of our customers are switching to steam to AVOID CHEMICALS, not get hooked on them. We offer a simple-to-use gun attachment applicator when chemicals are desired.On-board vacuum, which makes the Fortador bigger and heavier, obviously. It also has on-board detergent/chemical tanks and the associated components for their delivery system.

Cleaning Equipment and Touchscreens Seems Like a Bad Idea

Fortador’s marketing material points to having a touchscreen as an advantage. To that we ask why no other major manufacturer of similar cleaning equipment uses a touchscreen?

Perhaps it’s because when you’re using a commercial-grade steamer, you’d likely be using gloves and touchscreens do not work well with gloves. You’ll either be fumbling around with the screen or taking off your gloves. (If you don’t need gloves, ask yourself whether you’re dealing with a commercial steamer.)

Perhaps when dealing with water and dirt, a touchscreen is an expensive vulnerability rather than an advantage.

Perhaps when dealing with commercial equipment, it’s better to be using a manual switch, and perhaps it’s worth noting that user-friendly equipment can be simply turned on and off with no need for multiple interactions.

The Optima Steamer has a Power Switch and a Steam Switch—that’s all you need because it’s that easy to operate. The XD comes with a bright LCD monitor that displays the status of the machine with easy-to-understand alerts for when it is ready to use, when tanks need refilled and when maintenance is required. We don’t use a touchscreen because it’s a bad idea. Period.

Touchscreen+
No, as touchscreens don’t seem smart when dealing with professional equipment that uses water to clean and when operators are wearing gloves. To operate the Optima, you simply turn on the power and the steam–that’s it. The XD has a bright LCD display for operating information and maintenance prompts.Yes, touchscreen interface.

Size Matters for Mobile Businesses

When it comes to a steamer for mobile cleaning, bigger does not mean better.

Speak to an experienced operator of any mobile cleaning businesses and ask them whether they’d prefer a 440 pound machine that takes up the entire cargo space of their van, or if they’d prefer a machine that weighs less than half that and takes up half the space. We think the answer is obvious.

When operating a mobile business, less is more. Fortador “offers” a convenient mount that allows you to pull the Fortador out from your cargo area during operation so you don’t have to worry about unloading it—but at 440 pounds, it’s hardly optional. While we have many customers who use something similar with the Optima, it’s not a requirement and many more simply purchase an inexpensive ramp to load their Optima.

And consider this, when your machine needs maintenance, how hard will it be to get it in/out of your vehicle?

The Optima has nearly 13 years of evolution under its belt. The design of the XD was careful crafted by our engineers to maximize the performance in the most compact, weight-efficient package. Being molded of Polypropylene & Polyethylene make more durable and lighter than aluminum, certainly less expensive to replace. There’ve very little to say other than we are impressed that they made theirs look like a car.

Size, Weight and Body Materials+  
LxWxH: 100 x 66 x 89cm (39.2 x 26 x 35in),
volume: 21 cubic feet,
weight: 93.5 kg (207 lb),
body materials: plastic and stainless steel
twice as big, twice as heavy, and aluminum
LxWxH: “140 x 112 x 77 cm” (55 x 45 x 30in.),
volume: 43 cubic feet,
weight: “200 kg or 440 lb”

The XD Holds More Water and Fuel, Yet is More Compact

Again, this is the result of 13+ years of development. And one simple lesson learned is that with a mobile steamer, the more diesel and water it can hold, the longer you can operate before needing to stop and refill.

If you are in a fixed location, or your mobile operation requires you to need a larger water supply, simply connect a standard hose to the back of the Optima and let the auto-fill take handle the rest.

Tank Capacity+
36L water and fuel (9.5 gal each)25L water (5.5 gal), 15L fuel (3.3 gal)
no longer posted on Polish site; stats taken from USA page

We’re Proud of Our Steam Hoses

13+ years of development has taught us plenty of other things, too. For example, steam is HOT.

And because our steam is so hot, we use Teflon as the core of our steam hose for maximum strength and durability. And with hot steam comes hot hoses. We’ve experimented with all types of conventional hose materials, but the best material we’ve found to minimize heat loss is Polyester—5 layers of it, in fact.

All of our steam hoses are custom-made with a 5-layer Polyester exterior that insulates and protects a Teflon core for minimum heat loss through the hose and maximum spray temperatures, specifically when compared to that of rubber hose bodies. The Optima XD ships with two (2) 10 meter (33-foot) standard steam hoses that have a 3/8 inch Teflon core.

For delivering the maximum output of steam and heat, we also offer a line of Power Steam Hoses that use the same 5-layer Polyester insulation, but have a wider 5/8 inch Teflon core, allowing for the maximum output of steam the Optima can deliver.

And with both styles of steam hose, we offer them in lengths of up to 20 meters (65 feet), which will extend the reach of your steamer without losing significant heat or pressure.

These are world-class hoses and part of why the Optima Steamer is the unrivaled leader of steamers in its class.

Steam Hose Quality and Maximum Length+

All of our steam hoses come with a heat-resistant, 5-layer polyester exterior and a Teflon core.

The XD ships with two (2) 10 meter (33-foot) standard hoses with 3/8 in. Teflon cores. We offer a line of Power Hoses and guns with a 5/8 in. Teflon core that maximizes the steam output for insanely powerful steam.

Both our standard hose and Power Hose is available in sizes of up to 20 meters (65-feet) to allow for maximum reach with minimal heat loss.

check site

The steam hoses appear to be made with a rubber exterior and come in a maximum length of 10 meters (33-feet).

Look Closer at the Steam Guns

Remember, a can of dusting spray has about 10 bar of pressure, but its’ volume is quite low… and it uses a tiny straw so the spray can be felt.

The point? If you have higher pressure but a lower volume output of steam, you need a smaller nozzle.

The Optima’s standard steam guns and accessories use 3/8 inch internal piping and the spray nozzles have a 3.5 mm opening.

The Power-line of guns and accessories use 5/8 inch internal piping and the spray nozzles have a 5.5 mm opening. Used with a Power Hose, these accessories put out the maximum volume of steam that our competition can’t compete with.

Our steam guns come with smooth brass nozzles that are protected by silicone.

Steam Gun Nozzles, Spray Temperature+
Nozzle Material: silicone protected brass nozzles
Standard Steam Gun, Accessories: 3.5mm spray nozzle, 3/8 in. internal piping
Power Steam Gun, Accessories: 5.5mm spray nozzle, 5/8 in. internal piping
Temperature at tip: up to 135°C (275°F)
Nozzle size, material: -not documented-
“Steam Outgoing Temperature: 120-140℃ Reg. Auto. Stop”

Warranty Straight Talk

Our warranty isn’t lip-service. Because we work with 70+ dealers across North and South America who locally service and support your equipment, any warranty issues are taken care of fast. As you should always do, read both of our warranty explanations, and ask lots of questions.

You can find the specifics of our warranty here.

Things to consider.

As you can read for yourself, there are limits to what will be considered a defect. So it’s important to understand that following the recommended maintenance is the best way to avoid unwanted service or part replacements. The single, biggest cause of complications is scale or hard water. We recommend using softened water and offer a convenient softener that can attach to your XD to minimize scale build-up and hard water damage. The computer on the Optima XD will prompt you when it’s time for the various recommended maintenances, making it easy to ensure your steamer runs clean and at its maximum potential.

Warranty+
2 years on the boiler, 1 year on the machine, lifetime support
Read the specifics here.
no longer posted on Polish site; USA page says “Up To 3 Years”

Proud of Who We Are.

We’re not trying to hide where are product is made. We’re proud to stand along with companies like Hankook, Kia, Hyundai, Samsung and LG for being manufactured in South Korea. Though many of the components in the Optima come from Italy, we aren’t trying to make you think we’re made there.

South Korea has been a leader in manufacturing and technology for the last few decades and continues to produce innovative ideas that the world needs. The Optima is made by our parent company, SJE Corporation LTD, which has been a leader in commercial cleaning since it began in 1991. Since the first Optima Steamer was sold in 2004, the company has grown its team of engineers and R-&-D specialists to push steam cleaning technology to new levels. The Optima Steamer was the first machine of its kind and continues to be the benchmark for what a commercial grade steam generator can do.

Manufacturing Origin+
Busan, South Korea by SJE Corporation – Steamericas’ parent company.Warsaw, Poland

“Max. Pressure” is a Misleading Spec.

Looking at the “Max. Pressure” alone doesn’t tell you whether the steamer can keep up with continued use. When you use steam, you’re releasing pressure. Whether a steamer can keep up steam production when used continuously depends on how much heat is put out by the burner. This will also determine how quickly the pressure drops and how low it will drop before needing to stop usage and wait for the pressure to rebuild.

While we do not dispute that the Fortador may reach a maximum pressure of 16 bar, we encourage you to review the entire list of specifications and to see both steamers operated in person to understand the true power of their steamer. If you continue reading, we can help show you that the Optima Steamer is clearly the more powerful of the 2 steamers, and seeing both in person will only confirm that fact.

Regardless, pressure is just part of the “power” observed from a steamer. It is the volume of steam that matters most when cleaning the exterior of a car. For example, a typical spray can of air used for dusting has 145 psi / 10 bar¹ pressure, but the volume of its output is actually quite low. Try cleaning a car with a can of dust spray and see if it’s the pressure that matters.

The Optima stops heating at 8.5 bar because that’s all you need for car wash and detailing when you have a higher volume of steam. And it takes the Optima under 4 minutes to reach full pressure when first started up. Furthermore, the Optima’s pressure will not drop below 7 bar, despite being used continuously by 2 operators. You will not have to wait for it to recharge as its powerful burner rebuilds the pressure to 8.5 bar in a matter of seconds.

¹https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_duster.

Warehouse and North American Office+
Fully stocked warehouse and office strategically located near LAX and the Port of LA (San Pedro).“Total Steam Auto Detailing” in Miami, Florida.
Address808 Hindry Ave. Inglewood, California11705 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33181, United States

There is an Optima Dealer Near You

Since Steamericas first began, we’ve been learning that relationships matter. People like you who’ve found out about us online or from seeing the Optima featured on Jay Leno’s Garage not only want to know how to buy an Optima, they want to see one in person. Once upon a time, we had to locate an existing owner of an Optima and hope they could be available to demonstrate it. Then, once someone decided to buy a steamer, they wanted someone nearby who could help them use it and teach them how to do the maintenance. In fact, moreover, business owners who buy the Optima want to have someone nearby who could perform the maintenance as they just want to focus on running their business. What we learned is that many of our customers had close relationships with local equipment dealers and service centers, and from there we began talking with equipment pros. These relationships helped improve the Optima, refining how our machine is built and learning more about what customers really need.

Today, we work with 70+ local equipment sellers across North and South America. And as a result, there is likely an Optima Steamer less than an hour from you right now, ready to be fired up and tested in person. And for every local dealer, there are hundreds of Optima owners nearby who have support in their town when they need it.

Authorized Sellers+
We now work with 70+ authorized equipment dealers across North and South America that sell and service cleaning equipment. Our dealers typically sell and repair similar cleaning equipment and have a team of dedicated service technicians. If you live near a major city, there is probably a dealer with a stocked Optima XD no less than an hour away.Check their website for businesses using the Fortador that they refer to as “Sales Partners”. It’s not clear if they work with any resellers or service centers as they seem to list these under locations.

Service is Our Highest Priority

When you have a question, when you need help, when something doesn’t seem to be working they way it should be–how will you get help? Who will you call? Where are they located and is there someone nearby who can come to you? How long will it take to get parts?

This is where Steamericas and the Optima shine. When you need help, you can call us at 310-327-8900 or email our technical support team at [email protected] If you purchased your steamer from a local dealer and need to get your equipment serviced, we’ll help put you in touch with a live person there and make sure you get help the same day. If you need parts that a local dealer doesn’t have, we stock a full inventory and ship out daily—even overnight if you need it tomorrow.

We stand behind our product faithfully. When you own an Optima (even if you didn’t buy from us), you are getting our full support. You shouldn’t settle for anything less.

Service and Support+
We have dedicated staff ready to assist you with any questions, recommendations, or to quickly resolve andy support needs. Our authorized equipment sellers and service centers have their own inventory of parts and trained technicians who,in many cases, can come to you if you need help. We consider service and support our highest priority and customers will tell you that it is what sets us apart from all of our competition.-check website-

Look Closer at the Details and the Winner is Obvious

Fortador has seemed to focus all of its’ marketing on 2 things, being “Powered by Lamborghini” and the Optima Steamer. We’d be flattered if we didn’t feel they were being so misleading about our product.

If you’re impressed that the Fortador is “Powered by Lamborghini“, make sure that you understand they are in no way partnered with the sports car company. And if you’re considering the Fortador because of its inclusion of a vacuum and detergents, speak to veteran mobile car wash operators about whether those are the features that pay off down the road (we’re confident they are not).

You’re buying a steamer, not a brand name. You’re buying a steamer, not an extractor. You’re buying a steamer, don’t use more chemicals.

As for all of the stated “advantages” Fortador claims to have and after all the novelty wears off, we think that what matters is the quality of the product and its ability to perform. We strongly encourage you to speak to real customers and real operators.

We’re confident that if you speak to those who’ve owned both, the will tell you that the Optima Steamer is a higher quality machine and is backed by unbeatable support.

In the end, your investment will pay off when you go with the more powerful steamer, because you’ll do more work in shorter time.

Operating Cost Considerations+

True Efficiency. The Optima boasts a  patented boiler and burner system optimized for power and efficiency.

Quick and Simple Operation. You’re saving time and money working with a powerful steamer that delivers on its promises.

The Highest Volume of Steam Compared to the Fortador. More steam means you can do more, faster. The Optima won’t just be a marketing tool, it’ll be your favorite tool.

Reliability. The Optima is a time-tested machine featuring quality manufacturing that’s been improving since 2004, and it’s backed by our unrivaled network of support. This means you’re getting a steamer that’s going to be around for a long time.

Your investment in the Optima is a sound investment.

Looking at Fortador’s marketing, it might seem that they want you focus on the brand name of one of the parts inside their machine, they want you to be wowed by a vacuum that makes their unit bigger even though you’ve probably already invested in a quality extractor, and they want you to know that their steamer will use the chemicals they sell.

You’ll also see a claim on their websites that you’ll save on fuel costs with the Fortador, but they use the wrong information and bad math to misrepresent the Optima’s fuel costs. This information is simply wrong and they should take it down. Meanwhile, they don’t mention how much you might be spending on the chemicals they want you to buy.