Find the Answers to Our Most Common Questions


We at Steamericas strive to educate our customers, both potential and current, on the purchase, operation and maintenance of our Optima Steamer™ products. We have gathered our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) into categories for your convenience. If however you still can’t find an answer to your question, please contact us at 1-844-US-STEAM (1-844-877-8326).

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve seen impressive results using the Optima to remove stains from upholstery and have heard it deodorizes and sanitizes as well. Is this accurate?2019-01-17T13:21:23-07:00

Yes, it’s absolutely true. The Optima Steamer removes stains, deodorizes, and sanitizes as the videos testify. We recommend using an extractor with the Optima to produce the best results. We’ve developed a custom Extractor Hand Tool capable of withstanding the high-temperatures of the Optima that will couple with your heat-safe extractor.

Pair the Optima Steamer with the Extractor Hand Tool and make your own before-and-after videos showing stain removal, sanitation and deodorizing.

Will the Optima’s steam damage delicate bedding, cushions, upholstery or linens?2014-02-18T16:26:23-07:00

No. The Optima’s Steamer prides itself on producing the driest steam on the market, allowing for a deep penetrating, sanitizing clean that will never saturate your delicates and make them susceptible to costly damage. Of course to avoid any damage, at anytime, it is always important to use the Optima as intended for each applcation. Please refer to the appropriate application page or call us at (310) 327-8900 for more information.

I’ve heard that this steamer can easily remove gum from pavement, is this true?2017-11-06T15:32:48-07:00

Yes, by pairing a lance and our Stainless Steel Scrapper attachment along with the dry continuous steam of the Optima Steamer, gum lifts from pavement, benches, tables, or any other hard surface that won’t be damaged from the steel scrapper and/or brass brush.

Do you have cleaning solutions for the janitorial industry (tile grout, floors, walls, windows)?2014-02-18T15:28:18-07:00

Yes, we provide an array of accessories that are specifically designed for each of those applications. We have a lances that range from 6″-40″ that can be paired with various sized polyester brushes and even a brass-bristled brush for grout cleaning, a Spinner Floor Tool made for tile and floor cleaning, as well as mop wands that range from 2.4m-7.3m cleaning even the highest most inaccessible windows and wall surfaces with one simple step.

Do you buy back or sell used machines?2014-01-27T01:13:50-07:00

Steamericas does not buy back or sell used machines.
However, we occasionally have demo or display models from trade show for sale at a discounted price.
For availability of demo or display machines, please call us at (310) 327-8900.

How much will I pay for shipping?2017-11-06T15:32:48-07:00

Our products ship on pallets with freight carriers.
Depending on your location, delivery requirements (i.e. residential, liftgate delivery, inside delivery…) and the product(s) you are purchasing, shipping costs will vary.
To receive a quote, please contact us.

If you are purchasing from an authorized distributor in your area, contact your distributor for their shipping and pick-up policy.

How can I purchase? I am an international buyer.2014-01-27T01:08:17-07:00

Steamericas and SJE corporation (manufacturer of the Optima Steamer) have an extensive distributor network worldwide.
We have active distributors in Canada and Mexico.
If there is no distributor in your area, we will work with you to deliver your order to a main port (seaport or airport) in your country. However, we do not offer door-to-door delivery options for international orders (except Canada) due to import regulations and customs tariff that differ greatly per country.

Do you offer financing?2017-11-06T15:32:48-07:00

Yes, we do. We work with 3rd-party financing companies to provide financing to qualified US customers.
The financing company Steamericas currently works with is Capital Equipment Leasing.
Click Here to apply online. Before applying, please contact Steamericas to receive a quote first.

Steamericas is NOT affiliated with the approval or denial of the financing application. Only customers with approved credit will receive financing. Once approved, the financing company will inform Steamericas and you directly.
Your monthly payment will differ greatly based on the financing amount, your credit history and down payment amount.

If you are purchasing from one of our distributors, please contact the local distributor for financing options.

For more information, please call us at (310) 327-8900 or visit the Fanancing Page on our website.

How can I purchase Steamericas products?2014-01-27T00:38:45-07:00

Steamericas sells through our authorized distributors.
Please contact Steamericas at (310) 327-8900 to locate a distributor nearby you.
Our distributors are experienced equipment dealers with service technicians.
We recommend that you only purchase through authorized dealers to ensure you purchase genuine Steamericas products (We have seen a surge of copy cats posing to be our products online). By purchasing from a local distributor, you will be able to receive a product demo prior to purchase and technical support after purchase.

What chemicals do you add to the steamer?2014-01-26T10:10:47-07:00

Users should not add anything to the steamer other than provided antiscale agent provided with the machine. With heat and gentle pressure of steam, you can get away from using chemicals for certain types of cleaning.

What is the warranty on your products?2013-12-30T16:34:29-07:00

Please review our Warranty Policy.

What if I have technical questions?2014-01-29T08:57:45-07:00

We provide lifetime technical support to our customers. Please call (310) 327-8900 or visit our Online Troubleshooting Page.

What type of water should I use with your product?2013-12-30T16:32:54-07:00

“For most countries, tap water is sufficient. Using distilled or deionized water is not recommended.
The manufacturer recommends “”soft-water”” that does not contain significant traces of calcium, iron, and other minerals. If tap water or subterranean water sources in your area contain a high mineral content, you should take special precautions. Using water that contains a high level of mineral content may result in frequent cleaning and scale removal. To prevent scale problems, we recommend adding a water treatment to the water tank. The water treatment supplied by Steamericas is a conditioner/softener liquid that helps prevent hardened scale from forming inside steamer boiler vessels. Use water above 5°C (40°F).”

Does the diesel Optima Steamer require oil lubrication?2013-12-30T16:29:40-07:00

The Optima DMF, DM and DS do not have engines nor do they require any oil for lubrication.

Are Steamericas steamers safe to use?2016-08-04T16:25:00-07:00

Our steamers are designed with operator safety in mind. There are multiple safety features that protect both the operator(s) and the machine. Safety features include pressure and temperature control switches, water and fuel level sensors, pressure release valve, LED indicators, alarm, non-return check valves, and the water pump is preset with a maximum run time to prevent overheating/dry run.

Does Steamericas offer a machine powered by LPG or ethanol?2013-12-30T16:27:40-07:00

Steamericas does not offer machines powered by LPG or ethanol because LPG and ethanol produces less heating power per gallon than diesel fuel. For example, #2 diesel has 140,000 BTUs per gallon while Ethanol and LPG have only 76,000 BTUs and 91,000 BTUs.

What certifications does the Optima Steamer hold?2015-12-10T11:57:34-07:00

All models of Optima Steamer™ conform and carry marks for CE, ISO 9001, and PCT. Models certified/conforming to CSA, cTUVus, and ASME are available.

See our Certifications page for more information.

Does the Optima DMF, DM and DS produce a lot of exhaust?2013-12-30T16:26:36-07:00

The Optima’s burner automatically ignites to maintain operating pressure. The burner does not idle, reducing exhaust and fuel consumption. Optima’s exhaust is of clear color.

Is the Optima Steamer noisy?2013-12-30T16:26:11-07:00

The Optima Steamer does not have any engine, hence it is very quiet. The noise produced by the diesel-run Optima is equivalent to the sound of a car idling. Our electric Optima Steamer units are almost silent.

How much fuel does the Optima DMF, DM and DS consume?2015-06-29T09:35:53-07:00

The Optima Steamer is very fuel efficient. The Optima’s diesel burner does not idle and only ignites to maintain operating pressure. In other words, after turning on the Optima, the diesel burner is not always firing or consuming fuel. The boiler burner of Optima DMF, DM and DS consumes 1.1 gallons of diesel per hour only if the burner is continuously firing which is an unlikely scenario. Typically, an eight hour continuous operation will require about 2-3 gallons of diesel.

Can the Optima DMF, DM and DS use other fuel sources?2013-12-30T16:25:24-07:00

Kerosene can be used, but the machine must be re-caliberated before using Kerosene.

Can I adjust the moisture content in the steam?2013-12-30T16:25:00-07:00

The Optima features a moisture control valve. This valve allows an operator to increase the moisture content in the steam. The operator may require more water in the steam in order to clean heavily soiled portions of a vehicle, such as wheel wells. Interior cleaning requires the moisture control valve to be set to its driest level.

Can the Optima Steamer operate all day? – Can the Optima Steamer produce continuous steam?2013-12-30T16:24:43-07:00

The Optima was designed to produce continuous vapor steam for all day use. This is what differentiates us from theother steamers on the market. All Optima Steamer models produce continuous steam pressure. On Optima DMF, DM and DS models, the boiler automatically adjusts its output to maintain continuous and equal pressure when two hoses are in use.

What is the difference between the Optima DMF and the Optima DM?2013-12-30T16:23:47-07:00

Optima DM model has phased out in North America since 2010. During stationary operations, the Optima DMF has the option of attaching a garden hose in order to receive a continuous water supply.

What is the difference in performance between the electric Optima Steamer and diesel-run Optima Steamer models?2013-12-30T16:23:17-07:00

Yes. Diesel-run Optima Steamers have much more evaporation rate. In other words, diesel units have better performance than most of our electric units. Heater specifications of our electric Optima Steamers range from 5000watts to 27000watts. Based on the heater specifications, the performance on each electric unit varies.

Can washing a vehicle with steam vapor and microfibers scratch the surface?2013-12-30T16:21:38-07:00

If used appropriate, washing a vehicle with steam and microfibers will not create scratches. Steam vapor quickly and gently loosens caked-on dirt and grime. As steam is applied with a 30 degree angle (away from the operator), loosened dirk and grime will be sprayed away. Then the operator follows the steam trail with a microfiber towel to absorb moisture residue.

How many microfiber cloths are used during the car wash process (sedan)?2013-12-30T16:20:56-07:00

It takes roughly 3~4 microfiber cloths to wash a vehicle (sedan). To reduce the amount of microfibers used per car wash, fold the microfiber into halves in order to maximize the towel’s cleaning capacity. To promote time efficiency and maximize the cleaning coverage of each microfiber, use different colored microfibers for different sections of the vehicle.

Can steam remove decals from a vehicle’s surface?2013-12-30T16:20:34-07:00

When washing a vehicle using the Optima Steamer, the tip of the spray gun is held 4-6 inches away from the surface of the vehicle. At this distance the steam temperature is roughly 150~167° Fahrenheit and will not remove decals. However, if your goal is to remove decals, simply hold the spray over a particular surface until the decal’s glue loosens and the decal can be gently pulled off the vehicle’s surface.

Can steam remove wax from a vehicle’s surface?2013-12-30T16:20:02-07:00

When washing a vehicle using the Optima Steamer, the tip of the spray gun is held 4-6 inches away from the surface of the vehicle. At this distance the steam temperature is below150~167° Fahrenheit and will not remove wax. However, if your goal is to remove wax, simply hold the spray over a particular surface until the wax is removed.

Will high heat damage the vehicle’s surface?2013-12-30T16:19:34-07:00

When washing a vehicle using the Optima Steamer, the tip of the spray gun is held 4-6 inches away from the surface of the vehicle. At this distance the steam temperature is below 150~167° Fahrenheit and will not cause damage to the vehicle’s surface. Steam quickly loosens dirt. During normal washing operations, steam will only make contact with a particular surface for fractions of a second, not long enough to cause damage.

What parts of the vehicle do you avoid with steam?2013-12-30T16:18:53-07:00

Do not use steam on radios, speakers, dash board displays or on exposed electrical components. Also avoid leaving hot steam hoses on heat sensitive materials such as vinyl for an extended period of time.

Can steam be used on leather and vinyl?2013-12-30T16:15:52-07:00

Steam easily cleans vinyl and leather. On leather, steam works well by lifting dirt that has settled into micro cracks and crevices.

Can steam remove brake dust?2013-12-30T16:14:00-07:00


Can I clean vehicle interiors with steam?2013-12-30T16:12:21-07:00

The Optima Steamer can easily clean vinyl, leather and upholstery. Remove stains and odors from upholstery in less time and using less water than a cold water carpet extractor. Using steam, interiors are dry within minutes. If you do a lot of upholstery cleaning work, we recommend the Hotty-Vac extractor to go along with the Optima Steamer. We provide a hand tool that can connect the Optima to HottyVac to use them as a powerful steam vacuum machine.

Do exterior steam car wash equipment produce a shine on the vehicle’s surface?2013-12-30T16:11:07-07:00

Steam will effectively loosen more surface contaminants faster and gentler than a high volume, cold water pressure washer. Use steam to restore the shine hidden beneath layers of microscopic contaminants. Applying only steam to a vehicle’s surface will not add any level of protection.

How much water is consumed per car wash (sedan)?2013-12-30T16:09:17-07:00

The answer to this question is similar to the above. There are many too many factors. If you hold the steam gun trigger continuously, you will consume 0.08 gallon of water per minute. When you wash a car, it’s unlikely that you will be holding down the trigger continuously. You spray, you stop and wipe and do other things in-between. We have found that a typical wash consumes about 1-2 gallons of water.

How long does it take to wash a car (sedan) using the Optima Steamer?2013-12-30T16:05:18-07:00

It depends on many factors: level of cleaning (express or detailing, exterior only?); how dirty the car is; weather conditions (temperature and humidity); and most importantly how skilled the user is. While there is no right or wrong answer to the question, most of our customers are conducting a business successfully by increasing the productivity and efficiency of their operations with our products.

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