Commercial Steam Cleaning for Food Processing Equipment

Facilities in the food and beverage industries have equipment and tools that regularly come into contact with oily substances. These materials—grease, food residue, and oily byproducts—have a tendency to build up on equipment.

Commercial Steam Cleaning for Food Processing Equipment

The residue from these agents can spread across ovens, burners, and vent hoods, and will eventually spread to vents and ceilings as oils splash or byproducts travel through the air. Many food applications are using dry steam cleaning to address these issues for the following reasons:

  • Dry vapor cleaning doesn’t introduce chemicals or harmful levels of moisture.
  • Dry vapor dissolve oils without harsh scrubbing.
  • Steam cleaning doesn’t leave residual traces of grease, ultimately leaving a clean and clear surface.
  • Aside from cleaning and grease removal, the process also has the ability to sanitize machinery, conveyor belts, and packaging equipment.

No Chemicals

No Chemicals

Using dry vapor steam cleaning may also reduce or eliminate the need to use cleaning chemicals, which pose a contamination risk for equipment, food materials, and the larger work environment. Frequent exposure to chemicals endangers workers and potentially violates OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PELs) for cleaning agents.

Over-reliance on traditional chemical cleaners also facilitates the evolution of microorganisms that resist the chemicals. Other risks include:

  • Toxic ingredients. Chemical cleaners are formulated with highly concentrated toxic ingredients. Over time, exposure to these substances poses a health risk to sanitation workers. 
  • Improper use. Chemical cleaning instructions must be followed closely during each usage to ensure sanitation and safety. 
  • Bacterial resistance. Bacteria and other microorganisms can adapt and evolve to survive chemical cleaners, resulting in decreased effectiveness over time. 
  • Contamination. When improperly handled, traces of harsh cleaning chemicals remain on conveyors and other processing equipment, contaminating food and packaging.
  • Environmental hazards. After rinsing chemical cleaning agents off of equipment, the facility’s effluent must be properly treated and carefully disposed of to prevent the release of harmful chemicals into the surrounding environment. 
  • Regulatory non-compliance. OSHA sets specific guidelines for the permissible exposure limit to hazardous substances, like cleaning agents. These guidelines detail the acceptable airborne concentrations of chemicals, as well as limits on physical exposure. Food processing companies must familiarize themselves with these regulations and establish protocols to ensure compliance. 

Facilities can minimize these risks by employing steam cleaning systems instead. Dry steam cleaners from Electro-Steam achieve temperatures above 240°F to effectively kill or greatly reduce bacteria, viruses, mold, and other microorganisms as they remove grease, dirt, and other residues. The water vapor quickly evaporates, leaving behind sanitized, dry surfaces. 

Food-Related Applications for Commercial Steam Cleaning

Industries that manufacture or process consumable goods have to maintain high standards of cleanliness and safety. This includes a variety of food and beverage applications, as well as packaging operations that pack food or consumable items for transportation and distribution.

Food-Related Applications for Commercial Steam Cleaning

Industrial Kitchens

Food industry facilities along every step of the supply chain need to ensure every surface that comes into contact with food materials is clean. Not only do they need to be free of oil residues, but the surfaces also need to be clear of moisture and cleaning chemicals. Industrial food sites can use commercial steam cleaning systems to clean and sanitize a broad range of equipment, including:

  • Blending and storage tanks, both on the interior and exterior surfaces
  • Condenser fins and coils
  • Conveyor belts of all styles (flat and solid belts, modular systems, mesh systems)
  • Diamond decks, catwalks, and mezzanines
  • Drying equipment
  • Electrical equipment (control panels, electrical parts, and electrical tools)
  • Processing and packaging equipment
  • Property fixtures (ceilings, walls, vents)
  • Refrigerators, which need regular removal of both residue and ice buildup that can interfere with operations

Dry steam cleaning systems keep all of the above equipment and surfaces safe from:

  • Crawling and flying insects in all stages of their life cycles
  • Microorganisms, including pathogenic bacteria
  • Oily buildup, grease, crumbs, and other food waste and residue

Dry steam cleaning can clean a facility without damaging any equipment or surface materials. Steam cleaning is suitable for surfaces made from a broad variety of materials, such as:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Stainless Steel
  • Plastic
  • Polypropylene

Beverage Manufacturing

Just like industrial food plants, facilities in the beverage industry need to maintain strict standards of cleanliness. These facilities typically use a wider variety liquid byproducts that can contaminate surfaces and may also use more equipment that is difficult to clean by traditional methods. Dry vapor cleaning systems can sanitize many different types of surfaces and equipment in beverage processing plants, including:

  • Bottling lines and equipment
  • Diamond deck flooring
  • Drains and vents
  • Electrical components or equipment that can’t come in direct contact with liquids
  • Oak barrels for wine, beer, and spirits
  • Refrigerators and cooling systems
  • Storage and blending tanks
  • Ventilation systems

Each of these systems needs to be cleaned and sanitized regularly to avoid buildup and contamination. Not only could buildup pose a direct hazard by cross-contaminating beverages, but it can also alter the performance of the processing equipment or negatively impact the flavor of the products. Dry vapor commercial cleaning can also:

  • Clean metal surfaces without causing corrosion or damage
  • Kill E-coli, listeria, salmonella, insects and larvae, and mold/mildew
  • Mitigate the introduction of infestations or microorganisms into the processing environment

Packaging Industry

Packaging plants have many of the same vulnerabilities for contamination that food and beverage manufacturing facilities face. Packaging facilities may handle a wide variety of food products, baked goods, and beverages from multiple manufacturers and product lines, so cross-contamination can quickly spread across products and industries.

Steam cleaning systems can keep packaging equipment and materials clean without damaging or contaminating them. These systems can clean and sanitize all of the refrigeration, ventilation, and drainage equipment. Dry vapor cleaning systems are also ideal for cleaning and sanitizing:

  • Auger fillers
  • Capping machines
  • Cartoning and wrapping equipment
  • Conveyor belts
  • Gaskets, sprockets, rollers
  • Racks and shelving
  • Scale and sensor belts
  • Transportation equipment

By introducing steam cleaning systems to their plants, facility managers reduce the risk of contamination through received loads. Deliveries can carry insects in all stages of their life cycles, bacteria, dirt, and a broad variety of other contaminants. Steam cleaning can prevent those contaminants from spreading to distribution centers and endpoints.


Commercial bakeries and industrial facilities often use dry vapor steam cleaning systems to protect their machinery and products from chemicals, pathogens, and insects. Given that baking facilities operate at high temperatures, food residue and oils will often be extremely difficult to remove using only chemical and manual cleaning methods.

Steam cleaning offers a superior alternative for cleaning challenges faced by industrial bakers, such as:

  • Baking and tunnel ovens
  • Flour and grease buildup
  • Proofing boxes
  • Bun make up equipment
  • Packaging equipment

Advantages of Using Commercial Steam Cleaning

Advantages of Using Commercial Steam Cleaning

Commercial steam cleaning systems are a chemical-free cleaning and sanitization solution. This keeps facilities, products, and employees safer from chemical exposure. Other benefits of steam cleaning systems include:

  • Reduced water use. This can save facilities money on water consumption, water waste, and drainage.
  • Reduced risk of equipment damage. Steam cleaning is a dry vapor process, so electrical equipment won’t incur water damage. The equipment also doesn’t have to be dismantled to achieve thorough cleaning.
  • Employees don’t have to dismantle sharp, heavy, or electrical equipment, manually clean hard-to-reach spaces, or face the risk of slips and falls on slippery surfaces.
  • Steam cleaning is a faster process than manual cleaning and has a more consistent end result. It can sterilize, sanitize, and deodorize a wide range of materials with minimal downtime and reduced labor requirements.

Simply put, steam cleaning systems give facilities a better, deeper level of sanitation. Steam can reach every surface to break down and remove residue and contaminants. It can reach into the crevices of nearly any equipment, deep into ventilation and drainage systems, and other spaces where employees can’t reach.

Electro-Steam Products

Electro-Steam Products for Commercial Steam Cleaning

Every industry that touches consumable products can use steam cleaning systems to clean their facilities and equipment. Food-handling applications must maintain clean conveyor belts, tanks, refrigeration systems, and buildings. Electro-Steam’s commercial steam cleaning systems are built for use in specific operational types. These systems include:

Commercial Steam Cleaning for Food Processing Equipment

Eagles Series

Eagle Series dry steam cleaners are available in 10-75 Kilowatt models, with boiler horsepower that ranges from 1-7.5bhp. Designed to meet a diverse range of cleaning needs, Eagle Series cleaners come with an optional steam gun and 33 ft. hose as well as a steam tool accessory kit.

The Eagle Series has an appropriately sized (200 psi) safety valve possessing the ASME V Mark (these valves are built by a manufacturer holding a valid ASME Certificate of Authorization). Other components in accordance with UL 353 include:

  • Dual Pressure Controls
  • High-Pressure Safety Reset
  • Low-Level Cut-Off (LLCO)
  • ASME compliance
  • UL and cUL

Steam Master by Menikini Series

The Steam Master by Menikini series of equipment is European Conformity (CE) compliant and has automatic pressure controls set to 145 psi. The system has a 174 psi safety relief valve, as well as an adjustable temperature regulator to provide safety and adaptability. This series also has a fill tank and low-level cut-off system with an alarm to alert employees about low liquid levels.

Menikini Industrial Dry Steam Generators are available in 9-36 Kilowatt models, with boiler horsepower ranging from 0.9-3.6bhp. They also feature an optional steam gun with a 20 ft. hose and a steam tool accessory kit.  Advantages of the Menkini Steam Master include:

  • Adjustable Temperature Controls
  • High-Pressure Safety Reset
  • Low-Level Cut-Off (LLCO)
  • LLW Alarm
  • CE compliant
  • IN STOCK (In some cases – we can ship the same day as ordered) 

Conveyor Belt Systems

Electro-Steam’s conveyor belt cleaning systems offer hands-free cleaning capabilities that don’t require chemicals or equipment shutdowns. These systems save labor and downtime with automated cleanings that don’t require equipment shutdowns.

The systems use FDA-approved materials that can clean plastic, vinyl, and mesh conveyor belts up to the highest industry standards. They also require much less water than traditional cleaning methods and can save facilities between 95-99% of their typical water allocation for conveyor belt cleaning.

Jet System Modular Conveyor Belt Cleaning System 

The Electro-Steam Robotic Jet System is designed to provide safe and automatic cleaning of any modular-style conveyor belt. It features a powerful 8 in. spinner that rotates at 1250 rpm to deliver high-temperature dry steam vapor continuously. This system delivers fast and effective cleaning, hands-free. 

The Jet System is powerful while remaining lightweight, portable, and easy to install. It safely integrates with virtually any conveyance system, accommodating belts between 12 and 72 inches wide. A fully programmable robotic arm and rotating steam heat ensure full surface-width coverage. Each unit uses high-temperature dry steam to remove a variety of soil types with mitigating carryback. 

Eagle Series Brushless Conveyor Belt Cleaning System 

This brushless conveyor belt cleaning system was designed to offer complete customization, for virtually any cleaning and sanitizing need. It is compatible with conveyor belt systems in a wide range of sizes and materials. The Eagle Series delivers dry steam vapor to break down accumulated particulates and thoroughly sanitize the belt’s surface. Next, its vacuum removes unwanted particles and excess moisture and helps to dry the belt surface. Together, these components result in a thoroughly sanitized, dry belt that is ready for immediate use. 

Unlike other cleaning systems that are available in the market, our Eagle Series equipment virtually eliminates the need for manual labor. This industrial steamer for food processing environments eliminates the need for chemical cleaners, greatly lessens plant wastewater disposal, and meets or exceeds regulatory requirements for food safety. It is ideal for simplifying complex or labor-intensive cleaning operations while maintaining high-quality standards.

Contact Electro-Steam Today for Commercial Steam Cleaning Products

Electro-Steam has been providing facilities with electric steam generators for over 65 years. We have decades of experience manufacturing steam generators for use by OEMs. Our dry steam vapor system equipment keeps facilities in food processing industries clean without excessive water usage or chemicals.

Contact us today to learn more about our steam generators and steam cleaners.