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Some people mix up "steam cleaner" with "pressure washer". A good steam cleaner had a gas heater - usually kerosene - to get the water really hot, and sprays real steam, not just hot pressurized water. Almost anything that is soluble will come off with this and cause no paint damage. The steam cleaner I rented did have a pressure adjustment, but I put it on low to keep the temperature up and the steam level high. [More water flow at high pressure and the heater won't put out as high a temperature as it would with lower flow].

The results are amazing. A pressure washer with hot water isn't even close, even using grease solvents. One side effect is that the parts and body dry very fast - there is actually only a little water, and the temperature makes it evaporate very fast.

I put a big 20 by 30 tarp on the flat ground and jacked my car up on the highest stands I had. Other than rust or roughness, everything was ready for paint! [Degreasers usually need further cleaning with lacquer thinner or alcohol].

It did not strip the old tar undercoating, but the heat did soften it so I could scrape it off, which is safer than a torch.

It does make an awful mess - all the crud on your car ends up on the ground. Please don't wash it into the storm sewers - you wouldn't dump used motor oil there would you?

Robert
 
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