Chemical Wash VS Steam Cleaning: Which is better for your air conditioners?

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25 Aug 2023 updated | Topic Indoor Air Quality

Air conditioners play a vital role in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, especially during the scorching Singapore weather. However, like any other appliance, air conditioners require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Two common methods for cleaning air conditioners are chemical wash and steam cleaning. In this article, we will explore the features, benefits, and considerations of both techniques to help you make an informed decision about which method is best suited for your needs.


Chemical wash: powerful, yet potentially dangerous

Chemical wash involves the use of specialized cleaning agents to remove dirt, grime, and mould from the various components of an air conditioner. While chemical washes can effectively tackle hard-to-reach areas and prevent mould and bacteria growth, it's important to note that they are not as environmentally friendly as steam cleaning. The chemicals used can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled and disposed of properly.

Furthermore, chemical washes tend to be more expensive compared to steam cleaning due to the additional costs associated with the specialized cleaning agents and the expertise required. However, they can deliver superior results in terms of removing stubborn dirt and grime that are deeply embedded in your air conditioner unit, thereby enhancing the overall efficiency of your air conditioner. That being said, if the chemicals are not cleaned properly, they may corrode the delicate parts of the air conditioner, potentially causing damage that requires further maintenance and repair in the future.



steam cleaning: the greener choice


Steam cleaning, on the other hand, utilises high-temperature steam to effectively clean the surface of the air conditioner and eliminate dirt and grime. This chemical-free method is much more environmentally friendly as it does not involve the use of any chemicals. It is also particularly advantageous for individuals with allergies or sensitivities to cleaning agents.

One of the notable benefits of steam cleaning is its affordability. Compared to chemical washes, steam cleaning tends to be less expensive, making it an attractive option for those on a budget. Moreover, steam cleaning can help improve the air quality in your home. The high-temperature steam kills bacteria, moulds, and other allergens, thereby contributing to a healthier indoor environment. The condensation created in the steam cleaning process also evaporates quicker due to residual heat, effectively reducing drying time and maximising efficiency. It also does not leave any chemicals or residue behind. However, it is worth mentioning that steam cleaning may not be as effective as chemical washes in removing dirt from hard-to-reach areas within the air conditioner.

choosing the right cleaning method 

When deciding between chemical wash and steam cleaning for your air conditioner, several factors should be considered. If your air conditioner is heavily soiled, has mould or bacteria growth, or hasn't been cleaned for an extended period, a chemical wash might be the more suitable option. On the other hand, if you prefer an environmentally friendly and cost-effective approach or have concerns about chemical exposure, steam cleaning is an excellent choice. It can effectively clean the surface of the air conditioner, improve air quality, and provide a safer cleaning option for individuals with allergies.


Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for the optimal functioning and longevity of air conditioners. While chemical washes offer a powerful solution for deep cleaning and preventing mould and bacteria growth, they come with environmental and health considerations. Steam cleaning, on the other hand, provides an eco-friendlier and more affordable alternative that effectively cleans your air conditioner.

Consider the specific needs of your air conditioner, the level of dirt and grime, and your own preferences when selecting the cleaning method. Whether you choose a chemical wash or steam cleaning, it is important to hire qualified professionals who can carry out the process safely and effectively. By maintaining a clean and well-functioning air conditioner, you can enjoy a comfortable indoor environment and improve the air quality in your home.



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