Optimum no rinse (ONR) and the optima steamer

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  • 1 year later...

Hello. I work for Steamericas, who is the US subsidiary of the manufacturer of the Optima Steamer. We've been seeing a handful of cases of our customers using ONR in their Optima Steamer and running into issues. One problem that contributes to why we officially do not recommend any additive to the water tank, is that our boiler is reaching temperatures over 350 deg F and the water-plus whatever is in it-is being turned into vaporized gas. 

But besides that, the more practical and crucial issue is that additives left behind in the boiler that don't turn into gas, stay behind and coat the surface. The Optima has sensors in the boiler that are required for proper operation. Residue on these sensors causes pump errors that can require costly repairs.

Also, we've had multiple cases where the rubber O-rings in the trigger valves were quickly disintegrating. The customer stopped using the additive and the issue did not return.

There are people who have posted about using ONR with their steamer, but not *in* it. They sprayed the car with an ONR mix after wetting the car, and had great results.

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Optima, welcome to the OPT forum.  For your customers using ONR in a steamer who then faced issues, is there a common theme to the problems, for example residue damage?  Have you been able to replicate the problems in-house?

Sorry if my questions may sound a little argumentative, this is not my attention at all. 


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Hi Lowe. We’ve only heard about ONR recently and it was because a customer was having issues with his machine. We’ve always warned customers to put nothing but water in the boiler, so the Facebook article and some forum discussions recommending it came as a shock. We’ve contacted Optimum and asked what research has been done to assure this is safe, first of all, and whether testing has been done, to which to answer was no. 

If we get a lot of customers telling us they use it without problems, we may look more into it. Otherwise, the burden of proof is on ONR as we believe it is unnecessary and likely will cause damage.


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Fair enough.

As far as I know the rumor started when Yvan talked about it in one of the early Optimum synergy podcasts. I believe it was about ONR. He did say you could use 1-2ml max inside a steamer. 

I did try this once (put ONR in my steamer). It didn't damage the steamer but I also didn't notice any significant benefit in using it.

Thanks for the notice OPTIMA STEAMER.

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I’m not meaning to be alarmist or disparage the product either. My first post referred to a successful use of ONR from an Optima owner—but as a pretreatment, not an additive to the water supply. But, for what it’s worth, 1-2ml is a pretty insignificant amount and likely wouldn’t do much.

And there may even be a significant amount of Optima Steamer customers using ONR and having no issues whatsoever, just not reporting it back to us. If that is the case, we’d push them towards applying ONR through the gun bottle attachment vs an additive to the tank. We deal with customers daily who are running into scaling issues from tap water alone, and we push for clean, soft water (low mineral or softened).

As far as what someone who may (or may not) run into if they did have issues like those mentioned in my previous post, the remedy may be as simple as descaling the boiler and changing the trigger valve o-rings. I can conceive of other possible issues but won’t speculate too hard without data.

If any folks on here who own an Optima Steamer and regularly use ONR, I’d love to hear from you. 

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Optima, you make a very good point about reporting.  Without knowing how many are using ONR successfully and unsuccessfully it would be hard to know if ONR is causing a problem.  I guess the other dimension is how much ONR is being used in the cases where people have problems.  If someone is say pouring in half a bottle then I would not be surprised if this had consequences .

The standard dilution of ONR is 256:1, no idea how big the capacity of your steamers are but would assume to keep this ratio then only a small amount of ONR would be required.  ONR will soften water and I think Yvan has talked about ONR helping descale in the interior of the steamer and so some caution is required if using ONR in an old steamer.

Having said all of this, I do respect the wishes of any manufacturer and so if your view is not to use anything other than clean water then fair enough.

I am sure we would all love to see some data on how many are using ONR in a steamer and any issues they are facing. 

One solution is to test ONR in the lab but I know you are all very busy so just send me two (top of the range) steamers so I can do side by side testing :) Oh, I do not have a car at the moment so if you could also send me one, it would be very helpful!  I know it would not be cheap to send two steamers and a car to the UK but can one put a price on scientific testing?

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