101 Guide to Cleaning and maintenance for atmospheric steamers

With your dim sum steamer’s installation, regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to protect your steamer’s longevity and performance. When cleaning, we do not recommend using any wire wool abrasives on stainless steel as it may encourage staining and corrosion.

Water Hardness

Your steamer’s longevity and performance and all water appliances are dependent on the hardness of your water supply. We recommend checking this through your local water supplier. Should your premises be in an area that exceeds 200 parts per million, we recommend installing a water filtration system. This will reduce the build-up of limescale and damages to the steamer.

There are many water filtration systems on the market at varying price entries and capacities. We recommend a filter system that can competently filter at least 600L of water per hour. We recommend regular descaling of the main steam tank with appropriate descaling fluid in addition to water filtration systems.

Daily Cleaning

  • Before any cleaning and maintenance can continue, turn off the steamer. If your steamer is gas-powered, turn off the gas at the gas tap and the safety gas cock and leave the appliance in a safe condition. If your steamer is electric, simply turn it off at the power-dial only.
  • Remove any bamboo baskets, trays, lids, containers and adaptor plate. Clean each of them thoroughly and wipe dry.  If your steamer has a single or double-door cabinet, remove all the shelves to clean and wipe dry. Then wash down the interior walls and doors with warm soapy water, rinse and wipe dry.
  • Drain the steaming tank by turning the drain ball valve until the tank is empty.
  • Thoroughly inspect and clean the oven interior and water feed system.
  • Wipe dry the steam tank before replacing the baskets, containers and adaptor plate.

Weekly Cleaning

  • At least once a week, drain the unit altogether.
  • Turn off the water, stop cock and drain the unit through the drain cock in the lower compartment. Thoroughly clean the feed tank and drain the tube.
  • Descale the steaming tank as necessary with an appropriate descaling fluid for stainless steel. Make sure to rinse the unit with clean water thoroughly.
  • Check the burner in the combustion chamber that the flames are burning from all the jets consistently.
  • Turn on the gas supply and check the lighting sequence and flame failure device.


Steamers should be inspected regularly and serviced at least three times a year when operating under normal conditions by a professional engineer. You should expect engineers to check the steamer’s combustion area, the water tank and the safety-switch features. While many components are repairable, damages caused by a build-up of limescale are time-consuming and costly. Therefore, the prevention of limescale in your steamer will save you from expensive repairs in the future.

ACK Manufacturing is a leading manufacturer of quality commercial dim sum steamers in the UK and provides after-sales services and maintenance for dim sum steamers.

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