Can steam cleaners kill household germs?
Manufacturers say that steam cleaners are incredibly effective at destroying bacteria. But how do they do this? And, at a time we’re all trying to be more hygienic to protect against corona virus, can they really keep your house germ-free?
Orders for steam cleaners have surged over the past month, since COVID-19 broke out in the India, and stocks at many online retailers have sold out.
But can steam cleaners really kill germs and help to keep you safe?
How do steam cleaners work?
All steam cleaners work by heating water until it boils, thus creating steam. This steam is very effective at cleaning surfaces as it’s able to get in to cracks and pores that may not be accessible to normal cleaning cloths. The steam loosens dirt and grease, which can then be more easily wiped away.
Cleaning in this way is not just effective, but it also removes the need for harsh chemicals. This can be especially beneficial for households with babies or small children who like to put things in their mouths, as well as anyone whose allergies are affected by strong detergents.
Using steam cleaners to kill germs Steam cleaners don’t just remove surface dirt, they can also kill bacteria. they’re able to do this as the temperature of the steam can be high enough to break down the internal structures of bacterial cells, preventing them from being able to survive or to replicate.
This makes them extremely effective. In fact, manufacturers typically say that steam cleaners will kill 99.9% of common household germs and bacteria, such as salmonella and E coli.
In theory, very high temperatures should have the same effect on viruses as they do on bacteria. However, it also acknowledges that ‘when items can’t be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used.