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Using Steam to Sanitise, Disinfect and Clean Your Home

Updated: Oct 8



Is steam cleaning effective for killing viruses and other microbes?


Yes, steam is very effective at killing viruses and other germs and can be used to sanitise your home. One of the oldest known ways to kill viruses and microbial pathogens is the use of heat, and it remains one of the most effective ways to kill Viruses, Bacteria, mites, germs and fleas.


The Center Of Disease Control And Prevention recommend steam as the preferred method for sterilising critical medical and surgical instruments that are not damaged by heat, and new research from Stanford AIM Lab has highlighted that heat and steam is an effective sanitization method for COVID-19.


If you’re steaming to prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19, follow guidance from gov.uk and the NHS, as it overrides any information in this guide. Make sure that you follow their instructions on how to protect yourself against COVID-19 on their Coronavirus (COVID-19) page, but also be aware that steam is a well-known and viable way to sanitise.


How does steam kill viruses and Bacteria?


Moist heat destroys microorganisms by transferring heat through the cell wall causing irreversible denaturation of enzymes and structural proteins [1]. This makes, steam cleaning is an extremely effective but often overlooked proven way [2] to sanitise and disinfect surfaces from viruses.


Ok, so why don’t we use it much then?


We do! In fact, industrial steam cleaners exist for cleaning hospitals which are an effective solution for sanitisation. They have high efficacy against multi-resistant superbugs that have become resistant to all other treatments.


Steam is actually so good that it has even been proven to be just as effective a stopping an outbreak of extremely contagious gastroenteritis as traditional hospital cleaning chemicals in a hospital ward [3].


Do Steam Cleaners Sanitise and Disinfect?


Heat is a well-known way to kill viruses and bacteria. Steam cleaners disinfect and kill 99.9% of germs by emitting steam at above 100°C. Viruses and bacteria begin to die in mass at a temperature between 80-100°C.


The number of germs that die increases with exposure time, so to kill the most germs, keep them in contact with steam for as long as possible. 3 minutes of regular passes across the surface is long enough to get rid of germs, dust mites, mould, and viruses without using chemical sanitisers.


With coronavirus COVID-19 continuing to spread, it is now extremely important to ensure your home is regularly sanitised and disinfected.


How Long Can Coronavirus Survive on A Surface?


How long the COVID Corona Virus survives depends on the temperature and material. New research from the CSIRO in Australia shows that the corona virus can last for extended periods on most surfaces. The time it can survive is directly related to how hot it is.




How to Sanitise Your Home Effectively


Steam must be dry superheated vapour-phase steam to kill bugs effectively. It is essential that you do not use steam that is below 100°C. This might sound obvious as steam below 100°C is essentially water, but if your steam cleaner is spraying water and not constant steam, you are in danger of spreading the virus, or worse, aerosolizing it into the air around you.


For this reason, it’s best not to use a small handheld steam cleaner as they often do not meet this requirement. You need a high-quality steam cleaner that is capable of consistently putting out lots of high quality vapour steam.


To Sanitise viruses and germs effectively you need a steam cleaner that has the following features:


· High operating pressure

· Can put out lots of steam constantly for a long time

· Operates at a high temperature


How Pro-Serve can Help


We use industrial-quality equipment, ensuring that any steam-cleaning job we complete is done to the highest quality possible and quickly too. Our pro-teams are in and out before you know it, leaving your home clean and safe for you and your family.


Sources:


1: GOV.uk – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

2: Lumen Learning – Using Physical Methods to Control Microorganisms

3: Biomedicalcentral – BMC Research on using steam vapour disinfection on nosocomial pathogens

4: American Journal of Infection Control – Using Microfiber and Steam for Environmental Cleaning During a Norovirus Outbreak

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