Steam kills bacteria on contact. Steam cleaners heat the water in the machine to boiling point and then eject the high-pressure steam through the nozzle onto the surface you need to clean. While sanitizing and killing 99.9% of germs and bacteria, the steam vapor also loosens stubborn dirt.
This summarizes what’s happens inside a steam cleaner:
- The power outlet supplies energy to the machine
- This enables the water in the tank to heat up
- Water is converted into steam vapor
- High-pressure steam is then directed down the nozzle toward the mop
- Steam vapor is very fine and able to penetrate into micropores and cracks
- Heat and steam pressure weakens the bond between the surface and the dirt
- Steam blasts dirt out of the tiny crevices while sanitizing it in seconds
- The microfiber pad absorbs the loosened dirt and any remaining moisture
As the steam is hot and excess moisture is absorbed by the pad, the surface dries very quickly.
Steam Mops are quick and highly efficient at cleaning surfaces like tiles and hardwood floors, making them a popular time saving and sanitizing appliance in homes with children or pets.
Remember to check out our best steam mop for tiles and grout review available here.
Do Steam Mops Really Sanitize?
Yes, steam mops and steam cleaning sanitizes. Because of the heat of the steam, germs and bacteria are killed leaving your home hygienically clean.
Steam also replaces the need for chemical detergents so it’s eco-friendly and safe for use in homes.
The Science Behind Steam Cleaning
Steam that is heated to 212°F is enough to kill germs on contact. Most quality steam cleaners exceed this temperature.
Scientific tests were done to test the effect of the steam on common bacteria. Steam was heated to 248°F and the results showed that within 2 seconds of exposure, all organisms tested, including Enterococcus, E Coli, Central Nervous System Bacteria and Staphylococcus were completely eliminated.
The test study extended to steam exposure on common household items like toilets, baths and showers and again, the bacteria was killed, bar a very tiny percentage of stubborn critters.
Useful to know, the grout in the shower had the most remaining bacteria so if you plan to eliminate 100% of germs, give your shower grout an extra steam clean with a grout tool.
A second test study was carried out over 6 weeks in a library used by 15 000 students daily.
Heater steam was used for cleaning bathroom walls, floors and plumbing fixtures. Although the time saving was minimal, when surfaces were tested, there were only a tenth of the germs compared to the traditional cleaning methods which included using chemicals to disinfect surfaces.
Now there’s a strong case study for the use of steam cleaning in your home!
How Does Steam Cleaning Keep You Healthier?
High-Temperature steam is a known antimicrobial heat agent. Its effective bacteria killing powers are what make it widely used not just in homes but in the food industry and even hospitals.
Home steam cleaning units vary in heating temperature and vary between 150° and 300° Fahrenheit, ideal for creating a clean and hygienic environment.
Steam cleaners for home use are especially versatile if they are designed to efficiently handle general floor cleaning, but also have an adjustable nozzle to clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
Steam cleaning tables, countertops and even door handles can help eliminate contagion. If a family member is sick and you want to avoid having the germs make their way through the house, steam cleaning items will kill bacteria and viruses. It can even be used on children’s toys.
Benefits of Steam Cleaning
- It saves time as the cleaning process is quick and easy
- Steam cleaning is environmentally friendly
- Steam cleaning eliminates the risk of keeping harsh detergents around young children
- It kills harmful germs, bacteria and mold
- It’s great for allergy sufferers and eliminates allergens like dust mites
- It helps to remove pet odors from surfaces and can even be used to clean pet beds
We’d love to hear your feedback on how steam cleaning has positively influenced the health and cleanliness of your home.