Steam cleaners for home users: hygienic cleaning without chemicals

Steam cleaners not only remove stubborn dirt, but they are also an effective remedy for viruses and bacteria. We explain what makes cleaning with steam so special and what to look out for when using it.

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Hygienic cleanliness with steam: up to 99.999% of enveloped viruses* are eliminated

Steam cleaners have always stood for pore-deep cleanliness and function without chemical cleaning agents. In times of increased hygiene awareness, these properties are more in demand than ever. The devices can be used almost anywhere in the household and are suitable, among other things, for hygienically cleaning door handles, fittings and surfaces. If used properly, Kärcher steam cleaners remove up to 99.999% of enveloped viruses*, such as the coronavirus or influenza, and 99.99% of common household bacteria** from hard surfaces. As at the present time disinfectants are to be reserved primarily for outpatient and inpatient care, steam cleaners can make a valuable contribution to general hygiene in private households.

*Tests have shown that with spot cleaning of 30 secs at max. steam level with the Kärcher steam cleaner 99.999% of enveloped viruses such as coronavirus or influenza (excluding the Hepatitis-B virus) can be removed on common smooth household hard surfaces (test-germ: Modified-Vaccinia-Ankara-Virus).

 **When thoroughly cleaning with the Kärcher steam cleaner 99.99% of all common household bacteria will be killed on common smooth household hard surfaces, provided the cleaning speed of 30 cm/s at max. steam level (test-germ: Enterococcus hirae).

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Why does steam clean so well?

Steam cleaners offer more hygiene and higher cleaning performance than conventional manual cleaning methods with detergents. The secret of cleaning steam lies in the combination of steam and temperature. Water is heated in the device until it boils - this creates hot steam. This steam then leaves the accessories (floor nozzle, hand nozzle, etc.) at around 100 ° C. The tiny steam particles are thrown against the surface at up to 170 km/h. As a result, the steam gets into all cracks and pores and also cleans where ordinary cleaning textiles cannot reach. Stubborn and greasy dirt is loosened in a matter of seconds, after which cleaned surfaces stay clean for longer.

The hot water steam emerges at around 100 °C and is cooled down with increasing distance. In order to combat viruses effectively, the nozzle must therefore be guided directly over the surface. It is also important to ensure a sufficient cleaning duration and to choose a steaming duration of 30 seconds on one area with the maximum steam stage. The microfibre pads used must then be washed at a temperature of at least 60 °C in a standard wash programme (not Eco).   

Allergy sufferers and parents can breathe easy

People suffering from allergies benefit twice: in contrast to cleaning solutions, steam condensate does not leave any potentially allergenic residues on the cleaned surface. Also, steam binds dust, which means that no allergens are whirled up: This also noticeably improves the indoor climate and reduces the burden on the respiratory tract.

The absence of chemical cleaning agents is also particularly relevant if there are small children in the household. Babies crawl across the floor and like to put objects in their mouths. Allergic reactions or skin irritation caused by detergent residues are no longer an issue with steam.

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Suitable for continuous operation

Cleaning for hours with chemical cleaning agents can irritate the respiratory tract; this can be avoided with steam cleaners. Since steam cleaners only need electricity and water, they can also be used for an almost unlimited time - with many models, the water can even be refilled during operation.