Thermal disinfection

Germ-free through heat: thermal disinfection is a highly effective cleaning method for efficiently reducing the number of germs on temperature-resistant hard and exterior surfaces. The objects and surfaces to be cleaned are heated using hot water and water steam. Germs that cause illnesses in people cannot survive above 70 °C. Almost all harmful or dangerous germs, viruses and bacteria are sensitive to temperature and can be reliably killed and removed in this way.

Steam cleaners and steam vacuum cleaners

Using the corresponding accessories, the disinfecting effect of steam cleaners and steam vacuum cleaners from Kärcher is certified to the European standard EN 16615. They have a bactericidal effect and limited virucidal PLUS properties; this means they help in the containment of epidemics of the most prevalent bacterial and viral infections. This makes them particularly suitable for hygienic cleaning of worktops and floors in kitchens, restroom facilities, changing rooms and communal areas in healthcare, hospitality and public facilities.

Hot water high-pressure cleaners

With a heating output of over 65 °C and a contact time of one minute, hot water high-pressure cleaners from Kärcher produce a disinfectant effect that has been verified by an independent laboratory, making them ideal for use in outside areas and over large surfaces.

Thermal disinfection with steam cleaners and steam vacuum cleaners

Steam cleaners and steam vacuum cleaners from Kärcher, as well as the corresponding accessories, are tested by an independent laboratory regarding their effectiveness in disinfecting surfaces, and have been proven to effectively remove bacteria* and viruses**. They are therefore ideally suited to routine disinfection, such as sanitising floors as well as worktops and work surfaces in kitchens, canteens or restrooms.

Person disinfecting sauna with a Kärcher steam cleaner
Person disinfecting retail shelves with a Kärcher steam vacuum cleaner
Person disinfecting hospital room with a Kärcher steam cleaner
Person disinfecting butcher's shop with a Kärcher steam cleaner

Kärcher steam cleaner disinfecting a tiled floor

How does disinfection with steam work?

The efficiency of thermal disinfection with hot water steam is based on a simple principle. While viruses, bacteria, yeasts and other pathogens survive without difficulty for a long time on surfaces such as metal, stone, wood, ceramic, plastic or paper and can remain infectious, they are extremely sensitive in reacting to high temperatures.

Steam cleaners and steam vacuum cleaners from Kärcher produce hot water steam, which escapes from the nozzle at 100 °C and higher under high pressure. With this, even extremely short contact times are sufficient to reliably kill or inactivate bacteria and viruses. So an independent laboratory was able to prove that, with a slow traversing speed of 30 cm a second, bacteria and viruses are disinfected – for bacteria by 99.999%*, for viruses by 99.99%**.

Thermal sanitation with hot steam therefore proves itself to be a reliable and easily applicable means of inactivation or killing of micro-organisms without the aid of chemical disinfectants. Hot steam can also effortlessly penetrate into difficult-to-access points, such as crevices or joints, and clean these thoroughly. Only coarse dirt should be removed in advance, as germs could be hiding underneath.


Advantages of disinfection with steam cleaners and steam vacuum cleaners

  • Especially eco-friendly, as completely free of chemical additives
  • No (product) residue on treated surfaces
  • Completely free of chemical additives
  • No need for time-consuming rinsing if you use a steam vacuum cleaner
  • Prevents pathogens from developing tolerance
  • Effective against bacteria*, enveloped viruses and adenoviruses, rotaviruses and noroviruses (limited virucidal PLUS according to RKI)** on hard surfaces, certified to EN 16615:2015-06
Standalone shot of Kärcher steam vacuum cleaner

Person disinfecting washroom floor with a Kärcher steam vacuum cleaner

Areas of application of disinfection with steam cleaners and steam vacuum cleaners

Thermal disinfection with steam cleaners and steam vacuum cleaners is not only extremely effective, but will also impress you with its extremely easy application. As only water is required for sanitation with steam and there is no need for chemical additives, this kind of routine disinfection is especially suitable anywhere where the focus is on food, such as

  • in food processing and the food industry
  • in the hotel and restaurant trade, in canteens and industrial kitchens
  • in supermarkets for freezers, deli counters or shelves

Chemical-free sanitation is also extremely well suited to smaller to medium-sized surfaces in kitchens, sanitary facilities and changing rooms, such as

  • in hospitals, care homes and retirement homes, doctor's practices, schools and nurseries
  • in sports facilities and in the wellness sector

Sanitation of plastics for vehicle interior cleaning is also possible.


Professional steam cleaners and vacuum cleaners

Kärcher offers a wide range of steam cleaners and steam vacuum cleaners for professional use in a huge range of performance classes and versions. Thanks to our comprehensive range of accessories, our devices are used on almost all hard floors, glass and tile surfaces.

* According to EN 16615, PVC surface, test device SG 4/4, SGV 6/5 and SGV 8/5, test germ: Enterococcus hirae ATCC 10541.

** According to EN 16615, PVC surface, test device SG 4/4 and SGV 6/5 (SGV 8/5 through conclusion by analogy), test germ: MVA, murine norovirus, adenovirus (except hepatitis B), under low organic load.


Thermal disinfection with high-pressure hot water

Hot water high-pressure cleaners from Kärcher effortlessly achieve the water temperatures of at least 65 °C required for the reduction, inactivation and complete removal of viruses, bacteria and germs. Even with contact times of less than a minute with hot water, contaminated surfaces are demonstrably disinfected – completely without chemical additives. Hot water high-pressure cleaners are therefore extremely suitable for disinfection in outside areas and on large surfaces.

Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner in use outdoors
Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner in use at train station
Cleaning milking plant with Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner
Disinfecting the spectator stands with Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner

Disinfecting in the agricultural sector with Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner

How does thermal disinfection with hot water work?

An independent laboratory* confirms: even at 65 °C and a contact time of under a minute, hot water high-pressure cleaners from Kärcher effectively remove enveloped viruses such as coronavirus from contaminated surfaces – from 75 °C, non-enveloped viruses are also effectively reduced and inactivated.

Particularly spray lances from Kärcher that were originally developed for weed control, such as spray lances WR 10, WR 20, WR 50 and WR 100, are suitable for dispensing the hot water. As these also allow applications without pressure, splash-free disinfection can also be realised without a problem on large surfaces and in outside areas.

For this, the lance and appropriate nozzle are simply connected to the hot water high-pressure cleaner and the water temperature set to maximum so that the water escapes the boiler outlet at approx. 90–98 °C.
Finally, the surface to be disinfected must be treated with slow movements.

* Effective against enveloped viruses and adenoviruses, rotaviruses and noroviruses (limited virucidal PLUS according to RKI).


Advantages of thermal disinfection with hot water high-pressure cleaners

  • Accelerates cleaning by up to 40% compared with the use of cold water with additional germ reducing effect
  • Completely without chemical additives, therefore ideally suited to disinfecting outside areas
  • No residue of disinfectants on treated surfaces
  • No need for time-consuming rinsing
  • Prevents pathogens from developing tolerance
  • Quick drying times
  • Especially effective even with albuminous dirt
Standalone shot of Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner

Disinfecting a bus stop with Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner

Areas of application of thermal disinfection with hot water high-pressure cleaners

Everywhere where the use of chemical cleaning agents and disinfectants is not desired or is forbidden for reasons of environmental protection, disinfection measures with hot water high-pressure cleaners from Kärcher are a reliable alternative. Possible areas of application on large surfaces in inside and outside areas are, for example, train stations and stops, playgrounds and park benches, stadiums and swimming pools, or in the hotel and restaurant trade, on campsites and on cruise ships. Can also be used in agriculture to combat bird flu and African swine fever.


Standalone shot of Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner for thermal disinfection
Standalone shot of Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner for thermal disinfection
Standalone shot of Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner for thermal disinfection
Standalone shot of Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner for thermal disinfection

Professional hot water high-pressure cleaners

 

Kärcher offers a wide range of hot water high-pressure cleaners for professional use in a huge variety of performance classes and versions.

Individual hot water high-pressure cleaners from Kärcher can heat water to 155 ° C, whereby a temperature of 80 ° C is sufficient for disinfection with hot water. The following of our hot water high-pressure cleaners have been awarded with the silver seal for "Tested hygiene quality":

  • The devices of the HDS compact class, HDS middle class, HDS super class, HDS trailers and models
  • HDS 1000 DE/BE and HDS 8/20 De

More information can be found here: https://integrative-hygiene.de/en/