Everyone is concerned about staying safe during this time of physical distancing. The advice coming from what ought to be trusted sources is actually conflicting, which causes a greater sense of anxiety and distrust. When people seek information on cleaning, it is good to keep in mind the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes germs from a surface, while disinfecting means killing the germs. Steam cleaning to prevent the coronavirus is one area where there is common agreement.
Most experts are suggesting that COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that is causing a worldwide pandemic, can live on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours. “There are many bad things about the coronavirus, but there is one good thing: It is not very hardy,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, an expert on infectious diseases and a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.
Dr. Keith Armitage, Medical Director, University Hospitals Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine & Global Health, believes steam can kill the virus, if it’s a high temperature, he said, “Coronavirus does not do well in extreme environmental conditions.”
That means a steam cleaner capable of high heat (175 – 212 degrees) will work, but something like a clothes steamer or steam from a humidifier would not. High heat steam to kill the virus needs to be at least up to 140, higher is better.
Experts agree that cleaning high-touch surfaces with regularity is essential.
The beauty of steam cleaning is that it effectively trades heat for chemicals without sacrificing strength. In fact, when used correctly, steam can quickly kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria, making it a safe, healthy, eco-friendly, all-natural way to clean your home from top to bottom.
Steam cleaning has proven effective in the past to kill viruses, primarily in areas where you can’t use detergent, like upholstery, drapes and other fabric covered surfaces such as soft furnishings. The Government advice on cleaning COVID-19 says, “When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning may be used.”
Avoid surfaces that can be damaged by water or high heat, such as delicate fabrics like silk. Also, use caution when steaming oiled wooden floors. Steam is safe on most other surfaces like sinks, glass, toilets, tile and baths.
Disinfecting outside surfaces is very important, as well. Think about those areas that are touched by a number of individuals. Mailboxes, gate handles, hand railings, outer doors and doorknobs all can harbor bacteria.
Our team uses Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaners to get the job done. If you are interested in learning more about how we might help you during this time of concern and uncertainly, please call us today at (415) 519-7404.