Will Steam Cleaning Your Home Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?
The first wave of infection from the nova coronavirus may well be passing now but this is not the time to relax. If a resurgence of the disease is to be prevented, it is important that all possible precautions are taken, both outside and inside the home. We are often asked if steam cleaning at home will kill the COVID-19 virus but before we answer that, let’s consider basic precautions.
The three most important actions that you can take are:
- Wear a face covering, such as a mask, when in areas where other people are present.
- Observe social distancing guidelines. These generally recommend maintaining a distance of at least two feet between yourself and others.
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
If circumstances don’t allow washing at any particular time, such as when in a vehicle, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer until you can wash properly.
How is the Coronavirus COVID-19 transmitted?
The COVID-19 virus is described as being a small sphere with spiky points, about 1.4 microns in diameter (there are 24,500 microns in one inch!).
The virus is transmitted by being expelled by a cough or sneeze from an infected person, and then breathed in by someone else, or settling onto a convenient surface, From there it can be picked up by someone touching the surface and then they can become infected if they touch their face, passing the virus to their eyes, nose, or mouth.
What Precautions Should I Take at Home?
To minimize the possibility of transmission from surfaces in the home it is suggested that you wipe them down with disinfectant wipes. The surfaces to disinfect include door handles, countertops, bathroom vanities, toys, keyboards, remotes, telephones, and anything that has been brought in from outside. There is no consistent opinion on how long viruses might last on surfaces (three days is thought to be the maximum) but it is better to be safe than sorry.
For a more thorough list of suggestions, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website by clicking here.
Steam Cleaning and the Coronavirus
As part of your household cleaning routine, you should be disinfecting surfaces and
shampooing carpets and upholstery on a regular basis and this should be kept up during the Coronavirus pandemic.
For most people, steam cleaning is part of the cleaning process, particularly if they have pets or children in the house but in truth, it is probably not going to be effective against viruses. It is thought that steam cleaning might work to eliminate most viruses if the temperature is high enough but that is probably not going to be the case in a domestic environment, certainly, a household steam cleaner for carpets is unlikely to reach and maintain the temperatures required.
But that doesn’t mean that steam-cleaning carpets and soft furnishings should be neglected. The cleaner the overall environment, the less risk of infection and transmission of bacteria and viruses.
In addition to carpet steam cleaners, there are a number of hand-held machines that can be used to clean hard surfaces and they may be hot enough to affect the virus and, even if not, they will give a more thorough cleaning to the surfaces.
Other Appliances That Help to Sanitize the Home
As well as equipment designed with the sole purpose of cleaning household upholstery and furnishings, everyday appliances such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers have a role to play.
Many washing machines will have a sanitizing setting that can be used and the hot cycle on most tumble dryers can be helpful in preventing the spread of bacteria and germs.
Home steamers for cleaning may not be able to kill the COVID-19 virus on their own, but they certainly have a role in the household cleaning regimen. And small, hand steamers for cleaning can definitely help to sanitize hard surfaces.
If you are interested in checking out specific machines for these tasks, the McCulloch MC1375 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner is one of the best available.
And for one of the smaller, more portable steamers, the Conair Steamer Handheld Steamer is highly rated by users