Can a Steam Mop Effectively Kill Germs?

Using Steam Mop to Kill Germs

Let’s recap what you’ve learned about germs during your elementary days. In science, you were taught that germs are tiny organisms that are invisible to the eyes and can cause various health issues. Well, not all of them, but most germs are harmful to the body.

With the current pandemic, you might be wondering if top-rated steam cleaners can be used for disinfection.

Let’s get straight to the point. The answer is YES. But how? Let’s find out.

What Are Germs Anyway?

Germs are microscopic organisms that thrive mostly on dirty surfaces. They can enter our bodies through the mouth, nose, ears, and open wounds. The four major types of germs are bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. These germs can grow inside humans, animals, and plants.

Not all germs are carriers of diseases. Some are considered harmless and keep things in balance.

Bacteria are probably the most popular germs. They are one-celled organisms that depend on their environment to survive. In some cases, that environment is the human body. When they reproduce inside or even outside the body, it can cause various conditions such as ear infection, sore throat, cavities, and pneumonia.

However, some bacteria are also beneficial for human health. In fact, good bacteria thrive in our intestines and aid in food digestion and nutrient absorption. It helps extract the good stuff from the food we eat and leave the unwanted particles behind. We’re not going to get the most out of our food without them. Some bacteria are also used to produce medicines and vaccines.

Meanwhile, a virus hosts itself to a living cell where it grows and multiplies. Most viruses can’t survive long if they are not inside a cell. When they enter the body, they can reproduce exponentially, which can cause different kinds of illnesses. Viruses are culprits for chickenpox, measles, flu, and so much more.

Fungi are multi-celled organisms that have plant-like attributes. Unlike plants, however, fungi can’t make their own food. They need to get their nutrients from humans, plants, and animals. Although most fungi are not harmful, some can cause athlete’s foot, rashes, and other itchy skin conditions that are very annoying for their victims.

Lastly, protozoa are single-celled organisms that grow in a moisture-rich environment and love swimming in the water. When you drink them, it can cause intestinal irritations leading to diarrhea, nausea, and belly pain.

How Steam Mop Kills Germs

Now that you know what germs can do for you and your loved ones, it’s time to consider what you can do to kill them before they do any damage.

There is a truth to the claim that steam mop kills germs. This is the reason why you will see banner ads saying, “Our steam mop kills 99 percent of germs”. The 99% figure might not be accurate, but steam mop really does kill germs to some extent.

Heat and steam are scientifically-proven to kill germs. They can “shrink-wrapped’ the fatty layer of the virus which serves as their protective covering. The spikes in this layer allow the virus to latch onto and enter the bodies’ cells. When these spikes are melted because of the heat coming from a steam mop, they stop locking themselves into the host cells. This unfavorable condition prevents them from reproducing which leads to their death.

But at what temperature the steam must be?

A study of a group of microbiologists from New York University reveals that most pathogens, including the Coronavirus, will die at 212° F.

A steam mop uses heat from steam to disinfect. However, it doesn’t mean that the germs will instantly die in one cleaning cycle. To be effective, the heat needs to be applied for at least 10 seconds. And that’s the catch: steam mops can kill germs, but you need to use the heat long enough to really destroy them.

Not all germs can be killed by heat and steam alone as some are resistant to heat. You need to use disinfecting agents to go with the steam and not just pure water. Although there is no concrete proof that doing this technique stops Coronavirus, it is useful for disinfecting areas with blood, stool, or bodily fluids that are favorable for the germs to grow.

With all this information in mind, how can a steam mop kill germs then?

Using a steam mop alone will not completely protect you from germs. While the heat helps terminate the unwanted microorganisms, it’s a good habit to manually mop the floor first with the right household disinfectant. You can wipe the floor using a bleach solution for nonporous flooring, and Lysol Disinfectant Spray for wood floors before using the steam mop. In short, manual mopping with a disinfectant plus steam mop is a good combination for fighting germs.

Is Steam Mop Worth It?

Yes, not just for killing germs but for many more reasons. A steam mop can effectively clean the floor by removing dust, grimes, and pet hairs on different floor surfaces. It can work well both on hard and soft surfaces such as carpets and upholstery.

If you have pets at home, you know how hard it is to keep your floor clean and your room smelling fresh all the time. You can remove all the mess your pet brings inside the house with a steam mop, including its urine and stool stains. Plus, it takes out the foul odor too!

The heat from the steam mop kills germs. However, using it alone is not enough. If you really want to keep the floor germ-free, use a regular mop with disinfectant to wipe it down. Then use the power of the steam to make sure that the germs are successfully killed. For better results, use a steam mop while adhering to the UK government’s guidance on cleaning.