When we think about a classic clean, the magic of steam is right up there with the beloved carpet sweeper. I have many fond memories of my grandmother using her carpet sweeper during my childhood. Like the sweeper, steam also had a simple start back in the late 1600s when an engineer discovered just how powerful it can be. Since its discovery, steam is now used for things like powering engines, cooking vegetables, heating buildings, hydrating our skin, and of course our favourite – cleaning!
It really does not get easier and more natural than steam cleaning. The method uses a combination of water and heat to effectively clean and sanitise sealed hard floors and a variety of hard surfaces all around your home. And because it only involves water, steam cleaning is 100% chemical-free and the most environmentally friendly method of keeping your home sparkly clean. Steam cleaning saves up to 80% water compared with conventional cleaning methods and does not pollute wastewater with chemicals. One litre of water is enough to create 1,700 litres of steam – enough to clean a 60 m² apartment thoroughly. So, when you use it as directed, it is a safe way to sanitise surfaces. With the rise of the COVID pandemic, we found a huge uptick in demand for steam cleaners as people started placing more emphasis on sanitation inside their homes.
Karcher arranged to have the effectiveness of its steam cleaners in fighting viruses tested in an independent laboratory. The result: if used properly, the machines remove up to 99.999% of enveloped viruses*, such as the coronavirus or influenza, and 99.99% of common household bacteria** from hard surfaces. 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 – both in private households and in commercial and industrial use.
Enveloped viruses such as the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can be neutralised with high temperatures. As viruses are not germs or living organisms, experts also talk about virus inactivation. In the laboratory, a certified test virus (Modified-Vaccinia-Ankara-Virus), which is representative of enveloped viruses, was distributed on a hard surface. This area was then cleaned with the hand nozzle of a steam cleaner and the appropriate microfibre pad. It was demonstrated that a significant reduction of up to 99.999% of the viruses could be achieved at maximum steam pressure and with a cleaning duration of 30 seconds on one area. The difficulty associated with cleaning larger areas has been resolved with the help of steam cleaning techniques. The best part is, without compromising perfection.
Types of Steam Cleaners
While steam cleaning is a very basic concept, steam cleaners have come a long way in their ability to clean efficiently and quickly. We still offer traditional floor steam mops, like the Karcher SC3 Upright, but Karcher upped the ante when we designed the Karcher SV7. This machine vacuums and steams floors at the same time, saving you time by combining cleaning tasks.
Karcher quickly realised that most homes have multiple hard surface areas that could do with frequent steam cleaning and quickly got to work designing a range of steam cleaners to fit any budget or cleaning requirement. The Karcher SC1 is a handheld steam cleaner that lets you take the natural power of steam cleaning to above floor surfaces in your home. Thanks to the floor cleaning set EasyFix, the practical handheld steam cleaner can be converted for floor cleaning in no time. Even stubborn dirt and grease deposits are eliminated in an instant.
We love a solid machine that does multiple tasks, which is why we offer the full Karcher Steam Range. Whether you are looking for a budget steamer to use on an ad-hoc basis or something that can form the heart of your home cleaning machine arsenal, we can assist you with making the right choice.
Before You Steam
Once you have found the steam cleaner that is right for your home cleaning needs, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, check a small, inconspicuous area where you are planning to clean and make sure the steam does not damage the surface or change the colour. The odds of this happening are low, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. Once you have cleared that checkpoint, it is full steam ahead!
If you have a 2-in-1 steam mop or handheld steamer, let it cool down before you switch tools and accessories. Steam is hot and can cause serious burns if the proper precautions are not taken. Throw your microfiber pads right into the wash when you have finished cleaning, so you always have a clean set available for when you need to steam.
You are now a certified steam cleaning expert, and it is time to get to work! No matter which steam cleaner you choose, we are confident you will find steam cleaning to be another quick and easy method to ensure your home stays fresh, clean, and hygienic.
*Tests have shown that with spot cleaning of 30 secs at max. steam level and direct contact to the cleaning surface with the Karcher 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 Karcher 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 and direct contact with the cleaning surface (test-germ: Enterococcus hirae).