Nowadays, cleaning in the traditional way is no longer advised because of the number of health risks that can be developed, due to the use of cleaning chemicals around the house. In the case of mopping, mops can leave behind a residue which can be dangerous for kids, pets, and adults, if they are exposed to them for a long period of time.
In order to reduce that risk, steam mops are now becoming a trend, as it works similarly to steam cleaners. With only water as its cleaning agent, steam cleaners use steam to deeply clean and sanitize the surface you are cleaning and leave no residue behind as you mop the surface.
If you are going to purchase a steam mop for your home, you may notice that they have a variety of heating times and temperatures, which companies say is enough for the mop to create steam that can kill 99.9% of bacteria on your surface.
Temperature Check: How Hot Do Steam Mops Get?
Steam mops can heat water as hot as 200-degrees Fahrenheit and above, to create the steam capable of killing germs and bacteria on any surface. Some agencies, such as the US EPA, has standards on how hot steam mops should be in order to kill mites and viruses. Companies who pass these tests get their own EPA control number to serve as a guarantee, for users, that the steam mops they purchase can indeed sanitize their homes.
However, according to the US Center for Disease Control, certain steam temperatures can already be enough to kill certain types of viruses and bacteria. At around 130-degrees Fahrenheit, steam can already kill dust mites. If you add 35-degrees more, you can kill food-borne viruses easily. If you go higher than 165-degrees Fahrenheit, you can kill the remaining viruses and bacteria on the surface.
Steam mops also differ on how much steam can be released into the mop head, which may also affect just how hot the steam released to the surface is, when close to the surface. Some steam mops can only release one large burst of steam, while there are steam mops that can release more steam jets in one go.
Of course, while these temperatures can create the steam necessary to kill viruses and bacteria, it is important that you are able to use your steam mop efficiently, to get it to work as you expect it. It is ideal to leave the steam mop on a certain area for a short period of time – roughly from 8 to 20 seconds or more – before you mop the area.
Some steam mops may require you to put the mop head in the area for longer, depending on what is cited in the manual. You must also mop slowly to let the steam seep into the surface more efficiently, and kill the bacteria on the surface. If you do have a large home, using this method can take ages, especially if you wish to sanitize every part of the house.
If you want to reduce your time standing in one place with your steam mop, there is the option to use chemicals to help disinfect surfaces. However, not all steam mops permit this, as some chemicals can clog the machine and cause corrosive damage.
Even if the disinfectant you wish to use is “eco-friendly”, some steam mops may not agree with it. It is also not ideal to turn up the heat to its maximum while staying in one place, because excess heat can damage surfaces.
The hot powers of steam mops also have other benefits to your home, and here are the following:
- The steam mop can clean without the use of any chemicals, as you would only need to use water and heat to clean surfaces. It also does not leave any residue behind that can be dangerous for users
- Hot steam produced from steam mops can also help clean other surfaces like tile floors, counters, upholstery and even grills. Before you use it for other surfaces, however, it is important you review the user manual on what you should remember in using your steam mop for these surfaces. Some steam mops may even come with special attachments, which you should attach before using it on a surface, such as in carpets.
- Heat from steam also helps reduce unsanitary odors that are often caused by molds and messes, which have stuck to a surface.
- Steam can also help control allergy triggers in the air.