Kärcher steam cleaners combat viruses
Kärcher arranged to have its steam cleaners tested in an independent laboratory for effectiveness in fighting viruses.
The result: if appropriately used, the machines remove up to 99.999% of enveloped viruses*, such as influenza, and 99.99% of common household bacteria** from hard surfaces. At present, disinfectants are to be reserved primarily for outpatient and inpatient care, but steam cleaners can make a valuable contribution to general hygiene – both in private households and in commercial and industrial use.
The laboratory test
Kärcher tested steam cleaners for domestic use as well as machines for professional use. Whether the steam is produced in a boiler or in a water heater, it doesn’t affect the result in combating the virus; both technologies achieved a comparable result in the laboratory.
Enveloped viruses such as influenza 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 for 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.