Steam cleaners and scrubbers

Steam cleaners – effective in areas difficult to access

Steam cleaners and vacuum cleaners are an effective and time-saving solution thanks to the high cleaning temperature in order to ensure appropriate hygiene and combat germs or viruses. The steam emerges from the nozzle in very fine drops and, depending on the machine type, at a temperature of around 100°C and a pressure of up to eight bar. It is possible to not only clean walls, floors and furniture effectively, but the steam also reaches areas that are difficult to access such as rubber folds or crevices.

In order to kill viruses, i.e. neutralise them, high temperatures must be reached on the surface to be cleaned. If the surface is around 20°C, for example, it is necessary to keep the nozzle on one area for a particularly long time until the desired temperature is reached. Tests in an independent laboratory have confirmed the effectiveness in combating viruses. The result: at maximum steam pressure and a cleaning duration of 30 seconds, the machines eliminate up to 99.999 per cent of enveloped viruses*, such as the coronavirus or influenza, and 99.99 per cent of household bacteria** from hard surfaces.

*When spot cleaning with the Kärcher steam cleaner, ie, a steaming duration of 30 seconds at maximum steam pressure, 99.999 per cent of the enveloped viruses, such as coronavirus or influenza (with the exception of the Hepatitis B virus), are removed from household, smooth hard surfaces (based on PVC surface; according to EN 16615:2015-06); test germs: Modified Vaccinia Ankara virus).

**When cleaning at a cleaning speed of 30 cm/s and maximum steam pressure, 99.99 per cent of all household bacteria on household, smooth hard surfaces are killed (test germs: Enterococcus hirae). 99.999 per cent with professional steam cleaners SG(V) according to EN 16615:2015-06, PVC floor, test germs: Enterococcus hirae ATCC 10541.

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Floor cleaning with scrubber dryers

Apart from manual cleaning machines, scrubber dryers are used for the wet cleaning of hard and elastic floor coverings. They wet and scrub the floor in a single step and immediately absorb the dirt again. The advantage over manual cleaning using a bucket is the fact that germs are permanently removed by the absorption of the dirt and do not collect in a cleaning textile. The risk of recontamination is therefore minimised. Also the risk for the cleaning staff of contracting pathogens via their hands is reduced with the contactless floor cleaning.

Floor disinfection with scrubber dryers

Scrubber dryers can generally also be used to disinfect floors. For this application, both the correct dosage of chemicals and the exact contact time in line with manufacturer specifications must be observed.

There are two ways of achieving the correct dosage:

1. The best way to achieve the application concentration is through automatic dosing in decentralised disinfectant dosing units located, for example, in the equipment room.

2. As an alternative, the disinfectant solution can be prepared in the correct ratio using a measuring cup, for example.

The disinfectant solution is then filled into the fresh water tank of the scrubber dryer. Dosing systems integrated in scrubber dryers are not suitable for this. A sufficient amount of the active ingredient has to reach the floor surface to successfully disinfect it. To achieve this, the flow volume in relation to the floor covering should be selected such that even wetting can be ensured.

Microfibre textiles or pad materials are a helpful tool – brushes are less suitable. It is essential to use the one-step method – that is not using suction – in order to adhere to the required contact time. The disinfectant solution is only applied to the floor with the scrubber dryer. The area is then allowed to dry.

Source: European Journal of Cleaning

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