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  #1  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:36 PM
BrandonR BrandonR is offline
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Time it takes for steam to sanitize?

I bought a steam mop which is supposedly superior to ordinary mops since it say it will clean and sanitize the floors with just water. Which is great. Except for no where in my manual does it say how much time is needed for the steam to continuously contact my floor to actually sanitize it. I doubt it happens instantaneously, so how long exactly does the steam have to be in contact with the floor to sanitize it?
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:47 PM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
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Read about the autoclave: Autoclave - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia " ... used to sterilize equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 C or more, typically for 1520 minutes ... "
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:59 PM
BrandonR BrandonR is offline
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So see based on that estimate it seems like false advertising saying these steam mops can actually "sanitize" floors in seconds.
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2011, 05:05 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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What would you want to sanitize your floor? Isn't that where you walk? Do you sanitize the soles of your shoes?
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2011, 05:16 PM
Baracus Baracus is offline
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Originally Posted by BrandonR View Post
So see based on that estimate it seems like false advertising saying these steam mops can actually "sanitize" floors in seconds.
Sanitizing is not sterilizing though.

Sanitizing means to remove dirt, soil, and some bacteria down to a level where infection is unlikely.

Sterilizing means to make all bacteria, spores and viruses non-viable.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2011, 06:32 PM
BrandonR BrandonR is offline
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Originally Posted by Baracus View Post
Sanitizing is not sterilizing though.

Sanitizing means to remove dirt, soil, and some bacteria down to a level where infection is unlikely.

Sterilizing means to make all bacteria, spores and viruses non-viable.
D'oh, that's right. I remember there being a difference in sanitizing versus sterilizing but skimmed over it in that link. So I suppose it can sanitize.

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Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
What would you want to sanitize your floor? Isn't that where you walk? Do you sanitize the soles of your shoes?
I only have hard floors in my bathroom and kitchen, and I never wear shoes in either... And given that my dog's potty pad is in the bathroom, I would like that floor to be cleaned well on a regular basis since it's where I tend to walk barefoot right after showering.

Last edited by BrandonR; 02-27-2011 at 06:32 PM..
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:04 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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if you had grime and stuff stuck to the floor the steam, which instantly becomes hot water upon touching the floor, might come off easier than cold water. a bucket of hot water and soap might also work with some movement and it will work better because the grime will go into the water.
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2011, 06:29 AM
constanze constanze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonR View Post
I bought a steam mop which is supposedly superior to ordinary mops since it say it will clean and sanitize the floors with just water. Which is great.
I haven't heard of steam "mops" yet, but I assume you mean a steam cleaner?

The small cleaners for a normal household have been tested and they don't "sanitize" at all. They don't reach the required temperature of >120 C, they don't indicate when the temp. is reached; it takes a long time to re-heat the water because the container is too small; because the steam is not hot enough, it quickly condenses to water.

Summary: you wasted a lot of money on an inferior cleaning product.

Quote:
Except for no where in my manual does it say how much time is needed for the steam to continuously contact my floor to actually sanitize it. I doubt it happens instantaneously, so how long exactly does the steam have to be in contact with the floor to sanitize it?
First, why do you want to sanitize your floor? Do you have somebody with a compromised immune system living in your household? Had a bout of scarlet fever or similar recently? Work in the sewers and regularly track in shit and feces?

Because normal homes don't need to be sanitized.

Secondly, the hot steam is most often just luke-warm, which means that far from eradicating bacteria, you are actually making them warm and comfy. Unless you follow behind with a dry mop immediatly sponging up the excess water everywhere. But then you can save the effort and just use a normal mop and normal soap water to get the dirt off, which works well enough for cleanness.

Thirdly, steam cleaners don't do anything (despite their wonderful ad promises) in removing hard stains like calc. You still need elbow grease or vinegar acid or both.

Fourth, if your floors are in any way touchy, you can damge them using steam, if the steam occasionally gets up to its promised temp. That means: plastic PVC floors, which shouldn't be scalded; wooden floors, which should be waxed and then cleaned with soap water; non-heat resistant ceramic tiles which could crack from heat. And of course carpets. Which covers most floors in use in normal homes.

Can you still give it back?
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2011, 08:02 AM
chela chela is offline
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I live in a 'normal' home and I use a steam mop,not a steam carpet cleaner, it cleans like a dream on my "touchy" laminate and hardwood floors. And after years of use they are still not damaged by the steam mop. You mentioned calcium deposits, just how are you getting scale forming on your floor?
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2011, 10:37 AM
constanze constanze is offline
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Because steam cleaners are advertised not only for floors - those least of all, actually - but for bathrooms with calc deposits (we have very hard water). They are being touted as "instead of using elbow grease, the steam cleaner does it for you", which is not how things work outside the (staged) ads.

Again, I don't know what a steam mop is - when I googled it, they looked even smaller than a normal steam cleaner. How much water goes in there, 4 liters? Looks more like a steam iron than a cleaner. How often do you have to refill that? How long do you wait between each refill until it's heated? How hot is the steam that you don't damage wooden floors? If the steam is only lukewarm and condenses to water puddles, how much time do you need to mop them up seperatly?

I just don't see any advantage in time or effort for floors in a normal home with such a tool, where you refill, wait for heating, steam, get condensation, mop up the water, wait, steam, repeat... instead of just bringing a wet mop and soap water to get the dirt off; rinse and clean with clear water; take a dry mop to soak up left-over water. Done. No electricity necessary, no waiting time. Clean enough unless you have extremly special issues. No more elbow grease than normal, even less, because you don't have to carry the heavy steam mop.
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2011, 10:40 AM
constanze constanze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonR View Post
I only have hard floors in my bathroom and kitchen, and I never wear shoes in either... And given that my dog's potty pad is in the bathroom, I would like that floor to be cleaned well on a regular basis since it's where I tend to walk barefoot right after showering.
Steam that's not hot enough will work worse for that than vingear acid cleaner which works well enough for sanitation. (I assume you have looked at the easiest solution of moving your dog's potty pad elsewhere, but there is not enough space?)

I would use a special mop for the dog's potty area to get rid first of the dirt with soap, and a second wipe with vinegar acid cleaner to sterilize. Do it regularly, and you should be fine.
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2011, 11:10 AM
chela chela is offline
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Well take a look at what you are missing, and you are really over stating the difficulty of using the simple steam mop.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2011, 11:34 AM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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According to this site, we have one brand that sanitizes in one second, and another that takes 8-15 seconds.
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2011, 11:57 AM
constanze constanze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chela View Post
Well take a look at what you are missing, and you are really over stating the difficulty of using the simple steam mop.
An ad video by the company that sells those things doesn't impress me at all. I know how those videos lie and fake. Both observations in the real world and tests by Stiftung Warentest (the consumer advocates) say that the wonderful claims are overblown.

But hey, if you think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, wonderful for you.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:01 PM
constanze constanze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
According to this site, we have one brand that sanitizes in one second, and another that takes 8-15 seconds.
Why do you trust the company who sells these things? Are they required to measure objectivly the temp of the steam and the time it takes, or can they make things up as they like to. Consumer advocates, who are neutral, do measure the temp. of the steam, and they continually find temp.s far lower than advertised.
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:21 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by constanze View Post
Why do you trust the company who sells these things? Are they required to measure objectivly the temp of the steam and the time it takes, or can they make things up as they like to. Consumer advocates, who are neutral, do measure the temp. of the steam, and they continually find temp.s far lower than advertised.
The linked site is for ConsumerSearch, which gathers and evaluates reviews and other product information, from which it issues its own recommendations and reviews. It does not sell the items; it mentions typical prices and lists numerous vendors who sell the products.

As to the source or accuracy of the claims there, I don't know. I imagine someone could find the source with some time on Google.
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  #17  
Old 02-28-2011, 01:26 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Originally Posted by BrandonR View Post
so how long exactly does the steam have to be in contact with the floor to sanitize it?
It hardly matters. As soon as you are done 'sanitizing' the floor, the air will be in contact with it, and air contains all kinds of germs, viruses, pollen, etc. that will promptly de-sanitize the floor. To say nothing of the dog walking on it with his dirty paws, or you in dirty shoes, etc.

But if this so-called sanitizing give you psychological comfort, go right ahead.
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2011, 01:48 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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I use a shark. http://www.google.com/products/catal...ed=0CEYQ8wIwAw# I don't really care if the floor is sterilized or not - I just know the thing is a thousand times easier than usual mopping, and I don't have to choose between stinky ammonia and dulling build-up.

My huge kitchen/eating space/front hall tiled area takes about 20 minutes to mop with this thing (refilling twice and changing mopheads 3-4 times.) Going back and forth to the sink/bucket took a lot longer, didn't clean as well, and wrecked my back every time.

The only time I really cared about sterile vs clean was when the Celtling was crawling. That was a PITA and I'm glad it's over! LOL!
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