Does Steam Kill Mould?

Thursday 13th July 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Steam cleaning a piece of furniture CONTENTS 

Steam cleaners are a very popular and effective cleaning tool. The high heat from the steam sanitises and disinfects a range of surfaces without requiring expensive or potentially harmful cleaning products. However, you should not attempt to remove mould yourself with a steam cleaner.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer effective, long-lasting mould remediation services. Our Dewpoint-accredited technicians can remove all traces of the mould from surfaces and the air. Every service comes with a lifetime guarantee* to give you peace of mind your home will stay mould-free.

Keep reading to find out whether you should use a steam cleaner for mould and what the best way to eliminate it from your home is.

*subject to advisories

What is steam cleaning?

Steam cleaners heat water past the boiling point and release pressurised steam. This vapour loosens dirt and grime, and kills bacteria, allergens, dust mites, and mould. As steam consists of very small vapour molecules, it can penetrate deep into the pores of a surface for a deep clean.

The loosened-up dirt can then be hoovered or wiped away easily, leaving behind a thoroughly cleaned surface with no film from cleaning products. They can even dislodge tough grease and fat build ups, eliminate odours, and tackle stains.

Can steam kill mould?

Most moulds are heat sensitive and can be destroyed in temperatures between 60 and 71°C. If steam is the same temperature as or is hotter than this range, it can kill mould.

Does steam cleaning kill mould?

Steam cleaners can generate steam which is hot enough to kill mould as they heat water to temperatures of 66-149°C. They can also destroy the organic material the mould is using as a food source.

However, your steam cleaner may not heat it to a high enough temperature and might not tackle all the spores. Any mould you miss will quickly grow back.

They could leave behind damp patches after cleaning which mould spores in the air can settle on, too, resulting in new mould growth. Any mould that you have missed with the steam cleaner will thrive in these wet conditions, as well.

You may be able to set your steam cleaner to a temperature that does not produce any dampness, but it might be too hot for certain surfaces, like carpets, and could damage them.

Why you should not steam clean mould

Aside from not killing all the mould and potentially making your problem worse, cleaning mould yourself can be dangerous. Exposure to mould can put your health at risk as it releases allergens, irritants, and occasionally toxins.

Mould spores can trigger an allergic reaction like sneezing, coughing, and rashes, as well as cause asthma attacks. When you treat mould, whether you scrub, wipe, or run a steam cleaner over it, you come in much closer contact with the mould and are more likely to ingest or inhale the spores.

Steam cleaners can also damage certain surfaces. They work best on hard, non-porous surfaces like countertops or laminate flooring, but on porous surfaces they can inflict permanent damage. Here are some of the surfaces you should never use a steam cleaner on:

  • Unsealed wooden flooring
  • Unglazed tile
  • Water-based paint and wallpaper
  • Masonry
  • Marble
  • Bamboo
  • Delicate fabric, like velour

The effectiveness of the steam cleaner depends on the model and the surface the mould is growing on. To be sure all the mould has been removed from the surface, you should bring in professional cleaners.

Why you must bring in cleaners for mould remediation

Specialist mould cleaners have the expertise to pinpoint what is specifically causing mould to grow in your home to prevent it coming back after treatment. They can even advise on how to reduce the chances of mould growing in your home.

Cleaners will also have the specialist equipment to kill all the mould, including growth in hard-to-reach areas, like high up walls, on the ceiling, and inside vents. They will be able to select the right treatment for the different kinds of surfaces in your home so there will be no risk of damage, as well.

Professionals can even identify hidden mould growth that you might fail to treat which can grow back and spread.

Cleaners can safely clean up the mould, too, as they will have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect their health.

Get in touch

We are a mould removal company with many years of experience getting rid of mould in properties quickly and thoroughly with specialist remediation equipment. Our 9-stage mould removal process will give you peace of mind that you home is safe again.

Contact our friendly team today on 0208 066 0360 or to book your mould removal service. We are available nationwide, day and night, 365 days a year.

Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

Sales Representative

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