Steam Cleaning

In the quest to kill germs throughout your home, water might be all that you need to sanitize and disinfect surfaces. When water is heated and creates steam, the hot temperatures and water vapor can kill germs naturally. There are many different products that are available for use in the home to clean and disinfect using the power of steam. Shark (www.sharkclean.com), Hoover (www.hoover.com), and Bissell (www.bissell.com) offer mops and vacuums that use steam to clean floors, as well as portable steam cleaners that can be used in places such as the tub and on countertops. In order to clean and disinfect naturally, it is important not to use chemical cleaning agents with the steam cleaners, just the steam alone.

There are products that also use the power of steam to clean and sterilize baby bottles, such as those from Tommee Tippee (www.tommee tippee.us), Nuk (www.nuk.com), Philips Avent (www.avent.com), and Bebek (www.bebekbabyproducts.com/usa). Germ Terminator (www.germterminator.com) offers a steam-powered toothbrush sterilizer. Guardian Technologies (www.guardiantechnologies.com) even offers a toothbrush sanitizer and nursery sanitizer that use the germ-killing power of dry heat, without any water at all, to kill microorganisms.

CHECKLIST FOR KILLING GERMS

  • Realize that not all germs are bad and you cannot kill them all. Your body cannot properly prepare itself to fight off germs if it is never given a chance, and some germs are actually necessary for good health. Find a balance in the way that you prevent the spread of germs from someone with a cold and in trying to rid your entire home and body from common everyday germs.

  • Avoid the use of triclosan in your home. Constantly relying on the severe germ-killing power of this drug can reduce the effectiveness of germ killers when you really need them. Triclosan is also being investigated for other health concerns that are far worse than the common cold.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for the most effective germ killing. Simple, old-fashioned soap and water still is the most effective way to kill germs and is recommended by major medical agencies.

  • Use hand sanitizers only when soap and water are not available. These alcohol-based cleaners should be used only when soap and water cannot be found.

  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with your hands to prevent the spread of germs. Reduce the way that germs are spread and they won't.

  • Plant-based disinfectants can effectively kill germs. All disinfectants must pass the same EPA guidelines, so whether they are made from chemicals or natural ingredients, they work just as effectively.

  • Hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide–based bleach can kill germs using products you already have around the house. Kill germs more naturally, and without as much expense, using common household ingredients and not specialty cleaners.

  • Steam cleaning kills microorganisms using just highly heated water. Forget the use of any cleaners and just use hot water instead.

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