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Vapor steam cleaners or steam vapor systems are cleaning appliances or devices that use steam to quickly dry, clean, and sanitize surfaces. The steam is produced in a boiler that heats tap water to high temperatures (240-310F/115-155C) to produce low-pressure, low moisture (4 to 6% water) water vapor.
The steam's ability to clean is based primarily on its heat. The steam is applied to cleanable surfaces via a variety of insulated tools and accessories, thereby safely providing the energy needed to break soil bonds and release contaminants into water suspension, after which they can be removed by wiping or vacuuming.
It can help to remove excess vapor from the air, as well, hence this can cause the scent of an atmosphere to return to a normal scentless manner. Scents can be absorbed into some materials, in particular porous materials, such as wood. A vapor steam cleaner can help to remove the absorbed scents (eg. cooking scents, borborygmus scents, chemical scents).
The low-moisture characteristics of vapor steam cleaners make them suitable for use inside buildings and residences.
Vapor steam cleaners are frequently used in hypoallergenic environments because they do not require the use of additional cleaning chemicals, which results in better indoor air quality and eliminates the need to handle or store cleaning agents. Steam has been shown effective in combating mold, bacteria, viruses, and other forms of bio-contamination.
Vapor steam cleaners are cited as examples of "green cleaning" because of steam vapor's ability to kill germs and in some cases disinfect without the use of chemical disinfectants. Steam vapor has also been cited as effective in killing dust mites in carpet, bedding, and upholstery. Additionally, dry steam vapor has shown to be effective for killing bed bugs and their eggs when reaching temperatures of 150-170 degrees.
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