Schools are always asked to provide a clean and healthy environment but most of them are struggling with insufficient labour and poor cleaning techniques. Is it possible to deep clean, sanitize and disinfect around a school by simply using heat and water? The answer is yes. «There are so many ways you can use a steam cleaner to help with virtually any cleaning challenge, from disinfecting classrooms and bathrooms to sanitize the changing rooms and remove graffiti.» says Ottawa secondary school director Richard Lowe. Schools can be the beneficiaries of the advanced steam cleaning technology that originates from Italy. In North America, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that around 170 million school days are lost annually because of illness. Schools are now turning to more effective natural disinfection technologies to help reduce the spread of diseases around children. Commercial grade vapor steam cleaners or simply steam cleaners, are cleaning devices that use only tap water to disinfect any given surface. High and medium steam pressure (120 psi to 50 psi) will even remove odours from locker rooms or cafeteria kitchens. Areas like classrooms and bathrooms also require maximum disinfection and sanitation because they constantly expose student to chemical disinfectants residues left over by traditional cleaning methods. Many health professional are now pointing their fingers to these harsh chemical residues as a primary factor in many allergy-related childhood diseases and ailments. In fact, chemical leftovers tend to promote biofilm development in the form of a bacteria pool on a seemingly “clean” surface like a drinking fountain. Biofilms are known to resist germicides but the good news is it is biologically impossible for bacteria to resist extreme heat such as a short direct exposition to superheated saturated steam. Steam is not new in the health industry. Surgical instruments are usually sterilized using steam as superheated vapor is an excellent agent to remove soil and residues. Today’s advanced portable residential and commercial dry steam cleaners are able to reach the same high temperature as the units currently used in hospitals. Steam cleaners, like the Dupray Hill Injection, will boil water and produce low-moisture vapor (only 5% water). This vapor can even reach up to 378°F, at which point any living organism is killed within seconds. The combination of superheated steam and pressure in a good quality vapor steam cleaner enables schools to lower drastically or cut entirely their chemical consumption, saving them thousands of dollars per year. Also, by changing their cleaning regimens to more efficient techniques, today’s schools are also cutting cleaning times. Concretely, workers using a vapor steam cleaner will use specially designed steam diffusion tools to clean quickly and efficiently any surface, including floors, walls and ceilings.
Steam cleaners like the Dupray Carmen Super Inox also integrate a powerful vacuum extractor and a detergent injection, for any serious steam-cleaning task such as gum removal. Government and pest control agencies are even using these advanced steam cleaners to remove and exterminate bed bugs in mattresses and furniture. Steamers can improve workers’ health, safety, cleaning efficiency and a school’s maintenance budget. Cleaning teams reported less back injuries and enjoyed having less exposure to compounds that may cause eye and skin irritation or chemical burns. Because a steam vapor system uses only tap water, it requires no material safety data sheets (MSDS) and thus does not have to be approved by various levels at the organization. Because of the steam cleaner’s accessories’ design, it is almost impossible to burn yourself while operating the system. Gloves can be worn for maximal protection when working in a confined area. Because less time is wasted scrubbing with chemicals or in hard-to-reach areas, the use of a steam machine will drastically improve the team’s productivity saving the school time and money. Superheated steam tends to dry very quickly. That means a cleaner, dryer and odor-free floor with less chances of slipping in less time. Some suppliers of the newest steam technologies like Dupray Industries will provide boiler designs that eliminate the scale and mineral build-up that were a problem on most steam cleaners 10 years ago. While the quality accessories from commercial steam cleaners will last for years, low-cost brushes will wear out with use and will need replacement. Putting steam cleaners to the test against traditional cleaning methods A test was conducted recently at the University of Washington’s Odegard Undergraduate Library and provided evidence of the many immediate benefits of commercial and rigorous steam cleaning. It is interesting to note that more than 15,000 students frequent the building daily. Over a test-period of 6 weeks, workers used quality commercial steam cleaners to deep clean and sanitize restrooms, clean tiles, grout, walls, baseboards and fixtures. They even cleaned the ventilation and AC units which were filthy with dust and dirt particles. While cleaning times were reduced from 46 minutes to 42 minutes, the degree of cleanliness also improved drastically. Swab bacteria tests using 3M luminometers compared the results from the 2 cleaning techniques and showed evidence that faucet handle, water fountains, doorknobs and towel dispensers had up to 10 times less bacteria’s after steam cleaning. Workers attributed the time savings to less squatting and stooping to clean hard-to- reach places behind toilets, and under sinks and urinals. With no residual water on floors, drying time also was reduced. POINTS TO REMEMBER 378°F: Maximal steam temperature produced by Dupray’s steam cleaner used in schools 4 minutes: Time saved with every cleaning cycle by workers using commercial steam cleaners.