Steam treating Norovirus or Coronavirus
Does clean-steam, without chemicals, work well against viruses? Yes, when used at the proper high temperature and residence time in the correct use mode. High temperature steam with the proper residence time is very rapid acting against microbes. Visit a list of published resources for Sars-Cov-2.
Confined spaces as found on cruise liners are a breeding ground for illnesses such as Norovirus, or from other hardy microorganisms. There are some acceptable ways to control Norovirus, including chemical disinfection and using high-temperature steam. The CDC recommends exposing the Norovirus to 5 minutes of 158°F steam or 1 minute of 212°F steam2 to eliminate the virus. Bayzi Corporation recommends even a higher steam temperature for directed steam cleaning. As a general rule higher temperature equals better efficacy and lower treatment time. The SaniZap® products produce high velocity steam gas that is useful for deep-cleaning.
How do typical viruses spread? Many can be contagious and disease causing
Noroviruses are highly contagious, capable of causing an infection with as few as 10-100 virus particles (similar 100-200 particles for the Corona virus based on data known by July 2020). Most Noroviruses are transmitted through food or water contaminated with fecal matter or via droplets of vomit. Indirect transmission is possible when one’s hands encounter the virus from a contaminated surface and transmit the virus to the mouth. The corona virus spreads in many ways including piggy backing on bacteria, water droplets, and aerosols. They also remain on common surfaces.
The following links may provide updated information:
and new evidence by the WHO
Good hygiene practices are the best defense against a virus. Frequent hand washing in hot water is the best recommendation for individuals. Chlorine bleach is an active cleaning agent for surfaces if it has 10-20 minutes of contact with the surface. Proprietary cleaning agents vary in efficacy and costs and should be evaluated based on application need. Steam cleaning with the correct steam can also be part of a cleaning regiment.
Steam Against Noroviruses And CoronaVirus
Steam has been recognized by the CDC as a viable treatment to kill Norovirus (references below). With steam, 5 minutes at 158°F or 1 minute at 212°F is needed to inactivate Norovirus. As the temperature increases, it is likely that that residence time required may decrease and the efficacy may increase. However, there is no guarantee that this will happen unless determined by the responsible government agencies. Bayzi steam is provided at even about 400C.