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Study: Does Steam Inactivate Viruses?

Steamery presents study results on how heat transfer by steam affects viruses – is there any way steam can inactivate viruses, and therefore be a good tool in your home to prevent spreading?

We currently get a lot of questions regarding steam heat and whether it can inactivate viruses on clothing garments. Many people are already aware of the fact that steam can inactivate bacteria. So, we decided to investigate the relation between heat transfer by steam from our steamers and inactivation of viruses. Therefore, we reached out to RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), one of Europe’s largest research institutes, to have them perform the testing.

How the Test Was Carried Out

Together with RISE we decided that the testing should be made on gloves. Just like our hands, gloves are commonly exposed to viruses and bacteria. RISE performed the test on cotton, ski, and leather gloves. The RISE research team performed two different types of test-sets, using two different methods.

Method 1: RISE research team steamed the gloves for five minutes in the open air, on a flat surface.

Method 2: In order to isolate the steam heat and reach higher and more even and sustained temperatures, in a short period of time (one minute), RISE research team steamed the gloves inside a Steamery Heat Protection Bag (accessory for Cirrus No.2 and normally used to prevent burns).

Download the full report with graphs, list of viruses being tested, detailed description of the test methods and all the facts here.

Test Results

  • Method No.1 showed a somewhat satisfactory effect in reducing viruses, but it wasn’t possible to determine whether they were totally inactivated, since the heat didn’t reach levels for inactivation

  • Method No.2, steaming the gloves inside a Heat Protection Bag, showed that 99.99% of the viruses of interest were inactivated

  • Please note that:
  • Our steamers and Heat Protection Bags are originally not designed to be used by consumers the way they were used during the experiment made by RISE. However, as proven in method 2, steam can actually inactivate viruses.

  • After one minute of steaming in the closed Heat Protection Bag the steam temperature in the heat protection bag will be around 100°C. Not all clothes and materials tolerate this heat. Before steaming, make sure that your garment can withstand this heat

  • Important: If choosing to use the products as in the experiment that is at the individual’s own risk. Hot steam may come out of the heat protection bag. If you have a glove at home, we recommend you carry it on the hand that presses the steaming button, in order to prevent yourself from getting burned by the steam

You can download the whole RISE study here.

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