Steam cleaners are considered a ‘green’ form of cleaning since they require no chemicals but only heat and water to disinfect, deodorize, and sanitize surfaces.
However, that also means you’ll be left with no fragrance after cleaning, and you may be tempted to add something extra that makes the clean surface nose-friendly. Likewise, you may think about adding a cleaning solution to enhance the machine’s cleaning abilities.
Lysol is a commonplace cleaning product used by most households in America and around the world. One of the questions we’ve received frequently from our customers is, “Can I use Lysol in a steam cleaner?”
In this article, we answer the question and explain several concepts about using steam cleaners safely to avoid damage. Before we delve into more concepts, let’s answer the question straightforwardly in the following section.
Can You Use Lysol in a Steam Cleaner?
It’s not safe to use Lysol in a steam cleaner unless it’s recommended by the manufacturer. You may cause pollution, damage the machine or void its warranty in the process.
What Is Lysol?
Lysol is a brand of American cleaning and disinfecting products that is marketed to be 99.9% effective at eliminating viruses and bacteria; preventing and controlling mold and mildew; sanitizing soft surfaces, and more.
It’s recommended for use in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. While there are several versions of Lysol, the primary ingredient for the cleaning and disinfecting solutions is benzalkonium chloride.
How The Steam Mop Works
Traditionally, steam mops are made to work with distilled water alone. The user adds water to the machine’s reservoir, plugs it in, and leaves the water heat up to the recommended temperature, depending on the target material, virus, bacteria, and other factors. Upon pulling the trigger, the steam cleaner will release hit but low-moisture vapor through the nozzle, brush, or other attachments.
This vapor, due to its high temperatures, loosens dirt and kills a wide range of microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. Coupled with pressure, the results are often desirable.
For steamers with vacuums, the loosened dirt and dead organisms that are loosened are then sucked back into the machine, rendering the surface clean. After cleaning, the dry vapor dries quickly, eliminating any need of waiting for longer drying hours.
Potential Effects of Lysol on Your Steam Cleaning Machine And House
- While Lysol disinfectant is effective at killing bacteria and viruses, it becomes extremely dangerous when heated. Its main ingredient, benzalkonium chloride, decomposes upon heating to produce toxic and corrosive fumes like ammonia and chlorine. Such chemicals are dangerous when inhaled, and can be flammable.
- Some components of Lysol can make high-pressure steam cleaners explode. They can also destroy the machine’s heating element.
- Again, Lysol also contains powerful elements that can destroy the rubber and plastic materials inside your steam cleaner. This means that the chemical will void the warranty of your steam cleaner.
How To Use Lysol With A Steam Cleaner
The fact that Lysol can’t be used inside your steam cleaner doesn’t rule out the possibility of using it before or after steam cleaning your house. Use the following steps to incorporate Lysol into your steam cleaning routine:
- Step 1: – Spray the target surface with Lysol before the actual steam cleaning process. Then, let it rest for about 15 minutes.
- Step 2: – Within the 15 minutes above, fill your machine’s water reservoir with clean water and plug it into heat to the recommended temperature. Add any attachments, if necessary.
- Step 3: – Steam clean the surface normally, ensuring that you cover every area in a distinct pattern. Let the surface rest for another 20 minutes.
- Step 4: – Again, disinfect the surface using Lysol. This is meant to kill any residual microorganisms. Lastly, wipe the surface clean using a dry piece of cloth.
What Can You Put in A Steam Cleaner To Leave Behind A Pleasant Smell?
A steam cleaner uses hot water vapor to clean and sanitize surfaces but most people do not like the fact that it leaves their surfaces without a good smell. The question is, “What can you put in your steam cleaner to make it smell good?” We recommend the following options:
1. The Hoover Disinfecting Additive
This disinfecting additive is originally made by Hoover for its range of steam cleaners, though it’s safe to use with other steam cleaners, too. It enhances the machine’s sanitizing capabilities and helps in preventing mold and mildew from hard surfaces. However, it doesn’t produce any fragrance.
2. The Bissell Eucalyptus Additive
The Bissell Eucalyptus Mint scented Demineralized Water is recommended for use with the Bissell brand of steam mop machines. Its main purpose is to leave behind a eucalyptus mint fragrance after steam cleaning.
To use it, detach the machine’s water tank, remove its cap and fill it with water. Then, add the Bissell Eucalyptus product as recommended by the manufacturer and shake well so that they mix. Return the tank, heat the water to the recommended temperatures, and start the steam cleaning process.
The Bottom Line
It’s now clear that using Lysol in a steam cleaning machine is dangerous. Steam cleaners work best with clean water alone. If not recommended, it’s extremely dangerous to add anything other than water to the machine’s reservoir as you may destroy the machine, void its warranty, or pollute the air.
However, there are at least two recommended products that can be used with some steam cleaners. So, stay careful and be safe.