Remove mold with steam cleaner - is that even possible?

Many rely on the temperature sensitivity of the mold, and fight it with the steam cleaner. Whether this is possible and effective, which possible objections there are, and where the problems lie, will be discussed in detail in this article.

Sensitivity of the mold

Mold is a living thing as a mushroom. This means that it can only exist under certain environmental conditions. In general, however, mold is a very tenacious life form, individual molds can be incredibly resistant.

Mushroom and spores

You must also distinguish between the mushroom mycelium (the visible fungus) and the mold spores (practically the "seed" of the fungus, through which it can multiply and spread). Especially the spores are particularly resistant and can survive the most adverse conditions.

Necessary temperature for mold killing

In order to kill mold fungi effectively, relatively high temperatures are necessary. As a rule, the temperature must be well above 50° C in all areas for several minutes to allow fungi to die. Some molds can even survive temperatures up to 70° C. To kill spores, even higher temperatures are required in most species.


The temperatures must act evenly on the entire fungus. The exposure time is specified as at least 3-4 minutes, until the fungus dies. Whether this can be achieved with a steam cleaner is questionable.

Possible problems with the steam cleaner

Low efficiency

Steam cleaners bring the specified high temperature only a short time behind the outlet nozzle. A large-scale test at Stiftung Warentest of several steam cleaner models has shown that the outlet temperature in practice is barely sufficient to effectively kill bacteria and germs or even mold fungi.


The temperature (heat) must completely penetrate the fungus in order to be able to kill it. This is not guaranteed in many cases with the steam cleaner. In order to achieve and maintain a constant high temperature, other heat sources are much better suited (blowtorch).

Small areas and columns

In all tests of steam cleaners, small areas, gaps and joints have been identified as problem areas. But it is there that mold fungi prefer to settle and find a good habitat. If it does not succeed in destroying a mold mushroom there as well, the mold has not been destroyed.


The temperature of the steam cleaner is only generated on a very small area. In order to be able to kill the mold, the outlet nozzle must therefore be kept at a point for at least 3 to 5 minutes. Only then can the nearest point of mold infestation be dealt with. That does not seem very practical.


Steam cleaners moisturize the material and also the fungus, providing it with even vital moisture for him. If you do not succeed in killing the fungus, you have created an even more fertile ground for it through the treatment. Even spores that may not have been killed can develop well in these areas.

Heat-sensitive components

Tile joints are only of limited use for the use of the steam cleaner because the high humidity also causes the cement to be washed out of the joints. Thus, the gap dissolves over time and can be friable. Even with silicone joints you should be more careful with great heat.

Tips & Tricks

If you want to remove mold only superficially, better home remedies are better. They are surprisingly effective, environmentally friendly and not harmful to health.

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