Since the beginning of the health crisis, consumer habits have changed. More attentive to their home’s hygiene, in which they spend more time, they are looking for devices to disinfect their home. A need that appliance manufacturers were quick to seize.
Confinements, curfews, the development of telework, the closure of cultural sites… As a result of the health crisis, the Indian are spending more time at home. The pandemic has also given rise to an awareness of the importance of home hygiene. Thus, many studies highlight the increased attention paid to cleaning floors, washing laundry, or even indoor air quality.
For example, according to recent surveys carried out by Gifam (the grouping of brands of appliances for the home), 55% of Indian people say they are more concerned about the overall cleanliness of their homes, and 52% have the same concerns about the hygiene of their clothes and linen.
Steam and UV come home. It didn’t take much for appliance manufacturers to develop appliances to meet these new needs.
The most daring are going straight into the development of devices, sometimes atypical, dedicated to disinfection. Two technologies are preferred to fight viruses, bacteria and germs: steam on the one hand (already used for a long time for soil maintenance or washing machines to eliminate allergens) and UV-C (also called ultraviolet).
The latter technology, which has been more reserved for disinfection in industrial settings or hospitals, tends to integrate consumer devices.
Using UV-C to disinfect the home: Caution
It is highly recommended to limit yourself to the adoption of devices developed for the general public, which meet strict safety standards to protect users. Because if misused, this technology can present certain dangers (especially for the eyes and skin). On the Internet, it is possible to obtain devices normally intended for the professional environment (disinfection of public places or offices); even with protections, their use is not recommended in a domestic setting.
An object disinfection booth at Beko
Among the household appliance brands responding to this new need for hygiene, Beko is a case in case. In record time, the manufacturer has developed a complete range called HygieneShield, specifically dedicated to disinfection. According to Beko, tested and certified by an independent laboratory, it eliminates 99% of bacteria and viruses using steam and UV-C.
It is a range of different devices:
- a combined refrigerator equipped with a compartment for disinfecting groceries (in their original packaging) using UV rays. The disinfection cycle lasts about 40 minutes. The rest of the time, this location can be used as a drawer to store meat, fish or deli meats (from 0 to 3oC);
- a tumble dryer that uses steam and UV (in the drum) to disinfect clothes. Two programs are dedicated to this task;
- a drying washer and washing machine that uses a flow of warm air to disinfect without using water or chemicals ;
- Finally, the most atypical product in the range is probably the disinfection centre.
This amazing little cabin has the same chassis as a microwave oven. It uses both UV-C and what Beko calls “assisted heat.” His role? Disinfect all personal items brought back from the outside, and all those that pass from hand to hand in the family: from the races’ packaging, through the keys, the smartphone, the wallet or the remote controls. It can also be used to sterilize baby bottles, dowsers or baby toys… It has a touch screen and 4 programs that last about 20 to 40 minutes. His price? 299 euros.
- This disinfection center remains relatively compact (31.5 x 50.5 x 39 cm);
- A device really aimed at the general public that Beko has developed by taking care to ensure the safety of users;
- Reassuring for people who are potentially in contact with germs (think hospital staff, caregivers, life support workers,…);
- One more device to “fit” in the house, which is not necessarily easy;
- Will we keep the habit of disinfecting our objects after the pandemic?
Steam defrosters that disinfect textiles
The disinfectant and antibacterial virtues of steam have already been used for a long time in many household appliances (washing machine, tumble dryer, steam plant, soil maintenance, etc.). But some manufacturers have developed steam defrosters specially adapted for disinfection.
This is the case of the Swiss brand Laurastar, which presents above all its Iggi defroster as a “steam purifier”.
It uses the “hygienic steam” technology developed by Laurastar (DMS for “Dry Microfine Steam”) long before the pandemic. It is a dry vapour, which does not burn and leaves the device very quickly in large quantities. This speed and volume allow steam to penetrate the core of textile fibres, defrosting and eliminating mites (100%), microbes and bacteria (up to 99.99%).
The small Iggi takes a particular shape: it is a compact and handy defroster whose head makes it easy to target small objects. Laurastar recommends using it to disinfect baby objects, motorcycle helmets, glasses, fabric masks, door handles… Naturally, it can also be used to refresh clothes or linens (curtains, sofas, cushions, etc.), give them back their hold, eliminate odours and eliminate creases. It is sold for 199 euros.
- It is light and handy;
- Perfectly suited to cleaning and disinfecting small everyday objects;
- Its dry steam does not wet textiles;
- Also useful for allergy sufferers;
- With its small tank (80 ml), it must be recharged often, especially if you want to treat large parts (a coat, a sofa, a mattress…);
- Even if it is presented as nomadic, it retains a thread and must be connected to an area;
- Its thin head does not seem very practical for more conventional defrosting tasks.
Note that Calor is soon (in March) launching a defroster with the same vocation. The Cube is a high-pressure defroster that promises to sanitize textiles by eliminating up to 99.99% of viruses and bacteria, thanks to a vapour at 100oC that penetrates directly into the core of the fibres. With its base equipped with a 1.1-litre tank to lay next to you, it is mobile to the extent that it can be moved around the house but not frankly nomadic. On the other hand, it has a small head that resembles that of an iron: in addition to sanitizing, it allows to defrost and even iron. It will be sold for 250 euros.
Alternatively, for linen and clothing free of allergens and bacteria, think of washing machines and tumble dryers equipped with steam functions.
There are now many of them on the market.