In today’s environment, hoteliers and brands stress cleanliness everywhere inside and outside their property. Most brand- or company-wide protocols include cleaning products that will kill germs and viruses, including coronavirus. Inside the guestroom, the housekeeping staff wipes clean everything from lampposts to the legs of chairs. But, there’s something in the closet that can help fight against harmful microorganisms.
Laurastar, a 40-year-old Swiss company with a U.S. headquarters in Medford, OR, equips its irons and steamers with the capability to produce exclusive dry microfine steam (DMS), which kills 99.9% of viruses (including coronaviruses), bacteria and mites. In fact, the company received official certification from Microchem Laboratory, which confirmed that DMS does, in fact, kill viruses and germs.
DMS has been around since 2017, but its germ and virus-killing ability made Laurastar irons and steamers an important tool against COVID-19.
“Studies and tests were carried out by independent ISO 17025 certified laboratories specializing in analyzing the various types of pathogens that we encounter in our daily lives and that are likely to affect our health,” said Philipp Ueltschi, president, Laurastar U.S. “In 2020, when the pandemic of COVID-19 hit the world, they pushed a little more in the direction of viruses and particularly coronaviruses. Microchem Laboratory accepted to conduct tests on these types of viruses, thus bringing conclusive corroboration that the DMS kills 99.9% of viruses (including coronaviruses), bacteria and mites.
“All together these extensive tests were conducted in Switzerland, Japan and the U.S.,” he continued. “This was a major step forward for Laurastar, leveraging on our expertise of steaming systems and addressing one of the major crises our world is facing, by bringing a safe, reliable and certified solution to the elimination of [COVID-19].”
He noted that since the microorganisms or germs (bacteria, viruses, dust mites, fungi, etc.) are made up of proteins, the heat of the Laurastar DMS causes the deformation (denaturation) of these proteins, which then lose their function and thus become inactive or kills the germs.
“The temperature and time required to inactivate a germ can vary as each organism has its own resistance to heat, but the higher the temperature, the faster it is to inactivate the germ,” said Ueltschi. “Most proteins are denatured at temperatures starting from 41 degrees Celsius. In just five seconds, DMS disinfects textiles and objects naturally and durably without using chemical products, leaving them perfectly dry and allowing little chance for microorganisms to breed. It’s an ideal and eco-responsible way to keep them perfectly pure and clean. This powerful technology is suitable for all materials and surfaces without any harmful effects on human health and the environment.”
Laurastar irons and steamers are guaranteed to produce a perfect result in half the time, treating fabrics gently by delicately plumping them and providing a hygienic effect at the heart of fibers, according to Ueltschi. The steam doesn’t leave clothes wet and works 15 times faster than steam from standard steam generators.
“It’s fast (more than 100 km/h), expansive (1,600 more volume) and hot (more than 150° Celsius),” he said. “Also, as 100% of the water is steamed (i.e. 100% in a gaseous state), the DMS is ‘dry;’ it avoids immediate condensation on contact with the ambient air. The user, therefore, has no risk of burning himself. The fact that it does not leave any moisture on the fabric allows it to plump it up, but also to fix the fibers for a perfectly smooth and durably sanitized textile.”
The most popular item that the company sells to hotels, noted the executive, is the Lift Plus, “especially in combination with our unique steam cart.”
“The portable 3-in-1 (iron, steamer and purify) Laurastar Lift Plus includes a 3D soleplate to help you avoid creases, pulse steam for an optimal amount of steam and has a unique design and exceptional performance,” he added. “Steam, ironing, steaming and purifying becomes easier and much faster.”
Laurastar also manufactures smart irons. An app turns the user’s phone into an ironing coach, giving advice, tips and tricks on how to perfect one’s ironing technique.
“Connected via Bluetooth, the app will also tell you when to service your iron, allow you to buy products through the app or watch instructional videos,” said Ueltschi.
Coming soon to the U.S. is the IGGI steamer, equipped with DMS, which will launch this summer. According to Uelteschi, it is the first hygienic handheld steamer that removes creases from materials and sanitizes clothes, surfaces and objects at the same time.
“Thanks to the DMS steam, but also to its power, this new generation device smooths outfits at high pressure and rejuvenates them and beautifies all textiles, even the most delicate,” he said. “Once switched on, IGGI reaches a temperature of more than 150° Celsius. Once fully operational, its power lasts for some seven minutes at full steam, enough time to purify many objects or clothes and smooth out two to three complete outfits. Placed vertically, it de-wrinkles the laundry efficiently thanks to its constant steam flow.”