What Is Electrostatic Disinfection?
Electrostatic disinfection is the process carried out using an electrostatic applicator, which places a negative charge on the disinfecting solution as the solution exits the applicator’s nozzle.
Charged molecules tend to repel each other, which means they would try to keep an even distance from one another.
However, the molecules get attracted to the surface they are sprayed on. Disinfectants with charged molecules have greater strength than gravity.
This allows them to quickly target grime, dust, and other particles and pathogens on a surface.
The science behind electrostatic disinfection is detailed.
However, the concept can be simply understood as charging a disinfectant solution so that it sticks electromagnetically to the applied surface.
The charged solution provides a 3600 comprehensive coverage.
Surfaces in most cases tend to be neutral. Hence, when a disinfectant is charged negatively by an electrostatic disinfecting system, it readily gets attracted to the surface with the lower polarity.
This is on the lines of Coulomb’s Law. In fact, Coulomb’s Law is how the automotive industry has advanced its spraying technology to accurately paint cars.
What’s It Used For?
Electrostatic sprayers can be used on all types of surfaces wherever you currently disinfect or sanitize.
The sprayers tend to cover large surfaces in a matter of minutes. This makes them ideal for public restrooms, school classrooms, kitchens, cafeterias, offices, equipment rooms, and vehicles.
Wiping is not required regularly since surfaces are coated evenly. However, you would need periodic polishing to get rid of any streaking.
Electrostatic spray technology can be customized to fit your facility’s needs.
Many facilities are opting for these sprayers as a substitute for manual disinfecting methods, such as trigger sprays and wipes.
The technology offers a better level of comprehensive surface coverage than standard cleaning.
These are a few industries where electrostatic cleaning can come in useful:
- Medical: Waiting rooms, doctor’s offices, surgical theaters, and examination areas
- Education: Cafeterias, classrooms, gyms, buses, and locker rooms
- Catering: Restaurants, industrial kitchens, and vehicles
- Corporate: Cubicles, office reception area, bathrooms, and boardrooms
- Hospitality: Reception areas, hotel rooms, gyms, dining rooms, pool facilities
Types of Electrostatic Sprayer Systems
Electrostatic sprayers are of several different kinds. You must understand the pros and cons of each to find one that is best suited to your commercial real estate needs.
You need to make sure you evaluate the electrostatic cleaning system based on safety, ease of use, and reliability.
Sprayer systems are available as handheld sprayers, rolling cart systems, and backpack sprayers.
Backpack model and handheld sprayers offer the operator increased flexibility.
However, they can be quite heavy when filled with disinfectant.
Several sprayers use battery power for imparting a charge on liquids.
Others may use a cord for drawing power from standard outlet plugs.
Cords provide consistent power even though they may pose an additional challenge.
Droplet charging systems tend to offer better system performance.
Batteries in an electrostatic system may not be powerful enough to provide the performance required for covering large areas.
There are several other inherent benefits of a corded system that provide superior performance.
For instance, electrostatic sprayers with outlet power may offer air compressors.
These can reduce the blowback that comes with pushing disinfectant liquid away from the operator.
Battery-powered sprayers don’t usually contain air compressors.
They are closely related to trigger sprayers in terms of surface wrap and coverage.
Responsible sprayer manufacturers conduct various system testing by pairing the equipment with different types of disinfectant solutions and personal protective equipment (PPE).
One should also make sure the sprayer is certified by any nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL) for electrical safety.
How Does an Electrostatic Disinfection Work?
Electrostatic disinfection sprayers charge liquids, whether they are sanitizers, cleaners, or disinfectants.
This is done as the liquid is passing through the sprayer nozzle.
The solution gets charged negatively with molecules that begin to repel each other and actively try seeking surfaces of different polarity.
The molecules stick to the surface and wrap dust or debris particles evenly on all sides.
This results in the disinfectant or the sanitizer evenly coating the sprayed object.
Electrostatic disinfectant is highly useful in cleaning hard-to-reach surfaces, which are usually missed during manual cleaning.
The technology also removes the problem of liquid pooling which is often prevalent in trigger sprayer cleaning systems.
The cleaning staff simply has to point and spray the nozzle to take care of hard-to-reach places or awkwardly shaped objects.
The equipment sprays out a mist that evenly coats surfaces and envelops the objects.
This is possible even when the mist is sprayed from just one side.
The sanitizing agent gets to work as soon as the mist is applied which works towards disinfecting the surface.
This is one of the reasons why electrostatic sprays are an excellent solution for contaminant and germ-ridden spaces.
Cleaning Technique and Time Taken
The cleaning technique and the overall time taken depends on the size of the area being disinfected, as well as the type of area.
The use of an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer can reduce disinfection time by up to 40%.
Average Kill Time
It is important application instructions for the disinfectant being utilized be adhered to meet the kill claims.
Generally, disinfectant solutions take about 4 minutes to sanitize an area. You should be ready to use the facility after that.
Results are only as effective as the disinfectant solution used, along with the proper application.
This information should be taken into account while assessing the frequency of cleaning and the type of sanitization solution used.
Certain workplaces, such as schools, hospitals, and gyms that could get exposed to pathogens on a routine basis, benefit from daily cleaning.
At the same time, other offices and businesses can disinfect their premises once a week.
There are various electrostatic sprayer disinfectants available in the market.
You should consult with a reputed and professional cleaning company about selecting the right products depending on your specific needs and preferences.
Results are only as effective as the cleaning and disinfectant solution used.
Electrostatic disinfection solutions do not create a protective barrier on the surface.
The results only include immediate sanitization and destruction of any unwanted pathogens on the treated surface.
Electrostatic sprayers cannot keep surfaces from getting infected again.
Besides, certain electrostatic disinfection solutions may leave a light layer of residue.
Make sure the label instructions are followed for correct usage and dwell time of the disinfectant.
How Effective Is Electrostatic Disinfection?
Harmful pathogens, like viruses, bacteria, and germs can survive can surfaces for days on end.
In fact, they can potentially double their population in less than 20 minutes given the right conditions.
This provides ample time for cross-contamination between surfaces.
Conventional disinfecting and cleaning may do a fine job of managing cleanliness on common touchpoints, but they fail miserably when it comes to managing microbiological loads.
The evolutionary flexibility of pathogens doesn’t help matters along.
This is why commercial spaces require new strategies and cleaning methods to manage microbial load and cross-contamination.
Electrostatic disinfection systems help in providing a broad-spectrum approach for disinfecting multiple surface areas at the same time.
The unique sanitization approach can tackle whole rooms in a fraction of the time.
Electrostatic technology for dispensing cleaning solutions is significantly more efficient as compared to traditional spray systems.
You can ensure an even coating of the spray that covers all surfaces completely without leaving a sticky residue.
Several tests have reported that misting using an electrostatic sprayer is ten times more effective as opposed to conventional cleaning methods.
Also, the efficacy of an electrostatic sprayer doesn’t stop with the distribution.
You can easily reach hard-to-access spaces that are commonly missed by conventional cleaning methods.
Your cleaners can easily access awkwardly shaped objects, like crannies, leg joints, cable grommets, and more.
You can use an electrostatic sprayer to effectively and safely clean all types of businesses and building including:
- Assisted living facilities
- Restaurants, kitchens, and food processing plants
- Hotels, and more
It’s not surprising an increasing number of commercial facilities and properties are turning towards electrostatic sprayers as well for ensuring the areas remain as clean and sanitized as possible.
What are the benefits of electrostatic cleaning?
Electrostatic sprayers offer several benefits besides being an efficient method of sanitizing large spaces from school cafeterias to open-plan offices. These are:
1. Can Improve Cleaning By 90%
It can be challenging to clean large spaces if those areas include different types of surfaces that are difficult to disinfect.
Conventional trigger sprays and wipe systems are highly effective but require a significant amount of effort.
They are also open to human errors and missed surfaces.
However, comprehensive and regular disinfection with an electrostatic spray technology can help in reducing the spread of pathogens and other infections.
This is one of the reasons why an increasing number of corporates, hospitals, businesses, and other commercial spaces are using electrostatic spray disinfection.
2. Environmentally friendly
Traditional cleaning involves the application of a disinfection solution which is then manually spread across the targeted surface. The method is prone to missed surfaces or over-spraying.
Electrostatic sprayers result in every surface being evenly coated by cleaning products.
This means you get to use only the required amount of sanitizing solution.
Electrostatic sprayers have a less environmental impact because of reduced chemical wastage.
Less run-off and byproducts are escaping into the environment.
You should consider switching to an electrostatic sprayer if your business prides itself on going green.
Electrostatic cleaning comes out to be more cost-effective in the long run as opposed to regular cleaning of surfaces.
The less disinfecting solution is utilized and can take care of more surface areas in a shorter span of time.
Electrostatic disinfection allows reduction of labor costs versus manually disinfecting or wiping.
How Safe Is Electrostatic Disinfection?
Electrostatic disinfection is a safe form of technology.
It can be used safely around electronics, such as monitors, keyboards, and laptops.
However, it is important to ensure the cleaning solution is not directly misted on the electronics.
The cleaning method is safe for operators as well as bystanders.
However, it really depends on the type and strength of the cleaning solution used in the sprayer to ascertain potential effects.
Most disinfecting chemicals utilized in electrostatic cleaning are non-toxic and non-caustic in nature.
It is important to always use the recommended cleaning disinfecting solution as intended and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for electrostatic cleaning:
- Dust/mist mask
- Eye protection
- Hand coverings
- Manufacturer recommendations
The discharge from a sprayer when applied correctly comes out as highly targeted. There is less misting as compared to traditional sprayers.
How Much Does It Cost?
Electrostatic cleaning is among the more effective ways of lowering infection rates, reducing costs, and creating a healthier environment.
Electrostatic sprayers are priced from $1000 – 1,500 for low-end handheld battery-operated sprayers while larger models cost around $5,000.
The cleaning solution you use and the size and layout of the space will determine the right electrostatic sprayer.
There are numerous different models on the market.
Experienced, trained cleaning professionals would know the best unit for specific commercial applications.
Engaging a facility or janitorial contractor to provide electrostatic spraying provides the best results as they are fully trained on the technology, equipment, and disinfectants to best suit your corporate requirements.
The cost to perform electrostatic disinfection is generally assessed on a per-square-foot basis.
Can Electrostatic Sprayers Be Used For COVID-19?
Electrostatic cleaning equipment is suitable for all surfaces where a disinfectant solution can work towards killing pathogens, including effective in killing the novel coronavirus as well.
However, the results can greatly depend on the type of sanitizing solution used.
Electrostatic sprayers can only ensure that a particular surface gets coated by the disinfectant evenly.
The EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19, often referred to as List N, outlines disinfectants effective to combat COVID-19.
Most disinfectant manufacturers recommend their product be left wet to dry naturally as opposed to wiping it away.
Experts claim electrostatic cleaning to be one of the most effective methods of removing coronavirus from a surface because it ensures even coating of the targeted surface.
It also reaches all the hard-to-access surfaces and awkwardly shaped objects.
There is no wiping or rubbing involved in electrostatic cleaning.
This helps in minimizing direct contact of cleaning staff with multiple surfaces and also reduces the risk of cross-contamination.
Several companies are turning to electrostatic cleaning methods in the covid lockdown era for managing infection control.
Is Electrostatic Spray Disinfection Right For My Business?
Workplaces in most industries can benefit from applying electrostatic cleaning methods.
This can be part of regular cleaning or periodic deep clean routines, with a focus on heavy use and high traffic areas.
Electrostatic cleaning may seem like an unnecessary or a pricey technology, but the method is effective and efficient.
Commercial facility and property managers along with their employees, tenants, and guests have become more concerned and aware of methods to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The main features of electrostatic spray cleaning making it a great choice for coronavirus disinfection include:
- Electrostatic cleaning reduces the time taken to disinfect and cover all targeted surfaces by 40% as opposed to conventional methods
- Electrostatic disinfection controls the spread of pathogens and viruses, including HIV, MRSA, coronavirus, and influenza
- The method results in a more even application of chemicals. It helps in eliminating the risk of overuse.
- Prevents any financial and environmental burdens associated with healthcare infections.
Electrostatic disinfection cleaning may also significantly improve the morale of those who work in the facility or property, as well as the cleanliness reputation of the commercial asset.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is electrostatic spraying better than fogging or misting?
Electrostatic technology offers superior coverage as compared to any other cleaning technology.
The sprayer, if properly utilized, can completely cover all surfaces and provide 100% disinfection.
The technology is similar to the powder coating used by sprayers in the automotive industry.
Fogging and misting have a glaring disadvantage of the liquid falling wherever gravity pulls.
Electrostatic sprayers negatively charge the disinfectant solution to make sure they latch onto the particles on the targeted surface.
Should I dust before an electrostatic cleaning?
You should remove any visible grease, spills, or dust that is sticking to the surface before spraying with electrostatic disinfection.
Remember, electrostatic technology disinfects surfaces, it does not clean up spills or other substances already on surfaces.
Why is electrostatic cleaning better?
Electrostatic cleaning is completely touch-free and allows for 100% disinfection of all targeted surface areas.
The technology works towards controlled application, which means there is no overuse or over-spraying involved.
It is also faster as compared to other cleaning methods and covers up to 3 times more surface area than other methods.
Engage Servi-Tek Facility Solutions for your Electrostatic Disinfection Needs
Servi-Tek Facility Solutions specializes in commercial cleaning and janitorial services for businesses and facilities of all types, including industrial, retail, medical office, educational, healthcare, hospitality, mixed-use, and office.
We are the most effective service provider of electrostatic disinfection for your commercial facility or property by employing the best training, equipment, and disinfectants to meet our client’s specific requirements.
Contact us today to start your partnership with Servi-Tek.