Electrostatic spray coating is not a new technology. It has been around in the manufacturing field since 1940, where it was recognized to be the best way to quickly apply an even coat of liquid to almost any surface. Recently, commercial cleaning companies have begun using electrostatic sprayers as a disinfectant distribution method. With the flu season affecting 30-45 million Americans every year, and now with the additional risk posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus, more and more companies are relying on electrostatic technology to ensure their workplaces are clean and sanitized, and their workforce is protected.
What are electrostatic sprayers and how do they work?
Electrostatic sprayers resemble typical liquid spray dispensers, and are available in a variety of styles, from handheld or backpack battery operated sprayers to large roller carts capable of covering tens of thousands of square feet every hour.
Whatever the design, all electrostatic sprayers work according to the same principle: they charge the liquids they dispense as they pass through the nozzle. Those charged droplets then repel one another and cling to environmental surfaces, creating an even coating that is efficiently and effectively applied.
Think of the particles like tiny magnets. Most surfaces in a workspace have a negative charge, because they are naturally grounded. Electrostatic sprayers give the vapor particles a positive charge, so they are attracted to the negatively charged surfaces in the room. They are also repelled by each other, the same way two north magnetic poles of a magnet repel one another. That means when the positively charged disinfectant is sprayed into a room, it clings to the surfaces with an even distribution.
What are the benefits of electrostatic cleaning?
As well as being an efficient method of cleaning large spaces, from open plan offices to school cafeterias, electrostatic sprayers have a number of other benefits.
Reduced chemical waste
Traditional cleaning relies on the application of disinfectant that is then manually spread across the surfaces to be cleaned. This method leads to areas being oversprayed or missed, and often both. With electrostatic sprayers, every surface gets an even coating of cleaning products, meaning you only use as much as is truly necessary.
Less cleaning products used means less environmental impact. The reduced waste associated with electrostatic sprayers results in less run-off or byproduct getting into the local ecosystem. If your business prides itself on its green credentials, or wants to do more to help the environment, switching to electrostatic sprayers for cleaning is a good move.
There are several ways electrostatic cleaning can save you money on your regular cleaning service. Not only does this method use less cleaning solution, it’s also significantly faster than traditional cleaning methods. No manual wiping or polishing is required.
Is electrostatic cleaning effective?
Using electrostatic technology to dispense cleaning solutions is significantly more effective than using traditional sprayers, by ensuring an even coating and total coverage of all surfaces, with less waste and less drift. Tests have shown that this method of dispensing fluids can be up to ten times as efficient as conventional cleaning methods.
Effectivity doesn’t end with distribution. Using electrostatic sprayers means even hard to reach areas and those commonly missed by traditional cleaning methods are equally cleaned and disinfected. Think of a typical office desk, and all the places where dirt and germs can accumulate, and how hard they are to clean. From the underside of the desk to the nooks and crannies around leg joints and cable grommets, electrostatic sprayers cover the areas your regular cleaners might miss.
Electrostatic sprayers are used to safely and effectively clean all kinds of buildings and businesses, including:
Restaurants, kitchens, and food processing plants
Assisted living facilities
Medical offices and surgical facilities are also turning to electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant in order to ensure they are as clean and sanitized as possible.
ELECTROSTATIC CLEANING SOLUTIONS
Doctor’s offices, waiting rooms, examination areas, surgical theaters
School classrooms, cafeterias, locker rooms, gyms, buses
Industrial kitchens, restaurants, vehicles
Hotel rooms, reception areas, dining rooms, gyms, pool facilities
Office reception areas, cubicles, boardrooms, bathrooms
Electrostatic disinfection costs
The cost to purchase an electrostatic cleaning machine is comparable with the price of other commercial cleaning equipment. At the low end, handheld, battery operated sprayers are available for approximately $1500, while larger models cost closer to $5000. Finding the right electrostatic sprayer for your business will depend on the size and layout of the workspace, as well as the cleaning solution you use.
Types of electrostatic sprayers
Handheld, battery operated, <10oz tank, coverage approx. 5000sqft/hr
Backpack, battery operated, 1gal tank, coverage approx. 55,000sqft/hr
Roller cart, battery or mains operated, 1-5gal tank, coverage approx. 55,000sqft/hr
An investment in electrostatic cleaning equipment could pay for itself within weeks. One company reports a 40 percent reduction in cleaning times when using an electrostatic sprayer vs. conventional cleaning methods, meaning you’ll save money on staffing costs as well as cleaning solutions and materials.
How long does electrostatic cleaning last?
As with all kinds of cleaning and disinfection treatments, they will only last as long as the solution that is used. Most electrostatic cleaning solutions don’t provide a protective barrier, meaning there is no ongoing disinfectant or antimicrobial benefit. Electrostatic cleaners are intended to disinfect surfaces on contact, killing any germs, bacteria, or viruses that are on those surfaces at the time of application. It typically cannot prevent reinfection.
You should keep this information in mind when determining how often to use electrostatic cleaning in your business. Some workplaces, such as medical facilities, schools, and gyms, are exposed to many potential pathogens on a daily basis, and benefit from daily electrostatic cleaning. Others, such as closed offices, may only need to be electrostatically disinfected once a week.
There are many types of electrostatic sprayer disinfectant on the market, so be sure to consult with a professional cleaning company about the right product for your needs.
Is electrostatic cleaning safe?
There is always an element of risk involved with aerosolizing any chemical. Electrostatic disinfectant can be inhaled by the cleaning operator and be irritating or even harmful, depending on its chemical composition. That’s why it’s important to always evaluate the specific cleaning solution you use with an electrostatic sprayer, and for the operative to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for electrostatic cleaning
Anything else recommended by the manufacturer
Applied correctly, the discharge from an electrostatic sprayer is highly targeted, with less misting than traditional disinfectant dispensers. While this minimizes the risk to the operator, standard cleaning safety protocol should be followed.
Can electrostatic sprayers be used for COVID-19?
Electrostatic disinfectant sprayers are suitable for treating anything their disinfecting solution can kill, and that includes the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. When cleaning to disinfect your property or workplace against any pathogen, always pay attention to how long the solution needs to remain on a surface before it is guaranteed to work. Many people make the mistake of wiping away disinfectants too quickly, as most need to be in contact with the surface for several minutes at least. Check the label of any cleaning solution before use to find out what it is designed to work on, and how to achieve optimal results.
Electrostatic cleaning for COVID-19 might be more effective than other methods precisely because it ensures an even coating of the cleaning solution across all surfaces, including those that are hard to reach with traditional or manual cleaning methods. Because this method of cleaning doesn’t require any wiping or rubbing in of the solutions, it’s more likely to be left on the surface for long enough to be maximally effective, and electrostatic cleaning also minimizes the direct contact your cleaning staff have with surfaces in your workplace.
Many companies considering reopening after a coronavirus shutdown are turning to electrostatic sprayers for disinfecting their workplaces and managing infection control.
Benefits of electrostatic cleaning include:
Faster, more efficient cleaning
Better coverage of all areas
Reduced labor and materials costs
Minimal contact between cleaning staff and surfaces
Ability to treat almost any workplace or surface in minutes
Is electrostatic cleaning right for your business?
Workplaces in almost every industry can benefit from electrostatic cleaning, either as part of a periodic deep clean or within their regular routine for high-traffic areas and heavy use equipment. While it might seem like a pricy or unnecessary technology, this method of cleaning is often faster and more cost effective than traditional cleaning sprayers.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the general public is becoming more concerned about, and more aware of, how businesses protect their employees and customers by maintaining good cleaning and hygiene practices. Electrostatic cleaning represents the cutting edge of modern cleaning technology, and ensures the best results from almost any cleaning routine.
An initial investment in electrostatic cleaning technology could pay public-facing businesses dividends in increased consumer confidence, and enable workplaces of all kinds to reopen earlier without putting their employees at increased risk from the novel coronavirus, or any other pathogens.
Whatever kind of cleaning service your business needs, reach out to Pro Housekeepers today to find out what our cleaning Pros can do for you.
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