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Healthy Environments

What Is Electrostatic Disinfection?

Electrostatic disinfection uses a specialized sprayer to ensure the most complete disinfecting coverage possible. Electrostatic sprayers take the disinfectant solution inside of them and combine them with air, then use an electrode inside the sprayer nozzle to give them an electric charge. Once charged, the disinfectant is sprayed onto surfaces. The positively charged disinfectant bonds with any negatively charged surface. This creates a more even and complete coat of disinfectant, helping to kill any pathogens on the surface.

The positively charged molecules in the spray repel each other, helping the spray cover its target thoroughly and completely. They also stick to the surface they’re applied to by virtue of the electric charges drawing them together.

This technology is tried, and true, and other industries have used it for decades. Electrostatic spray technology is used to paint cars, making sure that the paint is applied evenly in even the toughest places to reach. This electrostatic technology has been applied to disinfecting as well, providing another option that can evenly and thoroughly apply disinfectant to surfaces.

How Does Electrostatic Disinfection Work?

The electrostatic sprayer itself doesn’t disinfect all on its own. It has to be filled with a disinfectant. But once you do that, it can help the spray reach places it could never reach on its own. The positive charge causes the spray to strongly adhere to any surface its sprayed on, ensuring a thorough coat. Electrostatic sprayers are far more efficient than a spray bottle or a cloth when applied by a professional. And the coverage that they provide is much less prone to human error than other methods. Because of the way the spray wraps around and coats surfaces, it’s possible to disinfect areas that no other method can reach.

Is Electrostatic Cleaning Effective?

Electrostatic sprayer cleaning is very effective, as long as an appropriate disinfectant is used with it. There’s no other cleaning method that can coat surfaces so evenly or so completely. Because the disinfectant is ionically charged and sticks to the target, less disinfectant is wasted. With a typical spray bottle, you lose a lot of disinfectant to waste. Spray drifts from the target and settles in places that aren’t helpful. Electrostatic cleaning means you’re never paying to spray the air.

An electrostatic sprayer can completely cover even the most hard-to-reach nooks and crannies with disinfectant. It can fully disinfect a shared terminal keyboard in a high-traffic area. It can catch bacterial colonies that may be hiding in the curves of a walker or a wheelchair. It can also spray larger surface areas, secure in knowing that the electrostatic spray will provide wide, complete coverage. And not only can it achieve greater coverage, but it can do so in less time, saving effort and money even as it gets better results.

Of course, disinfecting isn’t as effective when done by itself. Cleaning and disinfecting together are the best way to keep a work environment safe from the spread of disease. Disinfecting an unclean surface by itself isn’t effective. It destroys bacteria on the surface layer, but bacteria and viruses under the top layer of dirt or grime can survive. Proper procedures can help you see the best results from the effort that you put in to cleaning and disinfecting and hiring trained professionals can help ensure that those procedures are followed.

What Are the Benefits of Electrostatic Disinfection Over Other Methods?

Electrostatic spray technology makes the cleaning process smoother in a lot of ways. Some of these are just matters of convenience, but others can make your cleaning process safer and more comprehensive. Some of these benefits include:

  • Less time and effort for greater disinfectant coverage of large areas
  • Thorough disinfecting of places that are hard to reach (or impossible) with other methods
  • Controlling and preventing of the spread of viruses like influenza, HIV, MRSA, COVID-19, and others (when an appropriate disinfectant is used)
  • Tighter control over where the spray goes means less waste and less chance of overusing your disinfectant
  • The even layer of spray disinfects and dries without needing to be wiped off, which means your cleaning team can disinfect surfaces without ever having to touch them

And of course, you get all of the protection that comes with disinfecting in general:

  • Decreased risk of liability because someone got sick at your place of business
  • Decreased risk of workplace illness creating service disruptions
  • Increased trust from customers, who know that you care enough to invest in their well-being
  • Increased trust from employees who see you looking out for them

Is Electrostatic Cleaning a Good Option for Your Business?

Electrostatic disinfection is a great option for any business with high-traffic areas, high-touch equipment, lots of surface area requiring disinfection, and lots of little nooks and crannies that need to be disinfected.

In fairness, that describes most businesses. If you think you would see benefits, you’re probably right. But here are some examples of places that can particularly benefit from disinfecting with an electrostatic sprayer:

  • Schools
  • Office complexes
  • Doctors’ offices, hospitals, outpatient centers, and other medical facilities
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Commercial kitchens and restaurants
  • Transit such as subway cars and airplanes

Any place of business where having a sanitary environment is important, or any workplace where there’s equipment like computer keyboards that have lots of places for germs to hide, can benefit from disinfecting with an electrostatic sprayer.

The disinfectants used in electrostatic spray are safe for operators, and for people present while spraying. After the disinfectant has dried, the space is safe for people and animals alike.

Electrostatic sprays are safe to use around surfaces like wood and electronics, but you shouldn’t spray them directly onto those surfaces without spot-testing them first. Since these sprays contain water, you don’t want them getting inside computer towers, for example.

Of course, as effective as electrostatic spraying can be, it’s only as useful as the disinfectant inside of it. If you want to protect your workplace from emerging diseases, it’s important to use a disinfectant that’s approved by the EPA to do so. ServiceMaster Clean uses high-quality, EPA-registered disinfectants that are strong enough that the EPA has approved them as a first line of defense—even against viruses so new we don’t know anything about them yet. These same disinfectants helped us combat SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, right as the disease was first emerging, and they will continue to help us fight it and any other disease that arises in the future.

Will Electrostatic Disinfection Effectively Disinfect Surfaces Against COVID-19?

Protecting your business from SARS-CoV-2 is serious work, and it’s incredibly important work. One of the most important parts of that work is prevention. Steps like mandating masks and educating your employees on appropriate hand washing procedures go a long way.

Another important piece is to use disinfectants that are strong enough to tackle it. Electrostatic spray disinfection can play an incredibly important part in helping to fight COVID-19. It can cover large swaths of your high-traffic areas quickly, and electrostatic spray can reach places no other disinfecting tool can. And since the spray applies evenly and dries on its own, cleaning crews can disinfect without ever touching the surfaces they’re disinfecting. That means there’s little to no risk of your cleaning crew inadvertently spreading the germs they’re trying to fight.

Whether your business needs to fight germs in keyboards, disinfecting hospital rooms, or simply keeping spaces like elevators and meeting rooms free of SARS-CoV-2, an electrostatic sprayer can be a powerful tool for disinfecting.

Keeping Areas Clean and Sanitized for Your Business

The best tools, the best practices, and the best expertise come with hiring professionals to clean and disinfect your business. Electrostatic cleaning may not be available at every location, but every ServiceMaster Clean location is equipped with cutting-edge tools and the know-how they need to keep your business, your employees, and your customers or clients safe and protected.

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