As the pandemic progressed, the CDC revealed that infectious pathogens spread more by air than through surface contamination. As a result of the announcement, many facility managers considered trimming back cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting frequencies. Fortunately, BSCs were able to stress the importance of infection prevention programs, touting process improvements learned throughout the year.

The fact is, every facility needs a good cleaning and sanitizing and disinfecting plan, which includes effective application. One of the best application methods for surface disinfectants is through electrostatic sprayers — a popular product since the start of the pandemic. Due to its lower toxicity and hazard profile — and the fact that it doesn’t need to be rinsed when used in everyday concentrations — HOCl is a strong disinfectant option for use in these sprayers.

Fogging has also gained traction since the onset of COVID-19. Part of the reason for the popularity is because the droplet size is so small. It’s recommended to use dry nebulizing fogging at micron sizes below 10. This won’t wet surfaces, but will get into spaces larger droplets from spraying or misting won’t reach.

When using fogging equipment, it’s important to note that even though HOCl is deemed “safer” and “less toxic,” fogging is a process for end of day and overnight disinfecting. It should not be completed when people are in the vicinity.

Over time, all products evolve and change. The evolution of chemicals are designed to do more, do it better, faster, safer and for less money. Products deemed more hazardous today didn’t necessarily start that way. Some chemicals were introduced to kill pathogenic threats that can and would kill us. They weren’t made to hurt anyone, but we know more now, and we know that there are hazards and toxicity issues with some disinfectants.

Hypochlorous acid is a viable solution to those hazards. It is the next phase of surface disinfectants. If we make it in our bodies to be healthier, why wouldn’t we use it in our work?

Heidi Wilcox, M.Sc., is an applied scientist specializing in technology, green cleaning and pathogen mitigation. She is also the owner and founder of Wilcox EVS, a consultancy focusing on training, infield testing and vetting new cleaning technologies. Heidi can be reached at

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