There are a few spraying technologies on the market that managers can choose from. One that has received a lot of attention recently is the electrostatic sprayer. Although the technology is still relatively new to the cleaning industry, it’s not a new process. In fact, it has been used in both the agricultural and automotive industries for decades.

The technology is somewhat simple: As the chemical exits the electrostatic sprayer, it is atomized and given a positive charge. The positively charged spray droplets are attracted to — and travel toward — negatively charged objects, creating a 360-degree wraparound effect on the targeted surface. The result is full coverage of the chemical.

For that reason, electrostatic machines have been the most sought after disinfecting technology in the wake of the pandemic. In fact, many experts tout them as the most useful and complete tool on the market for spraying disinfectants. And because the electrostatic machine is typically cordless, it’s easy to maneuver.

“Electrostatic is the most effective and efficient way to disinfect surfaces and cover both large and small areas,” says Alex Brajak, a regional sales director with KSS Enterprises, Kalamazoo, Michigan. “The ability for the disinfectant, when used properly, to wrap around surfaces and provide 360-degree coverage allows you to disinfect areas traditionally missed from other applications.”

Another technology being widely used to apply disinfectant is the fogger. Todd Stefano, president of Henderson Chemical Company, Macon, Georgia, supports the use of the equipment, but cautions that only approved products listed for foggers should be used in the tool.

“If the wrong product is used, the equipment might produce molecules that are too small to provide the necessary dwell time for sufficient disinfecting,” he says.

Foggers are not a new technology. They have traditionally been used for a variety of applications ranging from pest control to remediating mold in HVAC air ducts.

“The material they express usually has been formulated for the specific usage through the machine,” says Walker. “In the case of disinfection, they are used to place a fog of chemical into the air. Use of a fogging machine typically requires an empty area over an extended period of time.”

When using foggers, managers should train staff to pre-clean surfaces and remove any products from a room that can be damaged during the disinfection process. Brajak also recommends ensuring no one is in the area being fogged — only opening the space again once ample time has passed and it is safe for occupancy.

Users should also be warned that fogging machines could produce what experts call “shadow spots.” These are portions of the surface that are not hit by the disinfectant emitted from the equipment.

To offset this, users will have to “move the fogger around the room to ensure proper coverage,” says Brajak. “Because of this, the time necessary to disinfect a room can be lengthy.”

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