Electrostatic Disinfection: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Covid-19 and Keeping Things Clean

We’re now moving into the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic and the second surges are coming. A vaccine is being approved for emergency use, but the roll-out won’t be immediate. For the time being, it’s still advised to take every precaution possible. In a search for more efficient ways of protecting people, some new cleaning techniques are being tried around the country. Here in Utah, Alpine Cleaning and Restoration has opened up a new service for one of these techniques: electrostatic disinfection.

What Is Electrostatic Disinfection?

electrostatic disinfection sprayerElectrostatic disinfection is a process where cleaning solutions are put into aerosol form and sprayed through an ion cloud, causing the solutions to become charged. Electrostatic charge is a more powerful force than gravity and it causes the solution to cling to surfaces. Because like charges repel each other, the charged droplets move to be equidistant from each other, making sure any object sprayed gets a complete and even coating of cleaning solution. Every inch of the object gets cleaned.

What Are The Advantages of Electrostatic disinfection?

1. Faster

Going across every surface with a paper towel can be very time consuming. Scrubbing takes hours. The spraying process goes by much faster while still making sure you get every inch of surface wherever you spray. Additionally, because the charged droplets cling to hard surfaces, the chemicals won’t stay in the air as long. This allows you to start using the room much sooner without risking your health.

2. Reduced Cross-Contamination

When you wipe down a surface to clean it, you get the germs from that surface onto the towel you use. If you use that towel to clean up other areas, you risk spreading the germs to other rooms rather than cleaning them. You could try avoiding this by using disposable paper towels and throwing them away after each use, but cleaning a whole business this way will cost a lot of money. You can try to avoid cross-contamination with color coded towels, but that still leaves the possibility of mistakes being made.

Electrostatic disinfection is a completely contact-free process. You simply spray the solution and that’s it. Since there’s no contact with contaminated surfaces, you don’t have to worry about spreading that contamination.

3. You Get Everywhere

Frequently, when people try to clean surfaces, they miss things. You wipe down a chair for a client or patient to sit on, but do you think to wipe down the back, or the bottom of the chair? A lot of people don’t, because nobody touches those parts, right? Except they do. Bacteria and viruses can spread from commonly touched surfaces to other nearby surfaces, so the underside of the chair is just as contaminated as the top side, and wiping down the chair’s top side leaves it to be quickly reinfected by the parts you missed.  What about all the little cracks and crannies? Do you take the extra time and effort to clean those spaces?

Electrostatic disinfection will get all of that. The charged particles will spread away from each other until they fill every inch of surface area they can. It ensures that you get a complete cleaning without needing to go to all the extra effort and expense.

Is It Effective?

Studies are still being conducted to determine just how effective this process is for cleaning. The chemicals needed for disinfection vary depending on what you’re spraying for. Some chemicals charge better than others, making them more effective in this process. Additionally, it should be understood that this process won’t remove large build-ups of dirt or dust, so to get the most out of the process, any notably dirty objects should also be properly wiped down before to get the best results.

With these considerations in mind, in some tests the process has proved just as effective as other methods of disinfection. Cleaning chemicals recommended for coronavirus clean-up have shown to be a good match for electrostatic disinfection, so it seems likely to be an effective method for combating coronavirus.

Don’t Ignore Other Safety Protocols

While electrostatic disinfection may be effective for cleaning coronavirus off of hard surfaces, that doesn’t let you completely off the hook. You should still take other precautions as well if you want to prevent the spread of the disease. This process is not meant to be a replacement for previous safety protocols, but as an improvement to standard disinfection. Masks, maintaining safe distance, and providing hand sanitizer to employees and customers are all still essential to protecting yourselves and others.

Stay Healthy

The cold weather is going to be forcing us to stay in closer quarters than we’d like. We can expect resurgences of the virus even with our best efforts. This is even more true in places like here in Utah, where the winters can get really cold. If we’re going to slow the spread of the coronavirus and keep people healthy, we need to make sure we take every precaution we can. If you’re a business, that means making sure your location stays clean. Regular disinfection is a part of that process that you mustn’t overlook. As an alternative to wiping things down, electrostatic disinfection can help get a deeper clean with reduced risk of cross-contamination. It’s faster and it gets places you normally don’t think about, or might not be able to reach. Along with following other CDC guidelines, it may considerably help reduce the risks. It’s worth keeping the option on the table if you want your business to survive these tough times.