Electrostatic Disinfection: 3 Ways to Get The Most Out of Your Sprayer
As the need for frequent disinfection grows, high volume disinfection is becoming increasingly popular.
The most popular and effective high-volume disinfection method is electrostatic technology.
Electrostatic sprayer technology applies an electric charge to a disinfectant chemical. The charge allows the disinfectant droplets to evenly and completely coat surfaces and objects.
Using an electrostatic sprayer can make the process of applying disinfectant to surfaces throughout your facility quicker and more efficient.
But, as with any technology, there are some things you should know to be sure that you’re properly disinfecting for maximum germ kill.
In this article and video, we’ll explain how to best use an electrostatic sprayer correctly.
How Do I Use My Electrostatic Disinfectant Sprayer For The Best Outcome?
When used correctly, your janitorial staff can benefit from adding electrostatic disinfection to their disinfection routine.
It’s important that the disinfectant chemical you choose to use with your sprayer is approved by the EPA for application with an electrostatic sprayer.
Having the right disinfectant chemical compatibility is only one part of achieving the most effective disinfection possible. Your janitorial staff should also be educated on the best way to use your electrostatic disinfection sprayer.
Below, we’ll cover 3 best practices for using your high volume electrostatic disinfectant sprayer in your facility.
- Balance Charge, Particle Size, and Pressure Calibration on the Sprayer for Consistent Application
- Check Liquid Disinfectant For An Adequate Charge
- Provide Adequate Ventilation During Cleaning
Balance Charge, Particle Size, and Pressure Calibration on the Sprayer for Consistent Application
During disinfection with an electrostatic sprayer, surfaces being disinfected are evenly coated with disinfectant on all sides. Surfaces sprayed with disinfectants from an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer are more easily coated in disinfectant than when surfaces are disinfected manually.
The charged disinfectant droplets are attracted to the surfaces and objects they’re being sprayed onto.
When objects are oddly shaped or hard to reach/move, electrostatic sprayers can make the process of disinfection faster for your cleaning team.
However, it’s important that your electrostatic sprayer is fully coating the objects and surfaces in your facility.
The three factors that affect the coverage of your electrostatic sprayer are:
- Disinfectant Charge
- Droplet Size
- Sprayer Pressure
If these factors are not balanced, the disinfectant being sprayed won’t completely and evenly wrap a surface.
Surfaces that are not properly wrapped by disinfectant will not have enough disinfectant chemicals on them to allow for surfaces to remain wet for the required amount of time.
If your electrostatic sprayer isn’t fully wrapping surfaces or objects with disinfectant, the risk of dwell time not being met increases. Dwell time is the amount of time a surface must remain wet in order to fully kill germs and bacteria.
To make sure that surfaces are being fully covered with enough disinfectant to satisfy necessary dwell time, your janitorial team might need to take extra steps.
These steps may include adjusting the sprayer droplet size, testing for adequate surface coverage, or spraying surfaces slower.
The charge created by an electrostatic sprayer is produced in order to create an attraction between the disinfectant liquid being sprayed and the surface or object being disinfected.
Depending on the amount of charge applied to the disinfectant droplets, the droplets may not be able to fully cover a surface on all sides. If all of the droplets do not receive an adequate charge, there won’t be sufficient surface coverage. This is because the chemical will not be attracted to the surface and will not actively cover the far sides of a surface.
While there is no true way to know if a disinfectant is adequately charged, you can conduct a tape test. To conduct a tape test, you can place a strip of tape on the back of a surface or object. When you spray the surface or object being tested, you can check to see if the surface of the tape is wet with the disinfectant chemicals.
In the event that your sprayer doesn’t seem to fully wrap a surface, you may need to adjust the charge on your sprayer. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for more information.
The size of disinfectant droplets will affect how far they are able to travel. Droplets that are too large will fall out of the air before reaching the surface, while droplets that are too small will linger in the air.
Most electrostatic sprayers produce medium-sized droplets between 40 and 100 microns.
While the droplet size is standard on most machines, you will be able to adjust the size of the droplets on some electrostatic sprayers by adjusting the nozzle on the sprayer.
The pressure of an electrostatic sprayer refers to the force that the disinfectant is sprayed with.
A sprayer with consistent spraying pressure will make sure that the droplets reach the surface when sprayed from a distance. If your electrostatic disinfectant sprayer does not have adequate pressure, your surfaces may not be evenly coated.
Low pressure can be caused by product build-up in the nozzle. If you notice that your electrostatic sprayer has a drop in pressure, the nozzle may need to be cleaned to remove any build-up.
To avoid low pressure due to build-up, your cleaning staff should spray any excess chemicals from the sprayer nozzle should be after each use. The sprayer nozzle should be rinsed periodically and soaked in hot soapy water to remove any blockages.
Check Liquid Disinfectant For An Adequate Charge
As we’ve covered, electrostatic technology covers an entire surface with disinfectant by spraying charged liquid onto surfaces that have an opposite charge.
Surfaces are usually neutral or negatively charged, so when disinfectant is charged positively, the charged liquid is attracted to the surface and creates an even coating.
Along with the risk of inadequate surface wrapping, if the disinfectant droplets do not receive an adequate charge from the spraying device, there’s a chance that the disinfectant will linger in the air.
If a disinfectant doesn’t reach the surface there are 2 major potential risks:
- Lack of Surface Coverage
- Disinfectant Can Linger in The Air
Risk 1: Lack of Surface Coverage
The most concerning risk caused by inadequate disinfectant charging is the lack of surface coverage. Lack of coverage is caused by loss of attraction between the disinfectant and surface.
Disinfectant that doesn’t fully cover a surface will not fully kill the germs that are present. Germs that are left behind on the surfaces will lead to increased germ spread, risk of illness, and potential outbreaks in your facility.
Risk 2: Disinfectant Can Linger In The Air
Another risk caused by inadequate electrical charge is the possible inhalation of leftover disinfectant in the air. Disinfectant which is not adequately charged can linger in the air and be inhaled by occupants.
When an electrostatic sprayer releases a disinfectant chemical, droplets that are not fully charged may linger in the air.
If the people in your facility happen to inhale the disinfectant chemicals, there could be effects like irritation of the nose, throat, and eyes or dizziness. Avoiding the negative health effects associated with increased chemicals in the air is important to maintaining the safety of the people in your building and the cleanliness of your facility.
How to Check the Charge of A Disinfectant Chemical
While there’s no true way to check the charge of a disinfectant being sprayed onto a surface, you should follow proper protocol during and after using an electrostatic sprayer.
As mentioned before, you can conduct a tape test to check if your disinfectant is covering the entire surface.
Provide Adequate Ventilation During Cleaning
Proper ventilation when using an electrostatic sprayer is important.
As we mentioned before, there is a risk of negative health effects, like respiratory irritation, occurring when disinfectant chemicals are inhaled by the people in your building.
If your electrostatic sprayer is used properly and functioning correctly, there shouldn’t be any chemicals left behind in the air.
Pro Tip: The proper PPE, such as eye protection, face masks, and gloves, should be used to protect your staff from the hazards of potential exposure to chemicals.
How To Avoid Accidental Chemical Inhalation
To avoid accidental chemical inhalation, there should be adequate ventilation in the area that is being disinfected.
Having adequate ventilation in the area where your cleaning team is disinfecting will allow for the chemicals that may have been released into the air while using an electrostatic sprayer to be circulated out of the area.
If the areas being disinfected are not well ventilated, there is a chance that chemicals may be left in the air for a longer amount of time to be inhaled by anyone who enters the area.
Most electrostatic sprayers claim that a room can be entered into right after spraying, but you can reduce the chances of inhalation with adequate room ventilation.
Pro Tip: We recommend leaving the area closed for about an hour before re-entry to allow any remaining airborne particles to settle out of the air.
For more information on the required re-entry time, be sure to check the manufacturer instructions of both the electrostatic sprayer and disinfectant product.
The easiest way to avoid some of the risks associated with using an electrostatic sprayer is to ensure that your janitorial staff is using the sprayer properly. Use our three guidelines for using your electrostatic sprayer to get the most efficient high volume disinfection.
Your janitorial staff should also be properly trained to use the electrostatic sprayer and accompanying disinfectant chemical to avoid any hazards during use.
If you’re interested in purchasing a high-volume electrostatic disinfectant sprayer or learning more about using a sprayer for disinfection, EBP and other Imperial Dade locations can help you choose the best equipment.
Contact an EBP Specialist today to discuss the unique disinfecting needs of your facility whether you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean.