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What Is An Electrostatic Sprayer?

Discover one of the newest tools in touch-free disinfecting.

COVID-19 has introduced a considerable amount of new vocabulary to the general public – social distancing, R rate, aerosolized droplets. If you’ve heard any experts discussing cleaning technology, you’ve probably heard yet another new term: Electrostatic Sprayer. But what is an electrostatic sprayer, anyway? Electrostatic sprayers are the newest tools in the cleaning industry, used to disinfect surfaces with electrically charged particles for even, complete disinfecting coverage. To the untrained eye, these just look like “spray guns” but in fact, they're advanced disinfection technology based on innovations going back more than 50 years.

Here are the basic problems electrostatic sprayers solve: When you wipe or even spray down a surface with disinfectant, it’s hard to get adequate coverage. Overspray and spatter can be a problem if you spray too heavily. Add in the hard-to-reach or non-uniform surface areas, especially in cramped or challenging interiors, and you’ve got a recipe for unsanitary spaces, everywhere from airplanes to restaurants.

An electrostatic sprayer is the solution to those common disinfection problems.

Electrostatic sprayers electrically charge the particles of the disinfectant they spray. These positively charged particles then repel each other. You may remember from high school science class that “like” charges repel, while opposite charges attract. Well, a grounded surface -- like the various surfaces in a high-traffic area that needs to be disinfected -- represents a great big negative charge. Positively charged particles of disinfectants are attracted to these surfaces, so they stick. And it gets better: The electrostatically charged particles of disinfectant push each other away. This “atomizes” them, ensuring even coverage over the surface you’re spraying.


What Is An Electrostatic Sprayer Used To Treat?

Since electrostatic sprayers can disperse disinfectant properly on any surface you would previously have cleaned by hand, we use them to treat surfaces you can’t effectively reach in that manner.

See, wiping a surface down isn’t just inefficient (without enough friction, you’re often just moving around what’s on that surface), it’s actually unsafe in some applications. Disinfectant, after all, is used to kill germs -- viruses and bacteria -- left on contaminated surfaces. The only way to kill as many germs as possible is to ensure the disinfectant can reach all potentially contaminated areas, for long enough, and with enough pressure (when wiping) to be effective . Electrostatic spraying does that, and does it faster and more conveniently, without friction and while using less disinfectant.


Cleaning With An Electrostatic Sprayer


Different applications require different cleaning solutions. You would use Zogics’ Evaclean system featuring Protexus sprayers with PURTABS, which are effervescent sanitizing and disinfecting tablets. Only PURTABS have been approved, certified, and proven to achieve repeatable results, based on application and dwell times.

For example, when disinfecting food-contact surfaces, 100ppm of PURTAB multi-purpose solution is sufficient. Hospital-grade disinfectant, on the other hand (which is used to kill cold and flu virus, salmonella, and staph bacteria, among many others) requires 5 times that PPM, while killing certain bloodborne pathogens requires more than 1,000 PPM. For perspective, a solution of more than 4,300 PPM is recommended for COVID-19.

Let’s put this in context: Manual disinfection often requires prioritizing the surfaces cleaned. This means focusing on “high-touch” areas (meaning the areas that experience the most “hand traffic”). A big problem in any high-risk environment (such as hospitals) is that even thorough manual cleanings can leave some surfaces untouched. The problem is worse if those surfaces are hard to reach by hand. A big advantage of electrostatic spraying in this instance is that it allows you to coat every surface in that hospital area quickly and evenly.

Of course, different industries require different solutions. That's why Protexus electrostatic sprayers can be fitted with different spray nozzles to ensure different levels of disinfectant coverage. Among the options are a 60-micron spray nozzle and a 3-in-1 spray nozzle offering 60, 80, or 110 microns. This lets you change the droplet size from the sprayer based on the surfaces you’re treating. Different surfaces present different challenges and, depending on what germs you’re trying to kill, you’ll need to adjust the droplet size accordingly. You can obviously see the advantage of a multi-purpose nozzle like the 3-in-1 adjustable unit. If you don’t need that level of variability, then the 60-micron nozzle might well suit your application. The point is, you get to choose!

And no matter the environment, when you use an electrostatic sprayer you can disinfect more surfaces, more thoroughly, and more consistently.


What Is An Electrostatic Sprayer-Appropriate Surface?

Electrostatic sprayers work best on hard, non-porous surfaces. You can use our electrostatic sprayers to coat any surface you would previously have disinfected manually. The difference is, again, is that it’s much easier to adequately disinfect challenging areas that are out of reach or even obstructed. If the charged spray can reach those areas, it can coat them evenly and effectively.

As you’re thinking about the areas you’d need to disinfect, and how impossible it may seem to reach them to disinfect an airborne virus like COVID-19, remember that electrostatic sprayers have another advantage: those positively charged droplets of disinfectant WANT to cling to any negatively charged, or grounded, surface. In a way, it’s almost like a “smart” disinfectant, in that it wants and needs to stick to the surfaces you’re trying to clean. Once there, it can do its work, killing germs to the effective level of the disinfectant used (keeping in mind the parts per million dispersed from your sprayer’s nozzle).


What Is An Electrostatic Sprayer? It's the Next Step in Infection Prevention.

An electrostatic sprayer allows you to perform electrostatic spray-cleaning (a “no touch” disinfection process) in challenging, large, and non-uniform surface areas. It’s a fast, efficient, and thorough way to disinfect an area without creating a further risk of cross-contamination. Using Evaclean's system featuring Protexus sprayers and PURTABS disinfectant, you can coat all the surfaces of a 500 square foot area in less than 3 minutes. That’s an 80% time savings for any chemical application, disinfection, or sanitizing process. The Protexus sprayers are also very quiet (under 60 decibels), so you don’t have to worry that the cleaning process (brief as it might be) will be disruptive to those within earshot. Simply put, it’s a fantastic option for many applications requiring fast, consistent, and thorough disinfection.

For more information on electrostatic cleaning, check out our post on Fogging, Spraying and ULV Atomizing

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