Beyond the Products

Commercial Sprayers: The Electrostatic Edition

Commercial sprayers are mechanical devices that use a pressure differential or a propellant to convert a liquid cleaning or disinfecting agent into a fine aerosol mist. Commercial sprayers include electrostatic sprayers, manual spray bottles, aerosols, commercial applicators, foggers, and pump-up sprayers.

The electrostatic sprayer is a technology that applies a charge to a liquid as it leaves the spray nozzle. Charged droplets attract to a surface of the opposite charge, which helps them spread out more evenly on the surface and coat even hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Electrostatic sprayers play a critical role in the cleaning industry due to their high disinfection efficacy.

Types of commercial sprayers in use for electrostatic cleaning

There are many commercially available electrostatic sprayers on the market that specialize in disinfection. The LuxElectroStatic and Victory electrostatic backpack sprayer are two of such devices. Handheld and backpack models are available from these and other companies.

The history of electrostatic spray technology

Electrostatic disinfectant sprayers use a relatively new technology that evolved from the use of electrostatic spraying systems in the agricultural and automotive industries. Electrostatic paint sprayers were popular in the mid-twentieth century. In these earlier iterations, the sprayers applied a positive charge to a liquid paint to enhance the spray’s attraction to a target surface. The same concept applies to electrostatic disinfectant sprayers.

Variations in electrostatic disinfection spray systems

All electrostatic disinfectant sprayers use the same fundamental technology to kill pathogens. A disinfectant liquid acquires either a positive or negative charge as it leaves the spray nozzle to adhere evenly to surfaces with the opposite charge. Additionally, for all electrostatic sprayers, the disinfectant liquid can be any water-soluble chemical agent. Sustainable disinfectants are compatible with electrostatic spray systems and appeal to organizations looking to go green.

Like conventional sprayers, electrostatic disinfectant sprayers benefit from multiple designs that target different consumers and businesses. Some of the features that vary between models include tank capacity, weight, power source, droplet size, and spray range.

Handheld and backpack sprayers are especially popular given their lower price point and maneuverability. However, roller cart models with or without an electrical cord may appeal to facilities managers contending with large-scale disinfection operations.

How to choose the right commercial sprayer

The commercial electrostatic sprayers on the market today are exceptionally versatile. Handheld models, for example, are particularly well suited for a single user interested in disinfecting smaller indoor spaces such as offices and washrooms.

In contrast, the ergonomically friendly backpack sprayers feature a large tank capacity that enables users to treat large surface areas in one session. They can work well as part of a facility’s overall cleaning and disinfecting protocol.

One major advantage of an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer is its ability to kill pathogens rapidly and efficiently. In a recent study, researchers observed that spraying a dilute sodium hypochlorite disinfectant with an electrostatic sprayer “provided rapid and effective decontamination” of surfaces that they previously cleaned to remove visible soiling. Of note, the sprayer required only five minutes to treat between fifteen and twenty chairs in a waiting room.

This study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, illustrates not just the effectiveness of commercial electrostatic disinfectant sprayers but also their speed and versatility. Given the excellent results in this setting, it would be reasonable to assume that electrostatic sprayers of similar quality could perform just as well in schools, offices, fitness centers, and other indoor areas.

The importance of using commercial sprayers for electrostatic disinfection

When used properly, commercial electrostatic sprayers are exceptionally effective. Electrostatic sprayers use a more sophisticated technology than other sprayers, making them suitable for more disinfection applications. It is important to understand their unique advantages when it comes to cleaning and disinfection.

Why electrostatic sprayers are effective for disinfecting buildings

Commercial electrostatic sprayers are durable, versatile, and fast. Because of the wraparound effect of charged droplets, electrostatic sprayers can reach sloped, irregular, and hidden surfaces. All that’s required is a surface with a negative charge for positively charged droplets to adhere to. In addition, the miniscule droplet size ensures an even and thorough coating of a target surface.

Speed is another advantage of electrostatic sprayers. Time savings vary, but an electrostatic sprayer can outpace a commercial sprayer with manual operation in cleaning the same surface area. For buildings that require daily disinfection, electrostatic sprayers function as a high-performing alternative to conventional methods.

Benefits of commercial electrostatic disinfection over other methods

One clear benefit of commercial electrostatic sprayers is their disinfecting capabilities. They harness the power of physics to treat irregular and hard-to-reach surfaces with minimal risk of operator error. This is not always true for traditional disinfection methods.

Fogging is one such method. It creates a “dry mist” that evaporates before depositing on surfaces. Fogging can be effective, but it requires building occupants to vacate during treatment. Moreover, it often takes several hours for the mist to safely evaporate.

Fumigation uses a gas or vapor to disinfect an enclosed space. Historically, fumigation techniques have used formaldehyde as a disinfectant. Fumigation often requires a long downtime, and formaldehyde has fallen out of favor in general as it may cause cancer.

Misting uses a sprayer to coat an area or surface with fine droplets. Unlike electrostatic sprayers, however, misting sprayers do not apply a charge. The droplets passively deposit on surfaces. Gravity and spray direction can therefore affect their trajectory. 

How to select a commercial sprayer for electrostatic cleaning

A variety of commercial electrostatic sprayers are available to consumers and businesses. Choosing the best one depends on cleaning and disinfecting needs.

Where to buy commercial electrostatic cleaning equipment

Electrostatic disinfectant spray systems are available online. Major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart offer electrostatic sprayers on their online marketplaces, but not all are approved for disinfection purposes.

For larger-scale cleaning and disinfection projects, it can be helpful to talk with experts. At Spruce, we offer recommendations to help customers find the electrostatic disinfection sprayers that best suit their needs.

Choosing the right commercial sprayer for electrostatic disinfecting

It is useful to start with a basic inventory of cleaning and disinfecting goals. For a smaller project or space, a handheld electrostatic disinfectant sprayer might be all that is necessary. Electrostatic spraying systems are effective, but they’re also expensive.

Choosing the best model to suit a particular application depends on several factors. This includes the square footage requiring disinfection, how often that disinfection needs to occur, and personnel capabilities.

Time constraints are also a factor. All disinfectants have a “dwell time,” which is the time required for a chemical agent to stay wet on a surface in order to meet its kill claim. Bleach, a reasonable option for electrostatic sprayers, has a dwell time of ten minutes.

Testing commercial sprayers for electrostatic disinfecting before purchasing

The reputable producers of electrostatic sprayers, such as Victory and Clorox, offer generous return policies. At Spruce, we understand the value of a product trial before investing in an expensive new system. We also fully support clients who want to test a commercial sprayer before committing to a particular model or device.

The best sprayer features for commercial electrostatic cleaning

All commercial electrostatic sprayers promote a disinfection strategy that capitalizes on the “opposites attract” concept. That said, not all sprayers are created equal.

What the best commercial sprayers for electrostatic cleaning have in common

The best commercial electrostatic sprayers promise rapid, effective disinfection of large surface areas using a reliable spray technology that applies a charge to a liquid disinfectant. The tank capacity, weight, droplet size, and other features of different sprayers can vary. However, this variability offers more choice to consumers and businesses.

Customizing commercial sprayer features for electrostatic cleaning

Most commercial electrostatic sprayers allow a user to adjust droplet size. The Victory sprayers, for example, all offer a three-in-one nozzle that allows a user to adjust droplet size to best fit the application.

While most electrostatic sprayer manufacturers recommend a specific disinfectant to pair with a sprayer, a user can fill a tank with any water-soluble chemical. Being able to choose the dilution of that chemical is also a powerful asset for consumers and businesses that want to control the amount of environmental exposure.

Popular features on sprayers for commercial electrostatic cleaning

Electrostatic sprayers offer a number of features that appeal to buyers. Online reviews highlight the user-friendly nature and the impressive time savings of these sprayers.

Perhaps most importantly, electrostatic sprayers also promise large-scale, effective disinfection of pathogens. During the COVID-19 pandemic, research has shown that electrostatic disinfectant sprayers were highly effective at killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Navigating the market for electrostatic sprayers

As with any major purchase with a high-stakes outcome, shopping for electrostatic disinfectant sprayers can be daunting. That’s where we come in. At Spruce, we’re familiar with these electrostatic disinfectant systems and can help our clients target the right sprayer for their needs. We’re here to share our expertise on this exciting technology.

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