CloroxPro Blog – Professional Cleaning and Disinfection Insights

A blog filled with industry insights from experts devoted to public health awareness, infection prevention, and the role of environmental cleaning and disinfection, to promote safer, healthier public spaces.

How to Cash in on the Efficiency Promises of Electrostatic Devices: Tips and Tricks from a Time and Motion Study

Electrostatic Technology Professional Cleaning

The Benefits of Electrostatic Technology for Disinfecting

When the pandemic began, facilities turned to new technology to meet cleaning and disinfecting needs such as electrostatic sprayers, resulting in a vast expansion of the number of facilities that have invested in learning and implementing this technology. The benefits of electrostatic technology are clear: by applying a charge through disinfectant droplets, electrostatics achieve greater surface coverage than spray and wipe methods and can be applied more quickly and cover more surfaces. These benefits make effective surface disinfection more achievable, especially for facilities pressed for time.

Real-World Testing: The Time it Takes to Disinfect Using Electrostatics

Real-world evaluations of electrostatic sprayers are just as important as manufacturer testing because they confirm that a product can deliver what it claims in practice. We recruited eight custodians to determine the time it takes to disinfect five different spaces using cart and handheld electrostatics devices. From this study we learned that with the right training, a classroom could be disinfected in about 2 minutes using an electrostatic device. Along the way, we also learned how to improve time and reduce ergonomic risks with devices.

Tips Learned from Research to Get the Greatest Benefits from Your Electrostatic Devices

Cord management is key. If your facility is using a corded device, improve disinfecting times and avoid cord struggles by providing these recommendations:

  • Plug in the device as close to the center of the room as possible. This reduces the need to unplug the device and move to another outlet when the cord does not reach.
  • Keep the cord close to the wall and move in straight lines. Walking in straight lines down rows of desks or objects will reduce cords getting wrapped around objects.
  • Move methodically and learn your space. Every room will have an optimum path to follow to disinfect all the high touch surfaces.

Conserve disinfectant. One of the greatest benefits of electrostatic devices is their ability to effectively cover and wrap disinfectant around surfaces. Use a product that is designed and approved for use through electrostatics, with a short contact time (two minutes or less) to benefit most from the time savings of electrostatics. Using a product with a short contact time will also enable you to use less disinfectant, since you will likely not need to reapply to reach the contact time. Share these additional tips to improve speed and save disinfectant usage:

  • Target your spray to high-touch objects. Not every surface needs to be disinfected. To learn more about disinfecting smart, visit our resource here.
  • Count out 3 to 4 seconds of spray per object. In most cases, 3 to 4 seconds of spray in an S-shaped motion is sufficient to cover an object, like a desk or table in a classroom.

Turn off spraying in between objects. When custodians are walking between objects, it is best to press the trigger to turn off the spraying. This will ensure that disinfectant is conserved.

Work safer. Providing ergonomic improvements is not just good for custodians, it’s good for the business too. Custodial injuries result in more days off to recover or can limit someone’s ability to work long-term. Electrostatic devices can help improve ergonomics of disinfecting. To ensure custodians are working safe, show them how to protect their bodies while working:

  • Limit bending at the waist when disinfecting.
  • Alternate between right and left hands.
  • Create movement from the shoulders rather than the wrists and elbows.

Finally, if you are struggling with how to optimize your process, ask for advice or further training. Manufacturers have lots of practice helping people learn how to best use their devices, and a skilled trainer can help you find solutions. For example, you can visit our resource center at for best-in-class training and educational materials.

Not Every Job Calls for a Device: What to Use Where and When

From working with our custodial participants, we learned that there is an optimal time and place for using electrostatic devices that maximizes the disinfecting efficiency and worker safety.

What to Use Where and When

Electrostatic – CartLarge spaces or multiple rooms:
  • Weight room or locker room
  • Multiple classrooms in a school
  • Cafeteria tables
  • Restrooms
End of day
Electrostatic – HandheldA single room, or a small space:
  • Single classroom
  • Shared office or conference room
  • Large break room
Throughout the day, or end of day:
  • After lunch time in the breakroom
  • After a large meeting in a conference room
  • Between classes
Manual Trigger Spray or Disinfecting WipesSmall spaces:
  • Office kitchen and small break room
  • Single desk
Throughout the day:
  • After sneezing or coughing events
  • After food messes
  • End-of-day disinfecting of a personal workspace (if shared)

Disinfecting for Health

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, customers, students, and office workers have come to expect spaces to be disinfected regularly. Electrostatic devices present a promising method to improve the disinfection of public spaces through enhanced surface coverage. Using the tips learned from our end-users in real spaces, disinfecting with electrostatic technology is a fast, effective, and efficient way to help keep our public spaces cleaner and safer.

A Special Thanks

We would like to humbly thank the custodial staff and the Mount San Antonio College Facilities Department for their participation in this study.