CloroxPro Blog – Professional Cleaning and Disinfection Insights

A blog from industry experts devoted to public health awareness, best practices, and the role of environmental cleaning and disinfection, to promote safer, healthier public spaces.

Is a Manual Cleaning Step Always Required? https://www.cloroxpro.com/blog/is-a-manual-cleaning-step-always-required/ March 22, 2021 https://www.cloroxpro.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Spore-Defense-resource-video-cover.jpg
CloroxPro https://www.cloroxpro.com/wp-content/themes/electro/img/global/logo.svg

Is a Manual Cleaning Step Always Required?

This post is part of our “Ask The Pros” blog series for which our internal panel of experts address the latest questions from industry professionals. This month’s query,

“Adjunct disinfection methods such as electrostatics seem to be gaining in popularity. Is a manual cleaning step always required?”

Introduction

Because Infection Preventionists have oversight of all cleaning and disinfection practices within their facilities, it’s really important to keep current on emerging disinfectant technologies, including new adjunct disinfection technologies. One such technology in high demand given the “new normal” is electrostatic sprayers. In addition to getting disinfectant into nooks and crannies, these devices can disinfect large areas in a very short time. This blog post will provide a brief overview of the technology, how best to employ its use within a healthcare facility, and safety considerations.

Electrostatic Sprayer Technology 101

Despite its growing popularity, electrostatic technology is actually not new. It’s been used for many years in other industries such as agriculture, automotive painting, and spray tanning. In healthcare, this adjunct technology is a new way to apply familiar disinfectants. The device charges the disinfectant droplets as they exit the nozzle where the disinfectant is attracted to the surface/object like a magnet. The end result is a uniform coating of disinfectant that wraps 360 degrees around targeted objects. This makes for a fast and efficient disinfecting process.

Incorporating Electrostatic Sprayer Technology into Current Processes

A study conducted by Bhalla et al (2004) showed that only 50% of healthcare surfaces were properly disinfected with manual cleaning1, creating the need for supplemental disinfectant technologies such as electrostatics. Electrostatic sprayers are intended to be an adjunct to routine manual cleaning and disinfection.

For example, consider using an electrostatic sprayer as a finishing step for terminal cleaning of C. diff, COVID, or other isolation rooms. Other considerations include terminal cleaning of operating rooms, waiting rooms, and transport equipment such as wheelchairs and gurneys.

With that said, much like we use hand sanitizer for much of our hand hygiene opportunities and reserve hand washing for specific times such as removing visible soil or C. diff spores from our hands, we can consider using an electrostatic sprayer in a similar way.

If a surface is not visibly soiled or the area did not house a C. diff patient, a manual cleaning step is not required prior to disinfection so consider using electrostatic sprayer technology in these instances. Consider that operating rooms (OR) are manually cleaned multiple times during the day (e.g., after each procedure), so why couldn’t terminal cleaning of the OR be completed using an electrostatic sprayer to apply the disinfectant?

Additionally, consider objects or areas that are likely not getting cleaned and disinfected as often as we would like because they are large spaces, or difficult to clean, such as waiting rooms or wheelchairs. Electrostatic sprayers are a great option and the Donskey study (2020) provides great evidence to support this. Keep in mind, however, just like our hands, we do still need to periodically perform manual cleaning.  

Electrostatic Sprayer Safety

First and foremost, be sure to select EPA-registered products approved for use through an electrostatic sprayer. Use of a disinfectant or sanitizer in a non-approved manner is a violation of federal law. It’s equally important to adhere to the manufacturer’s directions for use (DFUs), including contact time.

Be sure to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) according to both the manufacturer’s DFUs for the selected product and also per Standard Precautions.

We often get asked if it’s safe to use an electrostatic sprayer when other people are in the area being disinfected. In addition to following the manufacturer’s DFUs for both the device and the disinfectant, we recommend that only the operator be present in the room while the device is being used. Another question that frequently gets asked is “what is the room re-entry time after applying the disinfectant?”  The answer: there is none!

The Clorox® Total 360® System

Clorox Healthcare offers an electrostatic sprayer technology called the Total 360® System. The table below is quick overview of the current products in our portfolio that can be used with the Total 360 electrostatic sprayer.

Total 360 DisinfectantsActive IngredientSuggested Use LocationsContact timePersonal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Spore10 Defense™ Cleaner DisinfectantSodium hypochloritePatient care areas where C. diff is a concern (e.g., terminal cleaning, etc)5 minutesEye protection; Wear other PPE in accordance with Standard Precautions.
Total 360® Disinfectant Cleaner1Quaternary ammonium compoundPatient care areas when C. diff is not a concern2 minutesEye protection; Wear an N95 respirator for prolonged use; Wear other PPE in accordance with Standard Precautions.
Anywhere® Hard Surface Sanitizing SpraySodium hypochloriteNon-patient care areas such as offices and conference rooms and anywhere that a food safe product is indicated such as the cafeteria.2 minutesEye protection; Wear other PPE in accordance with Standard Precautions.
 

Summary

Adjunct disinfection technologies such as electrostatic sprayers can be a great addition to your current cleaning and disinfection routines. The technology has been around for many years and it is both safe and efficient.

Related Resources


References

  1. Bhalla A., Pultz N.J., Gries D.M. et al. “Acquisition of Nosocomial Pathogens on Hands After Contact With Environmental Surfaces Near Hospitalized Patients.” Infection Control Hospital Epidemiology. 2004 Feb;25(2): 164–7