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Products sold as foggers are really sprayers, misters and foggers ...
Units like VICTORY call their handheld battery powered unit ‘a sprayer’ - and they are right - these units just spray a disinfectant liquid on a surface - ideally, you would have a cloth to wipe up the excess water afterwards, as they really do leave hard surfaces wet.
There is another, similar technology sprayer - the back pack or pump up type that you see in Agricultural Applications - basically, a Garden Sprayer. Again - maybe ok with surfaces, but hard surfaces will need a wipe-down.
Misters are usually tank systems on wheels with several methods of misting the disinfectant liquid - usually high pressure through a nozzle, but also ultrasound technology can also be used to activate the water to mist off the top of the body of water in a tank.
The smaller the droplet size, the more you will see the fog/mist ‘float in the air, or simply ‘disappear’. Remember - every time we breath out, we add invisible aerosolized droplets to the air. If we are infected with a virus, some of these droplets will include virus molecules. When we breath out, you cannot normally see our breath, and so it is that you do not need to ‘see’ your liquid disinfectant fog, for it to be effective in the air.
True aerosolized fog is mostly only possible by making steam from the liquid. Thermal foggers add the liquid mix in small doses into a heated chamber that increases in pressure as the droplets get smaller and hotter - ultimately leaving the nozzle with a very small droplet size, and consuming many times less disinfectant liquid.
Regardless of what you have been told as to why you need an electrostatic fogger, the reason may not be true, but it is true - and it may not be true that what you are told is an electrostatic fogger is actually producing effective electrostatic fog.
There are several ways to add a charge to droplets - the most common one charges droplets at the spray tip. The ability of a droplet to accept a charge is determined by the size of the droplet, and the effectiveness of the charge is determined by the surface area of the droplet - the smaller the droplet, the greater the charge the droplet can hold. With this in mind, it is worth challenging if a battery sprayer can actually deliver an electrostatic droplet with any effectiveness.
Most buyers have been told that electrostatic mist and fog is useful because it will ‘attract’ to the opposite side of an object that is being sprayed. They say the fog is charged positive, and the earth is negative - so the mist will be ‘drawn’ to the opposite side and ‘stick’ to it. This is only true of the object has a significant negative charge, and the droplet or particle (eg. powder coat paint) is sufficiently charged positive.
ONE: The earth is neutral charge - anything ‘grounded’ is neutral charged unless it carries an electrostatic charge like a plastic chair after being rubbed with nylon fabric
positive ionic charge - so a positively charged droplet will REPEL a virus, not attract to a virus.
TWO: Coronavirus, other viruses, and bacteria all exhibit an exterior
Recently, some companies have changed their literature to say their droplets are negatively charged to overcome the ‘repels the virus’ problem, however, they still claim the ‘wrap around’ argument that would not be scientifically sound, even if the earth was negatively charged.
The reason we do want electrostatically charged droplets is to SPREAD the droplets - firstly, in the air, so the airborne aerosolized droplets repel each other while airborne, otherwise they will agglutinate (cluster) and drop to the ground faster with gravity. Secondly, when the aerosolized droplets do settle on walls, tables and surfaces (emulating the behavior of the airborne virus) we want them to spread out efficiently, also without agglutinating (beading) on the surfaces, leaving the surface wet to touch. As aerosolized droplets go to settle on a surface, the ‘same charge’ makes them repel each other, forcing them to spread evenly on the surface, and resulting in at least 75% less liquid disinfectant being required.
Most misters, sprayers and foggers simply seek to apply disinfectant to disable the coronavirus by ‘oxidizing’ with the chlorine molecule in the disinfectant. However, there are other oxidants we can use to disable coronavirus - negative ions. By adding millions of negative ions per second into the jetstream, the effectiveness of a fogger is increased by multiples. Negative ions are made by electrostatically ‘splitting’ water H2O molecules into H+, and OH- molecules which in turn are atrracted to, and neutralize the positive charge on the coronavirus ‘stems’ (this is the process of oxidizing). You have plenty of H2O molecules to split in the air from the aerosolized fog.
One of the by-products of ionizing is the production of ozone - and it is always at a safe level, as determined by EPA. Even at less than 0.05ppm, ozone (O3) is a ‘super-oxidizer’ with a 6- ionic charge. By adding ozone to the jetstream, you add another level of highly effective oxidation for disabling coronavirus RNA.
Early in 2020, there was some debate over whether coronavirus was infectious as a result of being airborne. Later, it was proven that coronavirus can stay airborne for up to 24 hours with a phenomenon called ‘Brownian Motion’ - the effect of air molecules on the virus molecule that keep from succumbing to the effect of gravity.
Over time, all molecules do drop and settle on surfaces, and from there, can be picked up by the touch of a human hand. From the hand, persons can either transfer the coronavirus to surfaces or inoculate themselves by touching their ‘virus entry points’, namely, eyes, nose, and mouth.
With this in mind, we have 3 targets for sanitizing : High Touch Objects like bench tops, rails, and door handles; Surfaces like tables, chairs, ornaments and walls; and the Air Space in a room with limited ventilation.
When we are using a fogger, we need to be delivering an aerosolized fog to all three targets to disable the virus before it disables us. To fog the air space, we need the aerosolized droplets to be as small as possible - often categorised with blue steam (the droplets are so small they refract only blue light). Be careful not to be fooled by misters and sprayers that add a blue light to the front of the mister to emulate blue steam.
Some Foggers are on wheels to make them more ergonomic. The reason they are on wheels is because they have a large disinfectant liquid tank that would be too heavy to be practical in a backpack. These units need to be pulled through the property as the fogging hose is still relatively short, lest the fog condensates inside the hose.
Some Sprayers are backpack units with pressurised pump action. These are convenient for long distance walking, eg. external balconies, but not practical for inside work.
Some misters are large tanks to be carried in one hand, with a fogging nozzle in the other.
Fogging Surfaces can be done easily with a hand gun - and fogging Air Space can be very ergonomic when mounting a fogger on a pole, and securing the base of the pole to a mounting point on a belt, directly at the operators’ waist.
Whilst the battery operated misters appear to be ergonomic, they are not as effective as one might want to believe. The logic of being ‘expedient and convenient’ for the operator is not the correct priority when the task is to sanitize a property against an airborne virus for a customer, a school, or a work place.
Battery operated sprayers had their origin in treating surfaces and objects against bacteria, like in Daycare Centers, and even today, they have a place for outdoor misting of frequently touched surfaces like Bus Stops.
Mains Power gives you the opportunity to make an aerosol - tiny nano-droplets that mimic the coronavirus when airborne, and create great coverage on surfaces with a fraction of the volume of disinfectant chemicals. The downside is the power lead - but this is no different for a janitor with a backpack vacuum, or a carpet cleaner with hose. Power Cord management is a simple skill that is quickly learned and applied.