By Jim Flieler, Vice President of Sales, Charlotte Products

COVID-19 has stressed the importance of our industry to promote “clean, safe and healthy.” However, this pandemic has also introduced some new ways of cleaning and disinfecting to general consciousness. Unfortunately, not all of these delivery methods are being marketed in a way that educates end users on the correct way to clean and disinfect. In this blog, I’d like to help explain the right way to clean and disinfect, regardless of your delivery method. 

It’s All About the Product Labels

Over the past year and a half, technologies such as foggers, misters, electrostatic sprayers and even drones have flooded the market. These are all different types of delivery methods, used to apply a cleaning or disinfecting product. Regardless of the type of delivery method you choose, you must follow the exact label instructions on the product to ensure cleaning and disinfecting results. While it is important to read the instructions on the delivery method device, the most important instructions will always be what is printed on the product label. Unfortunately, most instruction manuals for delivery methods like foggers and electrostatic sprayers don’t mention reading the product label. This is incorrect and can be misleading for end users.

All of the text on a product is there for a reason. If you read and follow it, you will succeed. If you do not, you will fail. When reading your product label, you will want to pay attention to the dwell time, dilution ratios and information about pre-cleaning and even the need for a potable water rinse on food contact surfaces. All the information you need to ensure that you are cleaning and disinfecting properly is covered in The Five Critical Elements of Disinfectant Security.

A Note About Micron Particle Size

These newer delivery methods generally output products with micron particle sizes that range from 40-110 microns. The smaller the micron, the faster it dries. If your delivery method puts out a smaller micron, you may not achieve your desired dwell time. Without achieving the dwell time listed on your product label, you will not have an effective disinfectant. The larger the micron, the more wet this surface will be. This can help to achieve longer dwell times. However, larger micron size could also mean issues when sprayed on keyboards and other sensitive electronic surfaces. 

My Recommended Delivery Method

I continue to recommend the simple pump-up sprayer as the most efficient delivery method to achieve cleaning and disinfecting success. It’s not fancy. But it is faster, more ergonomic, and less expensive. Your staff is familiar with the delivery method, which means you don’t need to train them on a new piece of equipment. The pump-up sprayer emits a sufficient amount of product at a solid micron particle size to allow for proper dwell times and not cause issues with electronic surfaces. The pump-up sprayer doesn’t give false sense of security disguised in bold marketing claims either. It is a traditional delivery method that most cleaning personnel have been using for many years. The products you are purchasing will have all of the most important information for achieving success printed right on the label if you purchase an RTU product, which makes following those important steps for success, including pre-cleaning, PPE, dwell time and more, that much easier. 

Don’t fret if you’ve already invested in new types of delivery methods like foggers, sprayers or drones. Some of these new products have benefits, and can be used successfully with good quality cleaning and disinfecting products. Just make sure as you implement these new devices that you continue to follow your product labels. That means pre-cleaning, diluting your product properly, respecting the dwell time, using PPE and rinsing in certain sensitive environments. All of these factors are discussed in detail in The Five Critical Security Elements of Disinfecting.

At the end of a recent webinar, I re-enacted some right and wrong ways to clean and disinfect. Check it out for some great entertainment!