At Disinfect & Fog, our team frequently receives many questions regarding our disinfectants and foggers, and even more since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has changed everyone’s life.
New information comes out every day, and we know it can feel overwhelming at times. That’s why we want to address the top Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs about disinfectants and foggers in the hopes that this will clarify all doubts and confusion you might have about this topic.
What Is Considered a Disinfectant?
First off, let's explain what disinfectants are: chemical substances (natural or artificial) that are able to neutralize and/or destroy contaminants like bacteria and viruses, and prevent these microorganisms from spreading diseases.
A broader definition of disinfectant includes other types, such as heat and irradiation, but the most commonly used for residential disinfecting purposes are environmentally friendly solutions.
Fogger Disinfectant Machines
Let’s talk about foggers and sprayers. These are machines designed for thoroughly applying disinfectants and other liquid solutions much more effectively than other disinfection techniques. What makes these devices so sought-after is how they have proven to be the ultimate tool to deal with the daunting task of disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces and environments during this challenging and stressful time.
Furthermore, many fogging machines are cordless, portable, and exceptionally powerful, giving users versatility and the flexibility to move around as they wish, covering large areas in little time. Plus, these machines are usually lightweight, handheld (except for industrial models), and easy to operate.
Frequently Asked Questions about Disinfectants and Foggers
Here are answers to some of the FAQs you may have:
1. What are foggers and electrostatic disinfectant sprayers?
Foggers and sprayers are machines that offer comprehensive disinfection and sanitization of surfaces, usually without requiring wiping or drying afterward. This is a disinfection method that comes with many advantages, and the most significant is that, depending on the disinfectant solution used, it is not harmful to the environment or humans because these devices don’t use any propellants or additional chemicals.
Among the reasons why foggers and sprayers are recommended over traditional cleaning methods like manual spraying or wiping is because these machines provide better coverage, including those hard-to-reach areas. Also, there are multiple types of devices that deliver specific results, such as electrostatic sprayers, which apply an electrical charge to the disinfectant, which helps with how it covers surfaces. This particular method works best on surfaces that are a natural electrical conductor (e.g. metals), as opposed to an insulator (e.g. glass/plastic). Other types of devices are ULV (ultra low volume) and thermal.
2. Why fog? What problem does it solve?
The concept of a fog or light spray is that you do not need to wipe surfaces after application, therefore this disinfection method saves a lot of time. Some sprayers can even be used to air-dry surfaces in the case of over-spraying.
Fogging solves a big problem in terms of disinfection of electronics (computers, keyboards, remote controls, etc.) and moisture-sensitive materials and surfaces (porous surfaces, fabrics, etc.) because it dissipates quickly and, if using a thermal fogger, the fog is applied dry, so users can continue using their devices, surfaces or objects right away without worrying about any possible damage.
3. What disinfectant solution should we use for fogging machines?
For any fogger machine, the use of a water-based disinfectant solution such as Environize Anolyte Disinfectant, Vital Oxide Disinfectant, or Ultra-Lyte Disinfectant is preferred. These are good examples of disinfectant solutions with the correct chemical composition to kill the viruses and germs on surfaces.
At Disinfect & Fog, we carry products and solutions specifically designed for fogging machines. You can check out our Shop section where you can easily order our products and have them delivered to your doorstep. If you are unsure of which disinfectant to use with your fogger or sprayers, you can reach out to us and one of our in-house experts will be ready to help you.
4. Can I use fogging or electrostatic spraying to help control COVID-19?
Fogging or electrostatic spraying to treat surfaces and spaces is an excellent method of disinfection to control the spread of COVID-19. These devices help remove and kill, not only particles of the virus but also germs and bacteria.
Of course, fogging and electrostatic spraying alone cannot control COVID-19; users need to pair these devices with hospital-grade disinfectants that are proven to be effective against the virus. Additionally, it is important to follow other recommendations like wearing a mask, sanitizing and washing your hands often, and maintaining social distancing.
5. What is the difference between a cold fogger and a thermal fogger?
Cold foggers and thermal foggers are perfect opposites. The difference between them is simple: thermal foggers use heat to vaporize disinfectant solution, creating a dry fog, while cold foggers use a cold method, like air pressure, to spray liquid disinfectant in small particles.
It should be added that both the thermal fogger and the cold fogger were initially used for pest control before the outbreak of the COVID-19.
6. What is the difference between an electrostatic fogger and ULV fogger?
Electrostatic sprayers and ULV foggers are among the most popular disinfecting devices at the moment. The difference between them is how they operate.
On one hand, electrostatic foggers or sprayers generate slightly larger droplets of disinfectant that are positively charged when they exit the device’s nozzle. This electrical charge helps the fog adhere to surfaces (which are usually negatively charged) and coat them completely, offering complete, deep, and long-lasting disinfection.
ULV foggers, on the other hand, generate an ultra-low volume of disinfectant spray with smaller droplets, providing uniform coverage on surfaces, while using less product. For this reason, ULV foggers are considered to be very cost-effective.
7. Are foggers safe to use on all surfaces?
Fogging machines are safe to use on most surfaces, except for moisture-sensitive and porous ones, that can only tolerate dry or thermal foggers. Other than that, ULV, cold, and electrostatic foggers can be used freely on hard surfaces.
Another consideration users need to make is about the disinfectant they use. Some products are made of harsh chemicals like chlorine, that can damage surfaces, regardless of the application method. But other than that, it’s good to remember that the nature of fogging is that the particles are so small and evenly distributed that even ULV or electrostatic fogging (with high-quality disinfectants) will be safe on most surfaces, even though these methods do expel a light mist.
8. Is it safe for the person using the device?
Yes! Foggers are not harmful to the environment, humans, pets, or plants, as long as you use a high-quality disinfectant without harsh chemical ingredients.
Overall, it is safe to say that any person using a fogger and anyone near the area where someone is fogging is safe, as these devices and hold no dangers and risks.
9. How do fog disinfectants work?
The working mechanism of fogging disinfectants is pretty straightforward. After the fogger has been sprayed over a particular surface or area, the product requires the proper dwell time to neutralize and kill viruses, bacteria and mould. Also, leaving the solution to dry provides a simple and easy, yet very effective disinfection protocol. That’s why users are not required to wipe surfaces after fogging.
10. How does fogging work?
Foggers expel disinfectant liquid turned into tiny particles that are evenly distributed over a large area. These microscopic droplets not only fall on the desired surfaces, but they also penetrate small crevices where traditional forms of disinfecting would not be able to reach and get distributed on the air, providing comprehensive disinfection of spaces.
11. Who should use fogging?
Fogging is not bound to a particular group of people or sector. Today, with the spread of COVID-19, everyone should fog their spaces regularly due to the effectiveness and long-term savings of both time and money. This method is also very effective in open areas such as schools, daycares, and clinics where airborne particles may be present and would otherwise not be able to be disinfected.
12. What is the process of fogging?
The process of fogging is easy. First, prepare the space that is going to be disinfected. This means that any visible dirt, dust, or debris on surfaces that would restrict the disinfectant from reaching the surface, should be wiped off or vacuumed. Also, if a thermal fogger is not being used, any moisture-sensitive equipment should be covered or removed.
Then, just turn the fogging machine on and spray all over the area that requires disinfecting. After the application, there is no need to wipe the surfaces. The disinfectant will dissipate on its own.
13. Where can I use a fogging machine?
There is no restriction on where to use the fogging machine. Anywhere, any surface and any corner can be fogged to be disinfected and sanitized.
14. Is fogging an adequate replacement for regular cleaning routines?
Fogging removes and kills germs and viruses; however, it is not effective at cleaning dust and dirt as it does not physically remove these elements. Our recommendation is to include fogging in your regular cleaning routine, just after dusting or vacuuming, for deep cleaning and sanitation purposes. Doing this, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic but always, will give you a safer and healthier home or business.
15. How long does disinfectant remain effective on surfaces?
Disinfecting properly kills pathogens present on surfaces and in the air, preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses. However, once the disinfectant is dry, it will not stop new pathogens from staying on a surface, so it is hard to tell how long the effect lasts. Because of this, is it important to disinfect surfaces often, especially those with high traffic of people.
16. Is fogging effective against COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a virus that can remain on surfaces for some time and easily spread from there, but fortunately, fogging with a proper hospital-grade disinfectant is an effective way to protect yourself and others against it.
It should be noted that Disinfect & Fog offers a selection of disinfectants that are listed by the Canadian government as proven to be effective against COVID-19.
17. How long does a disinfection last? When will I need to treat surfaces again?
It depends on what you are disinfecting. Some surfaces and spaces need to be disinfected multiple times a day, some every day, and some once a week or so.
For instance, if we're talking about your house where no one from outside your household enters, then you can disinfect these spaces once a week and whenever you bring things in from outside (ex. groceries). If you are a business owner, then you should disinfect multiple times a day or at least once a day, considering you have customers and staff constantly entering and exiting, and they can become contaminant carriers.
18. Where can I use an electrostatic sprayer for disinfecting?
Electrostatic sprayers can be used anywhere for disinfecting, be it your house, car, public transportation, airports, gyms, shops, malls, educations institutes, and so on.
19. How much do foggers cost?
Each fogger has a different cost for the device itself. Additionally, there’s the ongoing cost of disinfectant, which also varies depending on the solution.
The great perk to using a disinfectant fogger is that it uses much less disinfectant than traditional spraying and wiping, so 1 gallon of disinfectant for a fogger will last much longer than 1 gallon of disinfectant for spraying and wiping. You will also save significant time and manpower by using a fogger.
20. Does the residue from an electrostatic sprayer damage leather furniture or any material products?
It can depend on the disinfectant being used, but a high-quality product should not leave a residue after drying. If you are worried, we would recommend using a thermal fogger to treat this and other fabrics.
21. How do I disinfect sensitive surfaces such as fabrics or electronics?
Disinfecting sensitive surfaces such as fabrics or electronics like laptops and gadgets is possible with the use of a thermal fogger since it emits a dry fog. Make sure you hold the device about 2.5 feet distance away from any device to ensure no damage.
22. Why should I shop from or hire Disinfect & Fog?
At Disinfect & Fog we care about the quality of our products and services, as well as our customer care. We are experts in commercial and residential disinfecting, using innovative technical fogging solutions and products that are proven to provide maximum protection from pathogens and contaminants.
Our main goal is to help our customers find the best devices and products for their particular needs, so they can provide the right protection for their families, staff, and clients. This personal approach has made Disinfect & Fog a leader in the fogging industry.
For more information on our range of sanitizing devices, or if you have any questions about safely returning to work, reopening your business, or keeping it open – please do not hesitate to contact us.