Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic many disinfection techniques have been employed across the globe in diverse settings, from public buildings through to private homes.
Now the focus is also on holiday properties, where since the easing of lockdown and the soaring demand for staycations, the safety of guests has become paramount.
One high-tech solution to disinfecting between bookings is the electrostatic disinfectant sprayer, an eco solution, which is four times faster than conventional spraying systems.
Bideford-based SCT Cleaners, a family-run business with 15 employees, is believed to be one of the few companies in Devon to be using the cutting-edge technology.
Caroline Sunley, director of the company, which cleans properties ranging from second homes, cabins and pods to wedding venues and even parts of the Milky Way Adventure Park, says there are numerous benefits to electrostatic disinfection.
“Its applications within cleaner services are endless,” she stresses.
“It can be used anywhere after a standard clean, from between stays in holiday homes to gyms, hospitals, schools, doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries.
“It is ideal for end of a tenancy cleans and before homeowners move into their new properties – and it is perfect for any kind of domestic or commercial cleaning job, whether that is a one-off visit or a regular contract.”
So, what can electrostatic spraying be used for?
Electrostatic sprayers work by charging liquids to enable the particles to actively seek out surfaces and coat themselves evenly all the way round, Caroline explains.
“For example, if you sprayed the bottom of a chair it would wrap the liquid right around the whole leg, thereby saving far more time and fluid than if you were using a standard household cleaning spray,” she says.
“The disinfectants we use in our sprayers contain no chlorine, bleach, solvents or alcohol and have no fragrance; they are non-flammable, non-hazardous and non-corrosive.”
SCT Cleaners, which also has its own laundry units and has been significantly growing the waste disposal side of its business in recent months, uses two liquids.
“One of these kills germs and eliminates everything from the surfaces, while the other can be sprayed on afterwards for further protection as it continues to work for up to 21 days.”
Does electrostatic disinfection work?
In high demand during the current pandemic, the technology is effective in reducing the spread of disease-causing pathogens and addressing viral, fungal and bacterial outbreaks, including influenza and norovirus.
“Its other benefits include its efficiency, which leads to overall cost savings,” Caroline observes.
“It is 70 per cent faster for us to disinfect a room if we were to go in and do it manually.
“Furthermore, because it is touchless, it prevents cross-contamination as the same cloth is not being used to spread germs around a room.”
Improving cleaner services
The process, which leaves surfaces dry in 15 minutes, is also believed to be safer for the professional cleaner, Caroline points out.
“And from a health and safety point of view it is also beneficial as there are no cables strewn across the room: the system relies on rechargeable batteries and is therefore cordless.”
So rigorous is the process now undertaken by the company with the electrostatic disinfectant sprayer that holiday homes undergoing it can gain full AA Covid Accreditation, says Tracy Buckley, general manager at the company.
“We now make our process mandatory for all our holiday lets: they have a standard clean and then we disinfect afterwards,” she explains.
“Because of this, combined with the health and safety procedures we put in place for the customers, and our staff, and the risk assessment we conduct to ensure government guidelines are adhered to, we can help holiday homes to gain AA Covid Accreditation, which is obviously very important at a time like this.
“We can help them to become safer places for their guests and for the owners themselves when they stay there.”