Difference Between Electrostatic Sprayer and Fogger: A Comprehensive Guide

Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by the staff of TheAllElectricLawn

difference between electrostatic sprayer and fogger

No matter where you are in the world, electrostatic sprayers and foggers are doing their part in helping to keep our world a little safer from disease-carrying bugs and from viruses that cause sickness.

Each of these devices plays an important role in helping us stay safe.  You might be wondering what is the difference between electrostatic sprayer and fogger.

What is the difference between foggers and electrostatic sprayers?

While both of these devices may seem similar that are actually pretty different in design.

Electrostatic sprayers introduce a positive charge to the chemicals it is dispersing.  This makes the chemicals attractive to surfaces which allows the chemicals to fully surround an object to completely disinfect the object.

On the other hand, Foggers produce a wet mist or a dry fog that kills any bugs or pathogens it touches in the air or on any object the fog or mist lands on.

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Both of the devices are great at quickly and easily disinfecting or treat large areas.   Many manufacturers produce foggers and electrostatic sprayers for both home and commercial use. Some examples are below:

RYOBI

Ryobi ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Fogger/Mister with 2.0 Ah Battery + Charger Included

SuperHandy

SuperHandy Fogger Machine Disinfectant ULV Sprayer with 48V DC Lithium Ion Cordless Mist Duster Blower 2.6GAL 1-10GPH Adjustable Particle Size 0-50um/Mm

PetraTools

 

PetraTools Electric Disinfecting Fogger Machine Backpack Sprayer - 4 Gallon Mist Blower with Extended Commercial Hose for Sanitation Spraying & Greenhouses - Disinfection Fogger (Backpack Sprayer)

Is a fogger the same as an electrostatic sprayer?

Both are machines that take chemicals and spray them out onto surfaces for disinfection or treatments.  While most people think they are the same, they are actually different.

The major difference is in chemical delivery and size or the chemical delivered to the surface or air after leaving the sprayer or fogger.  While both are designed to deliver chemicals to surfaces and objects, they do it in very different ways.

These two devices were really designed for two different reasons.

Foggers were originally designed for pest control, i.e., killing bugs. They are very good at and have been used widely across the world to control disease-carrying mosquitos, for example.

Electrostatic sprayers were designed to spraying chemicals on surfaces, initially for automotive paint applications and for applying insecticides to plants for farmers.

This made them perfect for applying chemicals for surface disinfection.  The way the positively charged chemicals collect on the surface of objects makes it perfect for disinfecting surfaces.

Infographic on Differences Between Foggers and Electrostatic Sprayers

What is the difference between fogging and electrostatic spraying?

Well, there are a few major differences between fogging and electrostatic spraying. The biggest differences are in the size of the chemical dispersed by the sprayer and the dwell time (of time the chemical stays on a surface)

Particle Sizes

Particle size is a major difference between foggers and sprayers. A fogger is a sprayer that makes particles between 15 and 60 microns. Most foggers produce particles of 10–30-microns.

Electrostatic sprayers typically produce particles in the range of 65 to 85 microns. Depending on the settings,  sprayers may produce particle sizes as small as 40 and as large as 160 microns.

Dwell Time

Dwell time is the time disinfectants need to remain wet on surfaces for a certain amount of time to be effective.

For Fogging, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to 1 hour for dwell time. As for Electrostatic spray disinfection, it only takes 5 minutes.

Because the particles for fogging are smaller, they evaporate faster, which might cause an issue if the chemical you are using to disinfect needs to sit longer on a surface to disinfect it. Since the size of particles an electrostatic sprayer emits is larger, it takes longer for them to evaporate, allowing the chemical to disinfect.

cleaning room with electrostatic sprayer or fogger

What is better, a fogger or an electrostatic sprayer?

Well, it really depends on what you want to do.

Foggers were designed to apply pesticides, and they are great at doing so.  The smaller particles that foggers emit are great for getting down into tight corners and small places where insects and pests love to hide.

They aren’t great at surface disinfection. The small particles tend to clump together or stay suspended in the air, which might cause the disinfectant to not come in contact with a virus or pathogen.

Also, since the particles that foggers put off are tiny, they can be hazardous to people since they are small enough to enter a human’s lungs.

This often requires areas to be disinfected by foggers to be unoccupied for hours to days.  That is not ideal for movie theaters and airliners, which need to be cleaned quickly between uses.

However, it is ideal for killing insects and bugs outside since the chemical could remain in the area for a longer time, which would make the insecticide more effective.

Are electrostatic sprayers better than foggers?

Electrostatic sprayers are great for applying chemicals to surfaces and odd-shaped objects.  Due to the positive electric charge that electrostatic sprayers attach to the chemicals makes them perfect for completely covering a surface quickly.

For areas that need to be disinfected quickly and thoroughly, an electrostatic sprayer is ideal.  That is why you will often see them used in educational facilities, movie theaters, airliners, and large entertainment venues.

disinfecting parking garage with backpack fogger

Foggers: Pros and Cons

PRO

Coverage – While hand-held foggers allow for the best coverage, they require substantial PPE because they put users at risk of inhaling disinfectants because of small particles.

Single-use foggers that run on their own are more likely to be what you choose to use instead of handheld models for indoor use.

CONS

  • Uneven or Spotty Coverage –  Spotty coverage can occur if the disinfectant lands in the wrong place. To make the results better, close doors and windows and turn off fans.
  • Longer Wait Times –  Depending on the type of fogger you choose, it may take a few hours to complete the job and allow safe re-entry into the space.

Electrostatic Sprayers: Pros and Cons

PRO

  • Short Application Periods – It doesn’t take long for the active chemicals to get on their intended surfaces.  Occupants can return to the area as soon as the surfaces and objects are dry.

CONS

  • Human Error – A crew member can get distracted or forget which surfaces they have already disinfected. This could result in non-sanitized surfaces or time wasted on re-sanitizing.
  • Surface Issues – The majority of surfaces hold a negative charge. Opposite charges cause a surface or object to be disinfected since the negative and positive chemicals attract each other. Some surfaces may not have a negative charge. If that happens,  the expected results won’t be delivered by the disinfecting solution from the electrostatic sprayer.

Summing it Up: Difference between electrostatic sprayer and fogger

In conclusion, there isn’t one right answer when choosing whether to go with an electrostatic sprayer or a fogger. Both options offer pros and cons.

You need to decide which option works best for your situation. The differences between a fogger and electrostatic sprayer truly matter based on where and what you are trying to apply chemicals to.

 

References:

CDC

EPA