How Do Electrostatic Sprayers Work?

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

how do electrostatic sprayers work

We live in turbulent and trying times.  We need and want to keep our families and businesses as safe and clean as possible.  One of the newer ways of keeping our homes and businesses disinfected is by using electrostatic sprayers.  You have probably seen them used on the news to disinfect airplanes and movie theaters, but these can also be used at your home and business too.  Let’s take a look at see how does an electrostatic sprayer work.

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How Do Electrostatic Sprayers Work?

Electrostatic sprayers create an electrical charge that charges the disinfectant that you are using with a positive charge.  This positive charge allows the disinfectant to stick to pretty much any surface.

This allows the user to just point and spray the disinfectant on a surface and ensure that they get even coverage, even on not flat surfaces like airplane or movie seats.

They work off the “opposites attract” principle. Where positive charges stick to negative charges, like when you have two magnets with opposite positive and negative ends.  The positive sticks to the negative, but when you attempt to stick the two positive ends together they repel from each other.

This allows the “positively” charged disinfectant to stick to the “negatively” charged surface. Also, the positively charged disinfectant doesn’t stick to each other, which allows for better coverage of the disinfectant.


Why am I now just hearing about Electrostatic Sprayers?

Electrostatic spraying is a new way to clean surfaces, especially those that are hard to reach. It is well established in other industries, such as agriculture, and automotive industries. But it has only recently been adapted to surface disinfection.

Electrostatic spray technology has been around for well over 60 years, so it isn’t new technology.  However, due to recent global situations, electrostatic spraying became a great way to disinfect a large and varied amount of surfaces relatively quickly.

Being able to clean, sterilize, or disinfect large areas became a much need task for schools, hospitals, and businesses.  Electrostatic spraying is perfectly suited for those tasks and even works great in your home too.

work using an electrostatic sprayer disinfecting an office

Where can I use an electrostatic sprayer?

You can basically use an electrostatic sprayer anywhere you currently use standard disinfectant wipes or sprays. Though they tend to work best on non-porous surfaces, like most indoor items and surfaces.


They are also safe for electronics as well, so you don’t have to be to worried about spraying your keyboards, mice, and remote controls. Care should be taken to not spray the chemicals on the electronics at close range.

Upholstered Surfaces and Fabrics

These sprayers can effectively cover large areas in minutes, where it might take hours by hand. So disinfecting your home would take a fraction of the time it usually takes by hand. Disinfecting your home furniture is a pretty quick task, though pay special care when electrostatic spray cleaning, fabrics to make sure they don’t stain due to the cleaning solution.


Where should I not use an electrostatic sprayer?

Well, there are a few areas you might want to take special precautions in or avoid altogether when using an electrostatic sprayer.


Avoid spraying things outdoors.  Electrostatic sprayers don’t work great on porous surfaces, which the outdoors is primarily made of.

You might get away with spraying outside signage, or door handles but most outdoor surfaces are off-limits.

Around Paper Documents

Since electrostatic sprayers leave a slight residue or disinfectant on the surfaces you are spraying, you need to take special care around paper documents.  You should put up any paper products to prevent them from possibly getting damaged by the cleaning agents.

Dining and Food Preparation Areas

You should take extra care when using an electrostatic sprayer around any food preparation area.  Getting the disinfectants on items used in food prep or dining might want to be avoided or special care should be used in these areas.

I recommend you follow the expert advice of the CDC when disinfecting food pre or dining areas with an electrostatic sprayer.


How often do I have to use my electrostatic sprayer?

Using an electrostatic sprayer does not create a protective barrier. It doesn’t protect surfaces from becoming infections again even though it kills unwanted pathogens.

The introduction of new, potentially harmful germs or pathogens on a daily basis may cause institutions like medical facilities, schools, and gyms to require more frequent sterilization.

So the answer is it depends.  If you are concerned about cleaning a particular area after potential exposure, then you might not need to use your electrostatic sprayer every day but maybe once a week.

The even application of chemicals allows for less frequent manual cleaning. So if you regularly have to clean door handles, desks, or chairs by hand, you could easily use an electrostatic sprayer to cover those items.  Then if you feel you need to manually clean an item or surface you will need to do that less frequently.

If you are running a business, are in an educational environment, or entertainment environment you might want to use the sprayer daily, or multiple times a day.  One example might be the regular cleanings performed electrostatic spray cleaning in movie theaters after each movie or airplane cabins between flights.


Is using an electrostatic sprayer safer for the operator?

Yes, the operator of an electrostatic sprayer is safe when using the sprayer.  You should also follow the manufactures safety instructions and wear appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment).

The CDC recommends that only the individual using the electrostatic sprayer should be in the area which is being disinfected, and individuals should remain out of the area based on the chemical and sprayer directions recommend.  Sounds like pretty sound advice to me.


Who makes electrostatic sprayers for home use?

There are several manufactures that produce electrostatic sprayers.  More and more manufactures have started producing noncommercial electrostatic spray technology that the average homeowner or small business might use to disinfect surfaces quickly and to supplement or replace manual cleaning.


Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Handheld Electrostatic Sprayer Kit with (2) 2.0 Ah Batteries and Charger


CLOROX Turbo Pro Electrostatic Sprayer




SuperHandy Disinfecting Nano Electrostatic ULV Sprayer Handheld Portable Cordless 34oz Capacity 12V Lithium Ion Powered Sanitizer Disinfectant Odor Eliminator Outdoor Plant Repellent Control


These models come in a handheld sprayer,  models with shoulder straps, or even a backpack sprayer.

Summing it up: how does an electrostatic sprayer work?

Electrostatic sprayers work by spraying disinfectant onto surfaces, which allows it to evenly coat all surfaces for a more thorough cleaning.

As the spray exits from the nozzle, it is given a positive electric charge, which means it becomes attracted to all negatively charged surface areas, helping to cover uneven and challenging areas with the sanitizer.

Though this electrostatic spray technology has been around for more than 60 years, it is been placed front in center in the effort to reduce the time it takes disinfect surfaces quickly and easily to help protect our lives, our families, and our businesses.