The rise of COVID-19 made rapid cleansing essential for indoor public spaces. Ammonia and chlorine bleachers (e.g. soap, wet wipes, spray, hand sanitiser) are highly useful when used as routine disinfectant cleaners.

However, they can’t always catch everything nasty that’s floating around within ventilation systems and ductwork. Additionally, scrubbing isn’t suitable for wiping down every surface to remove bacteria and viruses. Electronics, machinery, and scientific instruments are too vulnerable to cross-contamination, corrosion, and shorts to risk washing without expensive, time-consuming shutdowns.

The coronavirus can potentially persist in stale air for hours, contained within microscopic floating liquid droplets – a crucial vector solid wipe downs can’t cleanse. The solution is an aerosol spray cleaning method, such as misting or fogging. Let’s look at how these processes work, and the differences between misting and fogging.

How Does Aerosol Cleaning Work?

Aerosol cleaning uses intense hydraulic pressure to convert non-toxic cleaning chemicals (with water) into a microdroplet mix. When needed, the disinfectant spray fires out from an adjustable, wide-burst nozzle at whatever needs cleaning. This light-touch approach and the spray’s long persistence allow aerosols to safely cleanse the surrounding air and solid objects (via static cling) to an excellent standard. Both misting and fogging deploy directional spray nozzles, a powerful detergent, and tightly packed water clouds to cleanse rooms. However, there are subtle yet significant differences between the two to keep in mind.


Due to its lower liquid density and better passive spread, fogging is best for cleaning large factory floors, block rooms, and tightly enclosed spaces, such as ventilation and air conditioning systems. A network of nozzles or a passive emitter can help you avoid any gaps in the cloud.

However, if you’re looking for a solution to disinfect sensitive surfaces, consider misting instead. Mist clouds have a far better metallic grip, a narrower directional funnel, and better electrostatic cling, making them easier to aim. They are also suitable for use with sensitive electronics.

Detergent Persistence

Fog remains on surfaces and in the air, whereas mist doesn’t. If you want a longer-lasting aerosol solution, the persistent clouds created by a fog stream will help deep-clean wider and taller areas. You can also use non-toxic, proximity-triggered fog machines to create sustainable disinfecting airlocks between access points.

Water Droplet Size

There’s also the more technical side of fogging and misting to consider. Mists are a fine spray, while fogs are broader. To create different effects, nozzle ‘bottleneck’ emitters are measured out by the micron (i.e. one-thousandth of a millimetre). These tiny exit holes in a micromesh filter force the pressurised liquid into a floating gas (aerosolisation).

Find Out More

At Europa VCS, we provide a range of commercial cleaning solutions for ventilation and air conditioning systems. To find out more, please get in touch with one of our cleaning specialists today.

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