The Basics of Airless Spraying of Disinfectants

The reality of life during COVID-19 is a struggle on many fronts. As the world begins a transition away from the "new normal", the ideal of cleanliness has taken on a new meaning.

Disinfecting will likely be a protocol in many businesses moving forward, but how does the spray bottle method work in the long run? The inefficiency of the spray bottle method adds up over time, costing time, expensive chemicals, and ultimately money. Not to mention the illusion of the spray and wipe method which is notorious under testing for poor coverage and inadequate dwell time.

The tool that many business owners are now investing in is known as an airless sprayer. An airless sprayer can complete a job up to 75% faster than a spray bottle method, and the effectiveness of the airless sprayer is worlds above more traditional methods. Consistent coverage, proper dwell times achieved, and far less work to complete the task of disinfecting all make the airless spraying method of disinfecting the ideal in the amidst the global pandemic and beyond.

What Is Airless Spraying?

Airless sprayers atomize liquid disinfectant into small droplets without the use of compressed air.

In an airless system designed for use with disinfectants, the liquid disinfectant is pumped under high pressure. As the high pressure flow of liquid hits the spray tip of the gun the surface tension of the liquid is 'atomized', producing a very fine mist of disinfectant that prevents pooling on surfaces.

With different tips and adjustable pressures, airless sprayers can be tailored to reach far and wide, short and narrow, and anywhere in between. Compared to the spray bottle method, the level of control over the application process is hard to beat.

When Should I Use An Airless Sprayer?

Similar to the spray bottle method, an airless sprayer in the context of disinfectants should be used before a space will be used and after the space is used.

An airless disinfectant sprayer system has three major advantages over traditional methods:

  1. Speed
  2. Coverage
  3. Adaptability


Airless disinfectant sprayers, like the Graco SaniSpray HP65 Disinfectant Sprayer, are the fastest and safest way to disinfect any space.

Traditional methods of spray bottle and cloth wipe are inefficient because it takes too long to apply disinfectants, especially over large areas. Additionally, the spray bottle method is susceptible to improper dwell times.

In comparison to other spraying technologies like foggers, pumps, or electrostatic sprayers, airless spraying requires less time applying. Foggers can take a solid chunk of time to set up since all air access must be found and sealed. Pumps, like hand pumps, can be cumbersome and also suffer the inefficiencies of the spray bottle method. Electrostatic sprayers are a close competitor, however their technology requires the applicator to move slowly as the flow rate is usually lower than airless sprayers.


Airless sprayers surpass traditional methods when it comes to full, consistent coverage on a surface. The micro-fine mist produced by the airless disinfectant sprayer layers a surface like a blanket, while other methods have a tendency to create pools or voids in the disinfectant layer.

A major benefit of this disinfectant mist is it's ability to cover irregular or ornate surfaces. Traditional methods create a spray that is not uniform, which when applied to an irregular surface creates even more voids than you would find on a flat surface.

The ability to change nozzle tips and adjust pressure output allows applicators the opportunity to make adjustments to their work on the fly. For instance, when working in tight corners it's often the better idea to lower the pressure of your sprayer to avoid overspray. When the job is disinfecting a boardroom, a high pressure and wide fan spray can cover the room, effectively and safely, in less than 5 minutes.


As previously mentioned, the ability to change sprayer tips and adjust pressure output from the machine makes sprayers like the Graco SaniSpray HP20 a multi-tool in the janitorial kit.

The portability of airless sprayers also allows applicators to move their machine from site to site with very little effort. Most machines are rated to work inside and outside which is perfect for outdoor restaurants, patios, and kitchen settings.

Graco's HP20 can also be used for more than disinfecting. Sanitizing, where 99.9% of organisms are killed when allowed proper dwell time, and deodorizing are functions that the machine can pivot to should the job require.

Is Airless Spraying Worth It?

Institutions that see higher traffic and use, such as hospitals and schools, will benefit more from regular use of airless disinfection. Lighter traffic areas such as individual offices would still benefit greatly from an airless sprayer, but the upfront cost can be hard to justify for just one individual.

An airless disinfectant sprayer is an investment that pays itself back in full when you consider the time, money, and staff it can take to disinfectant areas with only a cloth and spray bottle. With traditional methods, disinfectants are less likely to be effective and opens the possibility of staff or customers getting sick.

Employee absenteeism or a downright refusal to work due to unsafe conditions can create major headaches for business owners, and in the middle of a pandemic those headaches hit 10x as hard.

Using an airless disinfectant sprayer to disinfect, sanitize, or deodorize an area is the smart choice in the long term. Airless disinfectant sprayers are made with steel and carbide parts to resist corrosion from chemicals and outlast the jobsite it was designed to defend. Airless disinfectant sprayers are definitely worth it.

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