Home Cleaning – Using The Electrostatic Force

Written by: Chris Wadsworth

Electrostatic Home Cleaning – Our Take

Upper Valley Home Cleaning - Enhanced Home Cleaning Using the Electrostatic Force

Electrostatic effects improve home cleaning by attracting more dirt and dust particles. It works well on the smallest of particles which are the ones that we humans tend to breathe as they stay suspended in the air longer and are more easily pushed up into the air just by walking around a room.

We don’t want to breathe these dust particles and therefore we need to do what we can to remove as many as we can from our home. We can enhance the process of collecting and removing dust particles by using the electrostatic force.

The dirt and dust in your home are, of course, made up of atoms. Atoms are a combination of protons, electrons, and neutrons. The protons are positively charged, the electrons are negatively charged, and the neutrons are neutral.

If there is an imbalance of between the negatively charged electrons and the positively charged protons, then a static electric force is the result. This force can either attract or repel.

Small dust particles are cleaned up much more effective when an electrostatic force is used to attract them.

The claim is that electrostatic cleaning can really help to get your home clean as it uses a force which attracts very some particles. These small particles will typically not be picked up by the mechanical force which is the primary force used when cleaning with a broom or vacuum cleaner.

We have significant experience with cleaning homes and know that the electrostatic effects help to improve the cleaning of a home. However, it is worth a review to understand how it works and why it should be used in the cleaning of your home.

There are two questions which are relevant.

1. Is the electrostatic charge sufficient to help collect dust particles?
2. Does the charge remain high enough for a long enough period of time so that the electrostatic cleaning is effective over the time frame associated with the cleaning process?

As home cleaning experts these are the only two considerations we are concerned with and we can say yes to both questions.

Electrostatic Home Cleaning – How Does It Work?

I will explain how this force is used by using the market leader – Swiffer – a cleaning system introduced in 1999. When two dissimilar substances are rubbed against each other one will lose charge and the other will gain charge. Swiffer pads are made of polyester which is more electronegative than wood. Wood flooring is the material we intend to clean in this example. As a Swiffer is moved across the floor, it gains static charge.  Therefore, when the two surfaces are rubbed against one another the Swiffer pad gains a negative charge and this charge can be used to attract dust.

You may have experienced this attractive force yourself when you rubbed a party balloon against your sweater and it then stuck to you. It is the electrostatic force that is causing the attraction.

As you can see in the image below, cat hair is attracted using static electricity.

Upper Valley Home Cleaning - Electrostatic Force

This same electrostatic force can be used to help us clean the floor of your home. It can help us to attract all the following types of dust particles.

  • Pet dander
  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Textile fibers
  • Paper fibers
  • Human skin cells
  • Decomposing insects
  • Smoke particles

Some dust particles are so small they are invisible to the human eye. However, they will not escape the electrostatic attractive force. In fact, this force is even more effective the smaller the particle as these particles are lighter and more easily attracted (captured) and held on to the pad.

The Swiffer pad must gain either a negative or positive charge. It will work either way. Consider that the dust particles have a neutral charge (no net charge). If the Swiffer pad becomes negatively charged (which is the case) then it will attract the protons of the dust particles. With a charge on the Swiffer pad the dust particles will align so that the positive and negative charges will be near each other and the dust, now aligned, is stuck electrostatically to the pad.

The Swiffer gains charge through friction, then utilizes charge polarization to attract dust molecules to it.

A Clean Vision uses many ways to enhance how we clean your home. We are proud of what we do and take great satisfaction knowing that we have cleaned your home well. In the case of wood surfaces, it makes sense to use every advantage. To use an electrostatic force to enhance cleaning makes the result better for you.

Upper Valley Home Cleaning

If you have a home in the Upper Valley and want to learn how A Clean Vision can help keep your home clean and tidy – even down to the smallest of dust particles – then give us a call. We can be reached at 802-295-6066 or fill out our contact form right here on our website.

Filled Under: Blog