How Effective Is Fogging Disinfection? A Beginner’s Guide

How Effective Is Fogging Disinfection? A Beginner’s Guide
By: Emaids

A worker got sick? Do you need professional disinfection to eliminate health hazards at your office? Or you simply want extra protection against pathogens like COVID-19? Probably you have heard of fogging disinfection. This professional disinfecting method is widespread and effective using strict guidelines.

If you’re looking for a fogging disinfection service in Washington DC, or you want to learn more about fogging disinfection, this is the blog for you!

What is fogging disinfection?

Since last year's pandemic, surely you have seen a fogging machine in action (on television or the internet). The usual image is of a person wearing protective gear and using a small device that sprays mist or fog on surfaces. This is called fogging and has been a standard disinfecting method to eliminate pathogens, commonly in offices or other high traffic areas.

There are several types of fogging—like chemical fogging, ozone fogging, and ionization—and all have different characteristics. You can find fogging machines in different shapes and sizes—either a small backpack or a metal bowl that remains on the ground.

Whichever method you choose, fogging is often used as a complementary disinfection task, eliminating remaining pathogens that conventional sanitation methods couldn’t reach. In fact, fogging could be very effective in disinfecting high horizontal surfaces, narrow corners, confined spaces, and some vertical surfaces.

Is fogging safe?

As mentioned above, fogging is a common and effective disinfection method. However, the person applying it has to follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety of people that work in the disinfected room.

As CDC recommends, only trained professionals should operate fogging machines. They should use EPA-approved disinfectants and wear appropriate protective gear like gloves, chemical suits, and sealed masks. The room has to be unoccupied during the application and used with extreme caution in food preparation areas or children's playgrounds. It's critical to follow the manufacturer's instructions, especially regarding the right amount of disinfectant and time of application.

How fogging disinfection works?

As previously mentioned, you need to follow strict protocols for a fogging unit to be safe and effective. The process can be divided into three steps: cleaning, disinfecting and fogging. If you hire a contractor or a disinfecting service for your place, ensure they follow the proper guidelines and steps.


Before any disinfecting action takes place, the area must be appropriately decluttered and clean. Wipe surfaces to remove dirt and grime, as well as dust appliances and fixtures. Don’t forget to remove any organic matter, too. Cleaning is a crucial part of the process because removing soil and dirt will allow the following disinfectants to be more effective.


The space must be disinfected using conventional methods like spraying and wiping. Hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, or a mix of bleach and water are always the most common and best disinfectants available for everyone. Check the CDC guidelines for better results. You have to leave the disinfectant over the surface for a certain period of time to deactivate the pathogens successfully.


After cleaning and disinfecting the main surfaces, fogging will provide an extra layer of protection, covering all spots that weren't touched in the previous phases. The "fog" is applied directly on surfaces and is left to spread in the air to deactivate possible pathogens floating around. Please consider that this process consists of precise time and quantities, so check these guidelines.

How effective is fogging disinfection against COVID-19 and other pathogens?

Fogging alone doesn't provide enough protection against COVID-19 and other pathogens. As mentioned before, for this method to be effective, it needs to be complemented with proper decluttering, cleaning, and sanitation practices. Professionals consider fogging an extra precaution, ideal for high-traffic offices, workstations, schools, and other places with a higher risk of contamination. Check the EPA's List of disinfectants effective against COVID-19 here and ensure you're protecting yourself effectively against pathogens.

Now that you know how fogging works, you need the machine and someone trained to operate it. At eMaids of Washington DC, we are prepared to provide effective and safe disinfecting services, including CDC-approved products and a professional fogging session. Ask for a quote or book online on our website.

May 14, 2021
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