Germ Defense on front lines of COVID-19 disinfection

Process is a two-step procedure with a strong reliance on science
May 29, 2020

When Matthew and Gretchen McKay started Germ Defense Delaware last year, they never dreamed they would be working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the types of sanitizing applications they do have not changed dramatically over the past three months, people's recognition for the need for proper sanitization has grown tremendously during the pandemic, McKay said.

The couple houses their new business at Beach Vacuums – formerly the Oreck store – at 19730 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach. McKay started the business 23 years ago; it's the last vacuum store in Sussex County.

Two days over the past week, they teamed up with OceanSide Elite Cleaning & Building Services to provide free hospital-grade disinfection and germ deterrent to personal and professional vehicles of Beebe Healthcare workers and other first responders.

The McKays disinfect and protect day care centers, medical facilities, restaurants, gyms and homes. Residential application is what got them into the business in the first place, McKay said. His vacuum business customers had been asking him for years for long-lasting cleaning products, especially people who were home after hospital procedures.

“We were looking how to help someone recuperating at home in the same clean conditions as a hospital room,” McKay said.

Germ Defense has medical products and application equipment, which McKay says puts the company ahead of the curve. “We are already doing the same things that hospitals do,” he said.

Using a backpack sprayer in a two-step process, the McKays disinfect surfaces utilizing electrostatic applications with hypochlorous acid, which reduces microbials up to 99.9 percent, including COVID-19.

In step one, a disinfecting mist is sprayed on a surface, which then becomes charged particles that cling to and coat the surface.

Next, a germ-deterrent antimicrobial polymer is applied, which chemically bonds to treated surfaces, attracts microorganisms and kills them.

The process kills germs on surfaces in 15 seconds, McKay said.

McKay said the manufacturer says the application is good for 30 days, but it can kill germs on surfaces for longer time periods because the negatively charged HOCL clings to positively charged hard surfaces. It would last through 1,200 cycles of bleach cleaning on a surface, McKay said.

Typically, he repeats the process every six months for homeowners, monthly at medical offices and every 30 to 60 days at retail establishments.

HOCL, which is used in hospitals, is 300 times stronger than bleach, he said. “There is nothing stronger to kill germs and it's safe because it's already in our white blood cells. It kills every known pathogen. It's amazingly safe to us and a killer to germs,” he said. “There is not a location we can't use it.”

The process is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

He said it's also safe for use around electronic equipment such as computers. “It's used in operating rooms to disinfect equipment costing millions of dollars,” he said.

For more information, contact McKay at 302-227-3355 or go to


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