Cleaning up: New business specializes in disinfecting
A new Marco area business is cleaning up – literally. HydroClean Environmental Solutions was only created in mid-March, but their business model is aimed straight at a niche which is taking on immense importance as companies try to reopen and bring customers back safely after the enforced pandemic shutdown.
HydroClean specializes in disinfecting businesses with a hydrogen peroxide spray, said partners Matt Melican and Dana Coote.
“It’s safe for food, safe for human contact, and it kills the corona virus,” said Coote. “And because it’s a spray, we reach surfaces that don’t get touched in a wipedown. Our spray envelops an area.”
Their spray reaches the bottom of tables and chairs, as well as ceilings, he said. Along with the three and a half percent hydrogen peroxide, which is the ingredient that actually takes out the virus, the solution they spray includes surfactants and a deodorizer. They can also use a solution with ionized water for glass, that leaves windows crystal clear.
With the fogger they use, the treatment has a 99 percent control rate for viruses, including flu, SARS, H1N1 as well as the COVID-19 virus, said Melican. They can also use a solution with ionized water for glass, that leaves windows crystal clear. The window of effectiveness for the spray is eight minutes, and in 15 minutes, it evaporates into oxygen. But what it does in those few minutes makes a big difference for the safety of locals, the owners say.
“We’re excited about this – our customers want to fight back against the virus, and we’re fighting back,” he said. “This is the traditional, tried and true method for sterilizing,” using the hydrogen peroxide solution, said Melican, but the advantage they have is the spray application.
“Doctors and dentists’ offices use this same product.” The main hurdle they faced in getting up and running with their business was obtaining the product, as well as becoming certified as applicators by the manufacturer, which they did.
“Lots of restaurants do a great job, wiping with a bleach solution, but we take it to the next level,” said Coote. “We can do it in 10 minutes instead of an hour.”
Restaurants have been a big category for HydroClean’s business since they began operations, said Melican. On Marco Island, restaurant customers include Sami’s Pizza, Crazy Flamingo, Zaza Kitchen, and Lee Be Fish. Another sector for business has been outdoor recreation.
Working “about equally on Marco Island and in Naples,” said Coote, they disinfect the bicycle fleet of Island Bike Shop’s Marco and Naples locations. Another outdoor customer is the concessionaire at Tigertail Beach. Along with the food service areas and outdoor tables, HydroClean does daily disinfection of all the kayaks, stand up paddleboards, water tricycles, cabanas and chaise lounges they rent.
Applicator technician Owen Maynard suited up in hazmat gear and a hard hat and strapped on an industrial strength fogger that made him look like he should be on the set of the “Ghostbusters” movie. The spray coming from his nozzle was barely visible.
They also sanitized the premises of the Our Daily Bread Food Pantry for free.
“Though we regularly clean and disinfect, we asked HydroClean to perform their viral disinfection services at the food pantry,” said Our Daily Bread vice president Liz Pecora. “The health and safety of our guests and volunteers mean everything to us and HydroClean gave us peace of mind.”
Melican and Coote both have other businesses – Melican is in construction grading and landscape installation, and Coote has Florida Roofing and Construction. They don’t see the disinfection business as necessarily a long-term proposition, they said.
“We would love to be out of business in a year,” assuming the virus can be brought under control, said Melican, who is president and one of the original organizers of the Marco Patriots group, and brother of Marco Patriots board chair ErinMia Milchman. “We’re not trying to profiteer. We’re doing this to help the community.”
HydroClean offers free consultations and no-charge estimates, and prices to disinfect businesses can be as low as “a couple hundred bucks,” he said. For more information, call HydroClean at 833-438-4202, or go online to hydrocleanenvironmentalsolutions.com.