'Car wash' for supermarket trolleys kills coronavirus

‘Car wash’ for supermarket trolleys that claims to leave them virus-free in under 30 seconds could help Britain combat another coronavirus spike

  • The Clean Trolley emits a fine mist that can kill any virus on supermarket trolleys
  • Video shows the simple process of passing trolley stacks through like a car wash
  • The portable Dutch device has already had success at European supermarkets 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A ‘car wash’ for supermarket trolleys that emits an anti-viral spray could help the UK avoid a second coronavirus spike.  

The mobile ‘Clean Trolley’ contraption, which is has already been distributed in mainland Europe, can make 30 trolleys virus-free in less than under 30 seconds.   

Trolleys are easily moved through the machine and is sprayed with virucide – a chemical agent that kills viruses, including the coronavirus.

Hundreds of the machines a week are being sold in already Germany, where they’ve been rolled out at supermarkets including Lidl and Aldi. 

Video footage shows a long stack of supermarket trolleys being sterilised and delivered back to the trolley bay, safe to use for the next customer. 

The contraption could be key to reducing the infection rates at busy supermarkets, which are being heavily relied upon during lockdown. 

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Inventors have come up with a machine they say could help Britain combat coronavirus – a ‘car wash’ for supermarket trolleys

Clean Trolley was invented in the Netherlands and is being distributed in Britain by Lancashire-based company Wilkinson Mobile Catering. 

The company claims the machine is more thorough and efficient than the current method of a retail assistant wiping the trolley bar handle by hand. 

The head of the company told MailOnline he believes the system supermarkets currently have deployed so far is ‘woefully inadequate’. 

‘We have seen fears and potential huge spikes from a second wave of this virus, and things are very uncertain and unknown at the moment,’ said Mike Wilkinson, managing director of Wilkinson Mobile Catering.   

Clean Trolley contains virucide in a 10-litre container, which is mixed with water at a ratio of up to one to 400

‘They are commonplace on the continent, especially in Germany where COVID-19 cases are a small fraction of what they are in the UK. 

‘It makes sense for supermarkets across our country to think ahead and start using such products right now.

‘To ensure all surfaces are rendered virus-free instantaneously, we feel this is the best solution for supermarkets going forward.’ 

Clean Trolley can be stationed in the car parks of medium to large supermarkets and shopping complexes and operated by one employee.

The trolley is moved through the machine and is sprayed and cleaned with virucide – killing off the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, as well as other viruses

The supermarket staff member can stack up as many as 30 trolleys and push them through the device, which uses a food safe virucidal chemical mix.  

The portable trolley wash requires a garden hose to emit the spray, as the chemical mix needs to become atomised with water to produce a fine mist.

Clean Trolley contains the virucide in a 10-litre container and is mixed with water at a ratio of up to one to 400, meaning it should easily last a full day’s operation, and the viral mix can be reordered for £30.   

Wilkinson said the Clean Trolley will take anything that is portable, but not electrical, including wheelchairs and hospital beds.

A garden hose is needed to combine water with the anti-viral chemicals and produce a fine mist

It could also be set up at airports to kill any remnants of the virus that are left behind on small and non-electrical ground support equipment or baggage trolleys, as an example. 

Any object handled by a large amount of people in a short amount of time that could spread the coronavirus inadvertently could benefit from Clean Trolley.      

The company said the vapour it uses has been approved by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, meaning it is safe to use. 

Despite many enquiries from overseas – India in particular – UK health and safety regulations mean middle managers at supermarkets have been unable to authorise the company to demonstrate the trolley on a commercial basis in supermarkets.  

Anything that is portable and handled by large groups of people that could spread the coronavirus would benefit from Clean Trolley

‘At the moment we have hit a brick wall in the UK potentially due to the hierarchical management structure we have over here,’ Wilkinson said.

‘Given the importance now attached to clean shopping spaces, Clean Trolley would be a vital boost in the effort to promote public hygiene and limit the spread of COVID-19,’ Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson Mobile Catering plans to donate 10 per cent of any profits to the charities fund for the NHS. 

The company also manufactures portable hand wash stations, which are popular in supermarkets overseas, the company said. 


Coronavirus could spread on surfaces, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

There is evidence that the coronavirus ‘can also be spread via fomites – when the virus survives on inanimate surfaces for a short period of time,’ said Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, a member of the WHO’s emergency committee on the outbreak.

This is a concern for hospitals, where patients coming to be diagnosed and treated for coronavirus may touch chairs, tables, beds, railings and much more.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a study from National Institutes of Health. 

Scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. 

The results provide key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects.  

To protect yourself, keep at least 2 metres from others and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. 

Clean your hands thoroughly and often and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. 

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