Pro3Solutions has been around since long before COVID-19, but now a global pandemic is presenting the Madison-based startup with both challenges and opportunity. The company didn’t invent the process or the tech they use to sanitize football equipment across Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, but they’ve made a profitable business performing the sanitation services on-site.

The founders, Rick Nelson and Craig Oehrlein, are both former football players from Madison-area Sun Prairie High School. They’ve been cleaning equipment for years, but now find themselves in the right place at the right time. COVID-19 isn’t just boosting cleanliness, but mass-cleanliness; more specifically, mass-sanitizing.

An article from Daily Herald details how their two-step cleaning process, called “Disinfect and Protect,” works:

First, workers wipe everything down to remove dirt and debris. Electrostatic sprayers are then used to apply chlorine dioxide to all surfaces. The chemical compound eliminates bacteria deep within fibers of shoulder pads, shoes, travel bags, etc. It is FDA and EPA approved for safe indoor use.

Step two is the protective process. Everything is sprayed with a dry antimicrobial coating, which Nelson said bonds with the surface to form microscopic, positively charged carbon spikes. These spikes attract negatively charged virus or bacteria, pierce the micro organism’s outer membrane and kill it.

According to Rick Nelson, this process keeps equipment sanitized for up to 90 days. As we enter a post-COVID world, Nelson and Oehrlein hope to use heightened sanitation needs and awareness to expand well into “Big Ten Country.”

You can read more about the Wisconsin startup that’s turning cleanliness into cash here.