Recently IT Cleaning have started cleaning data halls for a new client. During the initial cleaning we noticed high levels copper corrosion on some of the equipment. We also noticed iron corrosion on some of the floor tiles and the cabinet doors. After discussion with the data centre team, we determined that the data halls had been disinfected/sanitised during the pandemic. On investigation we were able to determine which chemical was used. On further investigation, we found the chemical used to wipe all surfaces, contained dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride, which is a great disinfectant. The problem is that ammonium chloride, causes copper to oxidise, this is the green stuff you see on copper. By spraying the cloths, used to wipe the surfaces, the cleaners inadvertently introduced moister droplets into the airflow. These will end up in the equipment via the airflow. The raised access floor had also been coated with an emulsion polish. The safety data sheet for this product shows it also contains ammonia. See also LinkedIn article.
“It is very important that the cleaners you use in your data centre, understand which chemicals are safe to use in the data hall environment. The wrong chemical could have a very detrimental effect to the smooth running of the data hall over time”. Stephen Yates, MD IT Cleaning Ltd.