Electrolyzed Water 101
We know what you might be thinking…how can salt, water & vinegar be as effective as bleach? They can’t all by themselves, but they can with some help from electricity. The technology to use electricity to change the chemical composition of salt & water has been around for over 50 years, and it’s called electrolyzed water. It’s typically made in industrial-size equipment for large institutions and companies. The applications of electrolyzed water are broad given its efficacy, safety & low cost per ounce. Research on hypochlorous acid, its active antimicrobial ingredient, has been extensive given its many applications, including in eye, wound & veterinary care products. Examples of institutions using electrolyzed water are hospitals in Japan and in the United States for both cleaning & disinfecting as well as in wound healing products. Even though the chemistry is pretty simple, equipment like you see in this photo can cost $10,000 or more depending on capacity. That is, until we miniaturized this technology for your kitchen countertop!
How Electrolyzed Water Is Made
Making it is pretty simple chemistry. You start with the right proportions of salt, water and vinegar. A salt molecule is made up of the elements sodium and chloride, and a water molecule is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. When an electrical current is applied to the solution, the molecules are broken apart and combined into 2 new molecules:
- Hypochlorous acid – This ingredient is as effective as bleach. It’s actually the same substance your white blood cells produce to keep you healthy. As in your immune system’s fighter. Really! It’s gentleness & efficacy are what make it commonly used in wound, healthcare, and veterinary care products. It’s even approved for use in organic crop production. Hypochlorous acid kills pathogens while at the same being extremely gentle on skin, which is what makes it so unique and versatile.
- Sodium hydroxide – a detergent used at low concentrations in products like toothpaste and skin moisturizers, and at higher concentrations in conventional cleaners. Force of Nature contains a concentration of just 0.0000003% (not toxic). In all-purpose cleaners, typical concentration levels are from 1-5% (3 million to 17 million times the concentration as in Force of Nature, and can be extremely harmful).
The vinegar lowers the pH (the acidity) of the solution so that the right concentration of each ingredient is created. The EPA requires our Activator Capsules to ensure the right concentration of hypochlorous acid is created, because being off by even a hundredth of a gram can result in bleach, a solution that doesn’t meet EPA antimicrobial standards, or a shorter shelf life. Force of Nature is actually the only EPA registered disinfectant that you can make on your kitchen countertop. It completely eliminates single-use plastic bottles, so that you can reduce your plastic waste by 97%. Because each of our recyclable Activator Capsules replaces a bulky plastic bottle, it also saves you storage space – you can get a whole year supply of cleaning and disinfecting in one tiny little box!
Watch this little video for a super simple chemistry lesson.
What about sanitizing and disinfecting?
Electrolyzed water is a highly effective pathogen killer so is commonly used to kill bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Force of Nature is a federal EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant that kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Force of Nature is also on EPA’s list N, the disinfectants approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19 (note that EPA expects all products on List N to kill all strains and variants of SARS-CoV-2). Our formula also meets surface disinfection requirements for OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standards and is on the EPA’s List Q, the disinfectants approved for use against monkeypox.
How well does electrolyzed water clean?
Electrolyzed water is highly effective when it comes to cleaning and dissolving grease, grime, oil, sticky messes, and soap scum. And because it’s so effective at killing bacteria, mold and mildew, the common causes of odors, it’s a highly effective deodorizer too. You can see 3rd party independent lab test results for Force of Nature here to see that it’s just as effective as the top cleaning and deodorizing brands.
Why Can’t I Buy Electrolyzed Water in a Store?
The reason it must be made in an appliance on a countertop is that just like bubbles in a carbonated drink, hypochlorous acid starts to dissipate over time. That means a bottle of electrolyzed water sitting on a store shelf or in a warehouse would lose its efficacy within just a few weeks. That’s why we tell our customers that they should dispose of any unused solution after 2 weeks. But because you can use Force of Nature to replace sanitizers, bleach, disinfectants, deodorizers, kitchen, glass, bathroom, toilet, floor, and rug cleaners, you can easily use it up within 2 weeks.
More questions? Learn more about electrolyzed water or see how it compares to typical natural cleaning products. And if you want to dig in even more, we’ve also got the scoop on how to compare electrolyzed water vs bleach, how Force of Nature is safe to use on virtually any surface, and about how Force of Nature actually works.