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 is ingredient is as effective as bleach. This is 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 very 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 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 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 is an EPA-registered hospital disinfectant that kills 99.9% of germs. Force of Nature is on EPA’s list N, the disinfectants approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, and EPA expects all products on List N to kill all strains and variants of SARS-CoV-2. See 3rd party independent lab test results here to see how it performs vs the top cleaning brands or watch this little video for a super simple chemistry lesson.
Why Can’t I Buy Electrolyzed Water in a Store?
The reason it must be made in an appliance at home 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 deodorizing efficacy within just a few weeks. That’s why we tell our customers that they should dispose of any unused solution after 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 in your home, and about how Force of Nature actually works.