The Science of Electrolyzed Water
Electro-say what now? A lot of people haven’t heard of electrolyzed water, which makes sense because most families don’t have the space or budget for industrial-size tanks costing $10,000. Electrolyzed water is a pretty simple technology from the industrial space that uses electricity to change the ionic structure of salt, water & vinegar into a non-toxic cleaner as effective as bleach.
What is electrolyzed water?
The principle underlying electrolyzed water is the same as in cooking: combining elements under certain conditions creates a new substance that is very different from its component parts. (Hats off to baking powder for making our cakes taste better than eggs & flour). That’s why ingredients as basic as salt, water & vinegar can be transformed into a cleaner with an active ingredient as effective as bleach.
How does the chemistry work?
When Force of Nature passes an electrical charge through the salt (NaCl) solution, the sodium ion separates from the chloride ion. Chloride is negatively charged and is attracted to the positive side of the electrical charge where it bonds with an oxygen and hydrogen ion from the water. It gets converted from Cl- to HOCl, otherwise known as hypochlorous acid, the active ingredient in Force of Nature. The sodium is positive and is thus attracted to the negative charge, where it also bonds with an oxygen and a hydrogen ion and is electrochemically converted to sodium hydroxide or NaOH. The level of sodium hydroxide is only 0.0000003%. The vinegar is the key to getting just the right pH. Without the right pH, you could easily get a solution that is mostly bleach (sodium hypochlorite). The reason is that hypochlorous acid is the antimicrobial ion in bleach. When you lower the pH to exactly the right level, the hypochlorite ion converts to a hypochlorous acid ion. It’s the hypochlorous acid that makes the solution so safe compared to cleaning with bleach. And all this chemistry used to only happen in industrial size tanks, until Force of Nature miniaturized this technology into a little countertop appliance.
Now a bit more detail on the ingredients.
Your immune system’s 1st line of defense
Now you know the active ingredient in Force of Nature is hypochlorous acid. But did you know that it’s the same substance your white blood cells produce to keep you healthy? And that it’s so safe it’s commonly used products that have to be safe & gentle. It’s actually a type of chlorine, though many people only think of 1 kind of chlorine, which is bleach. Hypochlorous acid is much safer and used in products like these:
- Wound healing (approved by the FDA)
- Eye care (approved by the FDA)
- Veterinary care
- Food preservation (approved by the FDA)
A Detergent Without Bubbles
The other ingredient, at 0.0000003% concentration, is sodium hydroxide. This ingredient is a commonly used detergent in products from skincare to body wash to toothpaste, as well as in all-purpose cleaners. In all-purpose cleaners, typical concentration levels are from 1-5%, which is 3-17 million times the concentration as in Force of Nature. Unlike typical cleaners, Force of Nature is non-toxic (see SDS) and is so safe you can use on things like pacifiers, teethers & pet toys without needing to rinse.
Resources to learn more
If you are reading this, you are probably very interested in ingredient safety. Maybe you’re trying to avoid fragrances, preservatives, surfactants & dyes because of allergies, asthma, MCS, or other health concerns, or maybe you have young children at home. Whatever the reason, we hope Force of Nature can provide you with a safer cleaning option. To help you do some more research on electrolyzed water, here are some sources to check out:
Examples of electrolyzed water in the industrial space
Why you won’t find electrolyzed water on a store shelf
The reason 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 it’s a cleaner you have to make fresh at home.