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Hard Floor Care

A Contentious Debate

February 01, 2011
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Recently, there has been some whistle blowing and finger pointing pertaining to electrically converted water technology.

There are three different camps driving the debate about the emerging technology''s effectiveness, each with their own independent, third-party assessments validating their respective claims.

The brouhaha reached a flashpoint when Nilfisk-Advance Inc. released a report claiming that a floor scrubber using electrically converted water technology failed to perform better than the same floor scrubber using ordinary tap water.

Nilfisk-Advance''s two tests, performed by Professional Testing Laboratory Inc. and Environ Laboratories LLC, both concluded that a floor scrubber equipped with the ec-H2O system by Tennant Company did not remove more soil than plain tap water or a detergent solution.

To read the complete test results, visit and

"The claim that electrically [converted] water acts as a ''powerful cleaning agent/detergent'' on professional floor scrubbers was not supported in our testing," notes Wade Reitmeier, general manager of research and development and product management for Nilfisk-Advance Inc.

Adding another dimension to the matter, Diversey Inc. commissioned a study performed by wfk-Institute for Applied Research Ltd. in which conclusions similar to that of Nilfisk-Advance were reached.

According to the Diversey study, the Tennant machine with ec-H2O technology did not deliver relevant cleaning advantages over the Tennant machine using plain tap water in any of the tested conditions, which included dusty soils and fatty soils.

Stick To Your Convictions

Tennant Company quickly fired back to quell the uproar from what it calls misleading claims from its competitors by clarifying how the ec-H2O technology works.

According to Tennant, the assessments performed by Nilfisk-Advance only tested the ec-H2O technology on petroleum-based soils, an application on which Tennant has never claimed electrically converted water technology to be effective.

As such, Tennant has demanded that Nilfisk-Advance take immediate actions to stop the dissemination of these misleading statements.

It its own tests, performed by Aspen Research Corporation and Elliott Affiliates Ltd., it was found that the ec-H2O technology cleaned as well as or better than industry-accepted general-purpose cleaners and delivered greater adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and bacteria reduction than the floor scrubber using a designated chemical cleaner.

To read the complete test results, visit and

"We will vigorously protect our technologies, products and brand from being the subjects of false and/or misleading statements," says Chris Killingstad, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Tennant Company.

Is It All Hogwash?

A study performed by the technical analysis company EcoForm found that using ec-H2O technology reduces the environmental impact of cleaning operations by up to 98 percent because of reduced chemical usage and the decreased need for packaging and delivering floor cleaning chemicals.

Moreover, customers who tested floor scrubbers equipped with ec-H2O technology reported things such as: Removal of more dirt from the floor; reduction of unpleasant odor in the scrubber''s recovery tanks; left no residue on a highly polished floor; and floors dried more quickly.

While all three companies — Nilfisk-Advance Inc., Tennant Company and Diversey Inc. — will adamantly stick by their claims and the supporting data from their laboratory tests, it is up to consumers to decide whether or not this contentious debate is factual or based on competitive disagreement.

Be sure to frequent for updates, as we will cover any and all developments associated with the ec-H2O debacle.

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