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Chemicals / Equipment/Tools / Chemical-free Cleaning
October 2012 Fact-based Management

Transitional Chemical-free Technologies

Part one of a three-part series exploring the idea of a least harmful cleaning model.

October 03, 2012
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There are three related categories in the chemical-free construct for eliminating chemical residual:

1.   Transitional chemical-free technologies

2.   Enabled chemical-free technologies

3.   Fully toxic-free, chemical-free technologies.

In the end, after the specific cleaning activity, all achieve a common result in that there is no harmful chemical residual in the air or on any surface.

What follows is a discussion of the transitional chemical-free technologies.

While no means complete, the following technologies should be explored in the quest to adopt a least harmful cleaning model.

  • Steam vapor

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit — 100 degrees Celsius for anyone outside of the U.S. — and heating water to well above that temperature changes its physical properties, generating highly active steam that can sanitize virtually any non-electrical surface.

The process works by actually forcing the dirt, grime, grease and dust to plump up with water.

Many conventional chemical products leave some level of residue; but, since steam is essentially water, the only molecules left over on the surface after the cleaning process are basic hydrogen and oxygen.

As it uses only water, the steam vapor system has no requirement for a material safety data sheet (MSDS).

  • Electrolyzed water

Through electrolysis, electrolyzed water — also called electrolyzed oxidizing water — is created in a specifically engineered electrolysis machine or wall-mounted unit.

Electrolyzed water is formed by adding a very small amount of table salt — normally around 0.1 percent — to pure water and “charging” it by conducting a low-voltage electrical current across an anode and cathode.

The physical properties of water are enhanced because each water molecule takes on either a positive or a negative charge, becoming ionized.

The cathode produces high-pH, alkaline water; the anode produces low-pH, acidic water.

This powerful solution breaks up grime, dust, grease and dirt into microscopic particles that can then be readily wiped, swept or scoured away by the brushes, pads or cloths of the cleaning machine or cloth.

The alkaline and acidic byproducts of the water electrolysis process challenge all forms of germs, including bacteria, viruses, spores, mold and fungi to a degree that can be considerably greater than the effectiveness rating of various expensive and toxic cleaning chemicals.

  • Engineered water

Engineered water, which functions through the production of hypochlorous acid, is formed by running an electrical charge through a salt solution, transforming plain tap water into a powerful sanitizing agent.

Engineered water can be utilized on any surface that would normally be cleaned with common chemical cleaning products.

One of the great advantages of engineered water devices is that they can be used in virtually every area of a building, including food preparation and serving areas and restrooms.

A clear benefit of this process is that engineered water does not need extensive dwell time; it works on contact.

  • Liquid ozone

The concentrated oxygen is ionized by the application of approximately 5,000 volts of electricity, which breaks up the bonds between the oxygen molecules to force them to transform into ozone, a molecule of conventional atmospheric oxygen with an additional atom of oxygen.

This ozone is then forcefully infused into plain tap water, creating an extremely effective oxidizing cleaning solution that is completely safe.

It is one of the most effective disinfectants available, with an efficacy that can readily exceed even extremely toxic disinfectant chemicals.

In tests to measure pure disinfection qualities, ozone has proven to be as much as 10 times as effective in sterilizing surfaces as common household bleach.

Yet, liquid ozone has been given a safety rating of 50, the highest possible score.

Effective on virtually any surface, liquid ozone has even been proven effective as a carpet stain remover, as it can easily break down fatty acids, oils and dyes.

  • Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is the product of mixing ultraviolet light and oxygen in a process known as photohydroionization.

It is basically the same chemical as water, but with an extra oxygen atom.

Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, mold, mildew and fungus, making it a versatile cleaning tool.

Due to the molecular structure of hydrogen peroxide, when its neutralization process is complete, there is nothing left but pure water vapor.

In fact, it is said that hydrogen peroxide can replace chlorine bleach, ammonia and other harmful chemicals, as it is great as an antibacterial and antifungal substance.

Check back next month when we will explore the enabled chemical-free technologies.

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