Water + Salt + Electricity: The Basics of Electrochemically-Activated Cleaning Solutions

PathoCide Sanitizer and Disinfectant from PathoSans

Water + Salt + Electricity:
The Basics of ElectroChemically-Activated Cleaning Solutions

Basics of ElectroChemically-activated cleaning solutions

Say goodbye to a closet full of cleaning supplies.

Imagine a janitor’s closet. What do you see? If you see shelves and shelves of cleaning chemicals, this blog is for you. ElectroChemically-activated cleaning solutions (ECAs) allow you to replace those shelves of harmful cleaning chemicals with a simple, compact unit that generates non-toxic, effective cleaning solutions on site and on demand. In this blog we will discuss the what, why, and how of the basics of ECAs. 


What are ECAs?

The technology behind ECAs is roughly 40 years old, but the idea of replacing harmful industrial cleaners with safer solutions generated on site and on demand is a fairly new and innovative idea.  


The idea first gained national attention around 2009, when Marla Dickerson wrote, “It’s a kitchen degreaser. It’s a window cleaner. It kills athlete’s foot.” in her article, “Simple Elixir Called a ‘Miracle Liquid,” published in the Los Angeles Times on February 3, 2009. 


So what are electro-chemically activated solutions exactly? Wikipedia defines ECAs (a.k.a. electrolyzed water) as:

“…the electrolysis of ordinary tap water containing dissolved sodium chloride (salt). The electrolysis of such salt solutions produces a solution of hypochlorous acid and sodium hydroxide. The resulting water is a known cleaner and disinfectant/sanitizer.”

Until recent advancements were made by companies like PathoSans, the process of making these solutions was referred to as electrolyzed water. This process used ordinary softened tap water – which could produce inconsistent activation levels – and it left a salty residue making the overall process less efficient and therefore less desirable. Another limitation to the electrolyzed water process was that it produced both the cleaner and disinfectant in the same tank. If cleaners wanted to follow the two-step cleaning process (learn more about two-step cleaning here), it wasn’t possible to separate the cleaner for step one, and the disinfectant/sanitizer for step two.  


By 2008, the inventor of PathoSans Technologies, James B. Swartz, began working with customers across the country. PathoSans technology became more accurately known as ElectroChemically-Activated water. The new technology now softens and conditions the water ensuring a more consistent activation. It also splits the two solutions into separate tanks allowing for greater efficacy and for the use of the superior two-step cleaning process.  


More about the cleaning solutions

The Cleaner/Degreaser: Sodium Hydroxide is a fairly simple chemical formula that packs a powerful punch. It’s a highly effective cleaner and degreaser capable of removing stubborn biofilm and unwanted soils that may serve as harborage to dangerous pathogens. It’s also non-toxic. In fact, in independent lab tests conducted by PathoSans for PathoClean – their trademarked sodium hydroxide cleaning solution – it registers as non-irritating to the skin and eyes (see test results here).  


ElectroChemically-activated cleaning solutions PathoClean and PathoCide

PathoClean cleaner/degreaser and PathoCide disinfectant/sanitizer.

The Disinfectant/Sanitizer: Hypochlorous acid is a very mild acid, but don’t let that fool you. Though it’s non-toxic to humans, it’s devastating to unwanted and dangerous pathogens. In efficacy tests of PathoCide – PathoSans’ trademarked disinfectant/sanitizer – it is shown to kill 99.999% of bacteria while remaining non-toxic to humans. 


Why use ECAs? 

According to the International Sanitation and Supply Association (ISSA), green cleaning is the number one trend in the sanitation industry. Harmful chemicals and cleaning practices have taken their toll on all building stakeholders. According to a recent study, using cleaning chemicals regularly can be as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. When you invest in ECAs, you are joining a movement to make our world a cleaner and healthier place.  


A few more reasons to switch to ECAs 

  • Environmentally responsible: By investing in the on-site generation technology, you can reduce your carbon footprint. [Note: While PathoSans does use plastic tubs and bottles for storing and dispensing the cleaning solutions, they are made to be reused, again and again.] There are no recurring shipping and handling costs. PathoSans technology is recognized by LEED as part of an effective green cleaning program. The device-generated solutions also meet the Green Seal Standard™ (more info here). 
  • Non-Toxic and Safe: PathoCide is high performing at a low-toxicity level compared to bleach and other common chemical disinfectants. Per OSHA and the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), PathoCide is a Category IV product (least toxic) while bleach is a shocking Category 1 (most toxic). 
  • Economical: By investing in ECA technology with a company like PathoSans, creating cleaning solutions on site will cost you less than traditional cleaning chemicals. 
  • Effective: PathoSans green commercial disinfectant, PathoCide kills  99.999% of bacteria and has a dwell time of only seconds.  


How Do I Switch to Electro-Chemically Activated Solutions at My Facility? 

If you wish to make the switch to ECAs at your facility, you will likely incur some up-front purchase or lease costs for the patented equipment. However, the savings you will reap for generating your cleaning solutions on site are well worth the up-front investment. For a demo or more information on PathoSans, please visit here. 


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“ The PathoSans team is great: they set up and fine- tuned our system, and now we have a continuous supply of high-performance solutions. We do not need to order or pay for packaged chemicals, or worry about anything!”

“ We like the simplicity. It’s as easy as pushing a button, then opening a valve for the solution: a degreaser for our pots, pans, sinks and floors, and a sanitizer for our tables, cutting boards, utensils, anywhere we need to sanitize.”

“ We feel fantastic about the system because it’s completely green, saves us considerable money, and helps ensure employee and guest safety.”