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Simple sanitising solution

Published 16th December, 2009 by Neil Nixon

Simple sanitising solution

Often the simplest concepts are the most powerful. However, it can be difficult to re-learn habits and practises that have become ingrained. In the instance of cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting, products have become increasingly sophisticated, specialist and, in many cases, potent.

In 1992, Japanese scientists perfected the process of water electrolysation. Essentially, this is the act of combining ordinary tap water, a mild salt solution and an electric current. A cathode and an anode cause the water molecules to divide into positive and negative ions resulting in alkaline cleaning water and acidic sanitising water. Remarkably simple yet startlingly effective.

Alkaline water has a pH of about 11.3 (similar to a household ammonia solution) making it an efficient detergent and de-greaser. Acidic water has a pH of about 2.7. This is also known as hypochlorous acid which, unlike hydrochloric or sulphuric acid, is not harmful to skin, mucous membranes or organic material. It is, however, a very powerful sanitiser, proven effective against many pathogens, bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, its effects are rapid and because it breaks down cell microbial walls, it prevents the development of resistant strains.

ROX, made by Hoshizaki in Japan, is claimed to be the first water electrolyser to become available in Europe. It is marketed in the UK by EO Water where it is supported by staff including a food hygiene lecturer and a microbiologist.

Electrolysed water is more effective than many sanitisers and disinfectants yet requires no storing, mixing or special disposal and presents no danger or health risk. It can be used to wash hands, clean and disinfect fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, clean and sanitise tables and wash floors. It can then be disposed of by pouring down a sink without causing any damage to the environment.

Finally, it is very low cost. Typically, a ROX system, including design and installation and making an allowance for water and electricity, costs less than 2p a litre based on a useful life of 3000 hours.

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