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The Green Life: Electrolyzed Water: Miracle Cleaner?

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March 23, 2009

Electrolyzed Water: Miracle Cleaner?

Salt water can be electrolyzedTouted as being safe enough to drink but tough enough to kill salmonella and E. coli, an extraordinary cleaning product made from electrolyzed water and salt is catching on in the United States, reports the Los Angeles Times. How does it work? When ordinary table salt and tap water are charged with an electric current, the resulting chemical reaction produces an alkaline component (sodium hydroxide, which cleans and degreases) and an acidic component (hypochlorous acid, which disinfects). The solution, popular in Russia and Japan, can be used to wash food, clean food-processing equipment, treat wounds, or scrub counters and sinks. The downside of the seemingly green cleaning product is that electrolyzed water is a short-shelf-life Cinderella, losing its miracle powers fairly quickly. The Sheraton Delfina, a Santa Monica, California, hotel that recently switched to the mixture, solves the storage problem by keeping an electrolzying machine on-site. While the Sheraton Delfina's electrolysis machine cost around $10,000, salt and tap water are much cheaper than cleaning products, so the hotel expects to recoup its investment within a year.

--Della Watson

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