What the Heck is Electrolyzed Water?

by admin on March 20, 2009

It is actually to supposed to be a great cleaning fluid. Now, before I go any further, you might be asking yourself this is a prepress blog and why would I be talking about cleaning fluids. And my answer would be that if you are not interested in cleaning fluids, you have never worked in a prepress shop, my friend.

Let me draw you a picture of the typical prepress room: There are some Mac workstations strewn about here and there, a couple of Windows servers, maybe a plate cutter, a spectrophometer, and a computer-to-plate machine or heaven-forbid, a imagesetter. There is also one other piece of equipement usually takes up a fair bit of space, and that would be the processor. This big beast "processes" the plates after the laser has made the necessary patterns on the polymer. And it's usually filled with toxic, smelly crap.

Now, look around the room again, and who do you see? Or, I should say, who is the lucky person that is going to drain that processor, fill that processor and if they are especially lucky, clean that processor?  It's not the pressmen. It's not the bindery. Guess again. Yup, it's prepress. And that's why, if you have worked in the prepress for a number of years, you start to take an interest in cleaning fluids.

So that's why this post is about electrolyzed water. There is a great article available online about the cleaning benefits of electrolyzed water. To summarize, it turns out if you zap salt water with low-voltage electricity, the sodium ions are converted to sodium hydroxide, which is alkaline that can clean and degreases like detergent, and chloride ions become hypochlorous acid, aka acid water, which is a disinfectant 10 times  more effective than bleach in killing bacteria.

If you read through the article, there are lots of examples of different companies using this stuff to clean food processor plants, grocery stores and even hotels. Apparently in Japan people even fill their swimming pools with this stuff so they don't have to use chlorine.

Now here comes the frustrating part: For the life of me, I couldn't find on Google an exact link to a machine that actually makes this stuff. The closet I could find was this: Jupiter Orion Water Ionizer - Model JP109 - 5 Yr. Warranty from Amazon.

Unfortunately, it's not for industrial use, but for the home. Once you start to research electrolyzed water, you don't find much so you start typing in "alkaline water" and "water ionizers" and then you find out that this stuff is supposed to have serious health benefits too. Now that is great (and I started to get really intrigued about the natural Ph level of the human body and the dangers of acidification, blah, blah) but the downside is that there really seems to be lack of practical info on where to buy a machine that makes electrolyzed water for industrial cleaning.

Which is too bad, because in prepress, nobody likes the chemicals in the processor. So I guess this will be ongoing story to be updated at some point in the future.

(Update to this article: The company that makes industrial machines for electrolyzed water is a private company so it was a bit hard to find, but it's here.)


Ken Potter April 28, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Hey, check out our company based out of Hamilton using among others EO water. Awesome stuff!

Jacob Balanzategui June 22, 2009 at 6:54 am

You can find information by going to http://www.greenbiocide.com. We sell machines for commercial use and would be more than willing to give you samples of the product to tryout. There are different models that make different concentrations and different amounts electrolyzed water depending on what kind of use you are looking for. If you have more interest send me an email at info@greenbiocide.com

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