Hypochlorous acid (HOCL) Vs. Hypochlorite ions (OCL-): Uncovering the truth about sanitizers and disinfectants 

Whether it’s for household use, or for commercial or industrial usage, it’s often tempting to let popular misconceptions rule our decisions about sanitizers. Often, it’s believed that the more powerful the chemical composition of the sanitizer, like hypochlorite ions (OCL-) based Chlorine Bleach, the more effective it is at neutralizing harmful pathogens. The truth is far different, and the Eco One Hypochlorous acid (HOCL) producing machine is the ideal way to benefit from a more powerful and effective sanitizing agent.

Getting Technical

On a more technical level, the hypochlorite ions (OCL-) in Chlorine Bleach are less efficient than hypochlorous acid (HOCL) at doing what sanitization and disinfection is all about: Killing harmful pathogens! The latter (HOCL) kills and neutralizes microorganisms more rapidly than the former, and is more effective than Chlorine Bleach.

The HOCL disinfectant solution, produced by a high quality hypochlorous acid machine, is also ideal for dealing with an increasing resistance that bacteria, germs, and viruses have to chemical cleaning agents. That’s because HOCL is a more reactive and stronger cleansing agent than OCL-.  That cleansing power also comes from the fact that HOCL splits into HCI (hydrochloric acid) and an Oxygen atom, that adds power to its disinfection capabilities.

HOCL’s electronically neutral characteristics enable it to quickly penetrate the walls of negatively-charged pathogenic microorganism cells, as well as other protective layers – such as slime or debris.  Once bound to the pathogens, HOCL easily kills them, or neutralizes their reproductive capability. On the other hand, instead of binding itself to negatively-charged pathogenic microorganism cell walls, negatively-charged OCL- repels them; much like two magnets of similar polarity.  This gives Chlorine Bleach-based OCL- cleansers less power as a disinfectant or sanitization agent.

Risk Mitigation

There is also a risk of miscalculations, when making your own disinfectants and sanitizers by mixing various compounds together, using nothing more than cooking utensils and measuring cups. For example, unless you produce your formulation with precision, you could end up with a Bleach solution containing higher pH levels than required. Higher pH levels in hypochlorite solutions can attack metals, resulting in corrosion.

HOCI is a free chlorine molecule, and pH levels between pH 5 and 7 are ideal for its efficacy.  At these levels, HOCL will be the dominant free chlorine molecule. Between pH 5 (99%) and pH 7 (80%) is the ideal range of free chlorine molecule concentrations.  At higher pH levels (pH 8), the HOCL solution will contain just 20% of free chlorine molecules.  That’s where an HOCL machine, like Eco One, is extremely convenient.   You can produce HOCL in precisely desired concentrations, between 200 ppm to over 400 ppm with the machine. This gives you better control over you enhanced cleansing and disinfection routines.

But there’s yet another risk that comes with producing Bleach-based products without due diligence and proper equipment. Some sanitization applications require liberal use of bleaching solutions on metallic surfaces, including pipes and conduits. High pH-based disinfectants can also generate hydrogen gas when it comes in contact with aluminum – and there’s a risk of explosion.

Producing HOCL, on the other hand, by using a precision-designed hypochlorous acid machine, mitigates those risks.

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