When people think of green cleaning, they often think of chemicals that have been certified “green” by a third party. But according to Steve Ashkin, founder of Ashkin Group, green strategies also mean using no chemical at all.
He’s referring to engineered water usage — regular tap water that has been activated, ozonated, electrolyzed, or treated in some specific way, turning it into an effective cleaning method without the use of chemicals. In a recent article on Corrections.com, Ashkin comments that cleaning using engineered water is effective for many, if not most, cleaning tasks (with the exception of disinfecting, say studies).
Below is an excerpt from the article, explaining how water can be used effectively in cleaning:
We know that regular tap water is a solvent and able to dissolve or help remove soils and contaminants from all types of surfaces. When used, for instance, with microfiber cleaning cloths, the combination can provide excellent cleaning results. The water helps dissolve soils and the microfiber provides the necessary agitation to loosen and then remove them from surfaces.
However, it is the use of different cleaning technologies that has taken this to a much higher and more significant cleaning level. Examples of this are the use of vaporized water and spray-and-vac cleaning systems. Professional-grade vaporized water systems heat water to nearly 250 degrees (F). This is hot enough to melt away many soils and kill many, if not most, microbes on surfaces such as floors, counters, ledges, etc.
Spray-and-vac systems were originally designed to be used with chemicals, however some users have found them to be effective cleaning tools just using tap water. Apparently, once water is applied to surfaces, it begins dissolving and loosening surface soils. However, it is the pressurized rinse of those surfaces by the machine, again using just water, that takes this a step further, removing soils from a variety of surfaces where they can be vacuumed up by the system.
Both vaporized cleaning and spray-and-vac cleaning systems are not new. However, more recent technologies that employ engineered-water are the activated, ozonated or electrolyzed water systems. While these are different technologies, they are similar enough that we can discuss them here together. They are designed to be used to clean restroom fixtures, counters, floors, and so on. As a matter of fact, some major manufacturers of floor cleaning equipment have found that typically a small electrical charge passing through the tap water used in the machine results in a mild yet effective all-purpose cleaner.
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