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So, the coronavirus has hit the United States… how hard yet remains to be seen. As a geek, I had to look into all this.
One morning as I was still mulling over the situation, I saw an Indiegogo email about the Egret: https://www.egretlab.com/
Almost looks too good to be true… plus the Egret won’t ship till May. From there, I looked up this electrolyzed water thingy and saw that it has been used in the Food Industry for probably over a decade.
I then found in a 2010 article from the Food and Water Magazine about electrolyzed/activated water effectiveness, low cost and how it is safe and eco-friendly.
After some more research, I discovered that Taiwan and some other regions have been using this as a sanitizer/disinfectant for decades. When we go to Taiwan, we go to a lot of children’s play spaces with ball pits and etc. I always wondered how they keep everything so clean and my Taiwanese contacts told me they use 次氯酸 (hypochlorous acid).
Also, in Australia they tried this in the Meat and Livestock industry and found the results to be very good.
I later found this Bay Area Doctor spritzing it up his nose and on his face, with his son, to protect themselves from the flu and coronavirus. Apparently, HOCl has been used on wound healing after cosmetic surgery for some time now too.
Since the Egret won’t get here till May and buying those sprays won’t be a long-term solution if I wanted to sanitize my home, I had to search to see if there was something I could get sooner. And I found…
EcoOne: a supposedly higher quality build/larger quantity producing version that you mix yourself
For International Friends... equivalent versions seems to be SanClean G1/100? NueClean of Australia? eKlean 50 is an Asian branded version?
If anyone ever does decide to buy a machine where you plan to mix your own concentration, measure PH and etc, here is the HOCl Facebook group I found. I observed and looked through the group and determined they are pretty legit/transparent, and they help each other to figure out the right concentrations to DIY.
Also, if you do buy these and want to spray it… I found recommendations to use Flairosol bottles for its fine mist spray that is useful for furniture, surfaces and etc. Opt for opaque bottles because light and heat are enemies to HOCl. (HOCl efficacy reduces over time, I think around two weeks, at which time you need to make a new batch or re-charge it on the system. Storebought HOCl have additives to stabilize and prolong the shelf life of HOCl.)
Here are the Flairosol bottles I use to spray down doorknobs, faucet handles, light switches, and etc …
Here are the amber bottles I use for storage and to give away
For reference, here are the industrial makers of HOCl that are used to spray down senior homes, schools, hospitals and etc:
- Viking Systems: sells industrial HOCl machines and their homepage has a good video showing how they use it in nursing homes. I wonder if the Seattle nursing home ever used something like this and if it would’ve made a difference.
- Gen Eon: another American producer of commercial machines
- Sanyo Japan: made an informative video explaining HOCl below in their virus washing purifier machine below
So does it work on SARS-CoV-2?
Updated 04/07/2020… Yep. EPA Screenshot below
And from BrioTech’s website:
So far this HOCl seems legit, an all-purpose cleaner, eco-friendly and safe for families/environment. However I remain always open and pragmatic, if anything to the contrary ever comes my way…
What are my uses?
- Personal Sanitizer: put them in little bottles and use as needed outside (must be under 200ppm or lower). You can spray on hands/face, leave wet for 30 seconds.
- Package/Mail/Delivery/Car Door Handle/Face Mask/etc Sanitizing: Spray spray spray
- Air/Room Sanitizing: When not at home, you could put them in humidifiers to disinfect while you are out. I don’t recommend having it running if you will be home (or in the same room), as you don’t want to be breathing that in. (Besides what that Doctor did :p ). Use in a non-heat humidifier, such as an ultrasonic humidifier.
- Furniture Sanitizing: Spray door knobs, locks, faucet handles, light switches. Spray down furniture as needed, I also read ppl spray on kitty litter and trashcans to remove odors. Advised to leave wet for 10 min and let dry naturally. Under 200ppm is safe and will not corrode stainless steel.
- Fruit and veggie wash: now I don’t have to keep buying them and have more plastic-waste
- Household cleaner: apparently it’s a good toilet/bathroom cleaner too according to Shine
- Disinfectant Wipes: spray down reusable wipes and wipe up
- Keycap Cleaner: It works great for pulling dirt/grime off my keycaps due to it’s electric charge
- Litter Box: Our litter box has never been easier to clean. Poop residue, even the dried bits, slide off so much more easily with this, and it got rid of the odor.
- Note: remember that HOCl will kill all bacteria, even good ones, so use on your body only during Disease Season to ensure your bacterial balance can recover.
How to Disinfect your Groceries, Take-Out Food and make sure it doesn’t contaminate your freezer (previous coronavirus lives frozen/in freezer for 2 years). Watch video below.
- Important Stat – pH:
- pH: ideal 5.5pH post-electrolysis (or between 4-6pH is good)
- Tip 1: if you can get around ~3.5pH pre-electrolysis, you might end up in the 4-6pH range.
- Tip 2: add vinegar pre-electrolysis to lower pH
- If your pH post-electrolysis ends up out of range, toss and redo.
- Important Stat – FAC ppm:
- Ideal: at or lower than 200ppm
- If ppm is over 200 post-electrolysis, just dilute with water
- Efficacy: Homemade HOCl lasts ~2weeks at 200ppm, less if you are using a lower ppm concentration
- Avoid: light, heat, vibration and air, which will shorten it’s lifespan
- How long should I leave it on surfaces?
- Looking at this Abstract from the NIH site. HOCl at 100ppm – 200ppm (6pH) kills the avian influenza on contact. HOCl at 50ppm needed 3 min contact time for the avian influenza. I’ve read that in medical settings, a 10 min wet contact time is recommended. So for your surfaces, just spray it wet and leave it wet for 10 min. On your hands, since you can’t wait 10 min, wait at least 30 sec, based on rough recommendations I have heard, since the novel coronavirus is so new, we don’t know for sure.
So what tools do you need?
pH Strips or a pH Meter
FAC (Free Activated Chlorine) strips
Keep under 200ppm to be skin safe. If your measurements go over 200ppm, you can simply dilute with more water.
- any distilled white vinegar
- tap water or reverse-osmosis water or distilled water
- If your tap water is too hard, maybe opt for distilled water
- I think soft water is also not idea, please look into it or opt for distilled water
Not an April Fool’s Joke. I found the European version of EcoOne for my overseas friends… the SanClean G1/100
I received my EcoOne machine a week ago and now have compared both units. I prefer the EcoOne because it is a more straightforward device and the opening is wide enough for me to easily measure FAC (Free Available Chlorine) and pH directly, where the FON has such a skinny neck I needed to pour it out to measure.
Here is how Taiwan uses HOCl (次氯酸)
I’ve made a lot of batches now and also given some to friends/family. I’ve found that the packets that came with my FON did not produce what I expected it to. Using my measuring tools, I had to tweak it in order to get pure HOCl. Therefore, I think whether you purchase the FON or the EcoOne, you will need tools. Even if you purchase packets to use with the FON, you *might* not be getting what you expected to get. Of course, everyone’s water supply is different, but I’ve heard from many other FON users that their results were also different from expectations.
So if you make your own, at what concentrations is it safe with rinse and safe w/o rinse, at what point might you have corrosion risks?
I found the EcoOne FAQ to be very elucidating since the domestic household EcoOne is not their bread and butter, as their main line of business is commercial HOCl sprayers.
I received my FON machine today and made my first batch of cleaner using the provided capsule. I did some measurements and it turned out to be:
~67%HOCl and 33% Hypochlorite…at 500ppm (I used Reverse-Osmosis water)
That seems like it would be a decent cleaner, but 500ppm seems a little high to be skin-friendly. Since from online research it seems like skin contact should not go over 200ppm. I will just end up using this batch for household cleaning.
Next, I wanted to make a dermal-safe version of just pure HOCl at 200ppm and that required quite a lot more measuring, tools, time and guesswork. I did end up succeeding and figured out how continue to do so in the future. But if you choose to purchase FON, please do so with the understanding the capsules makes a decent cleaner (they say you don’t need to rinse or wipe afterwards, but at 500ppm I would if it’s on skin or delicate surfaces), as I am not comfortable to leave it on my skin (I had wanted to make this an alcohol alternative hand sanitizer).